Arts Online: Wang Zhi Hong

With Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc., people are trying to persuade me that there are no longer needs to buy paperbacks, let along those heavy hardcovers. I wonder, Is it going to change the profession as cover design? In the future, do book covers need to be interactive with hyperlinks and url popping out everything? I don’t know.

So far, I have been resisting those e-books and digital devices, as paperback book covers are still very attractive to me. In the past few years, many books published in Taiwan have more and more beautiful covers. Publishing houses obviously realize that good covers may not influence sales, but bad covers certainly do. Many of them come from the same person, later I notice, Wang Zhi Hong (王志弘).

When buying books in Japan, bookstore staffs will cover your books with their wrapping paper in a proficient way, like the photo besides. I am not sure if it is for book protection (so book edges will not be damaged), for privacy reason (so people don’t know what you are reading), for promotion (so people know where you buy books), or for aesthetic reason (because cover design is too ugly to represent my tastes?). I think it’s a waste, though, if books have greatly-designed covers but get covered.

Sometimes you don’t need to understand the language to appreciate the beauty of a book cover. Wang has a website to showcase his works, though it’s not Chrome-friendly. His Flickr album also has a good collection, but I like the slideshow presentation the best (it takes a while to load).

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