I recently read about an artist, Michael Workman, who has a 30/3/3 rule for paintings. The rule goes like this:
- A painting should grab your attention at 30 feet away.
- At 3 feet away, the painting should tell a story and create a dialog with the viewer.
- 3 inches away, the painting should be interesting to other artists with interesting texture and paint application.
While I am not a designer, I do believe we can apply a similar rule to book covers. I call it the 20/20 rule. The rule goes like this:
- At 20 feet away, a book cover should be graphically compelling enough to catch a reader’s attention. The title should also be legible.
- At 20 inches away, the book cover should be interesting enough to entice the reader to pick up the book and learn more.
Try it out. Put your most recent book 20 feet away and see if the cover commands attention. Then place it 20 inches away and see if what you read on the cover is compelling and would make a reader want to pick up the book to learn more.
After all, we all want our books to encourage perfect vision.