What do I love most? I love words and I love images–after all, I’m a designer of book covers. We designers inhabit the space where images and words fall in love and give birth to something new.
But design is a
ll about targeted communication and leaving as little as possible open to interpretation. It’s a fascinating process, but it’s much more of an ephemeral experience for the viewer,
though the accumulated design around us is what forms our perception of popular culture. A well-designed and thoughtful book cover can give a book a persona that can help the reader connect with the book and even enhance the reading experience.
Yes, I love design–I love making it, love seeing great design–but in my mind–there is no substitute for the written word itself. The word floats through the conscience in the voice of the author, yet it is the reader’s mind that forms the image. I love when a book I am reading transports me into that world, and puts me into the head of another. I can’t think of a more immersive experience or a form of purer enjoyment. And if reading the words of another is one kind of joy, stringing together my own words and building a world of my own making is sheer heaven. Yes, it is a lot of work. So is design.
Writing is a more direct way of taking notes on the images in my mind. It’s a house I can build to my own specifications from the words in my head, then move in and live there. There’s really nothing else like that for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love design. I couldn’t live without art and beautiful images. But like one needs fiber in their diet, I need–the depth of words in my life.
One of my favorite authors is Maggie Stiefvater. She’s an artist, too, and I marvel at the lyrical poetry of her words, how the images she conjures explode in my mind. Her writing is made of subtle layers like the glazes in a painting. I savor her words, roll them around in my head like the most delicious dessert.
What author do you savor–whose words are so lush and resonant, you want to read them over and over again?