OK, so I looked at some of my own books to get an idea of some of the things that can be done with hardback books. Below is a book for Juxtapoz magazine. The cover was essentially a matt print on a nice stock, rapped around the board that makes it a hardback. It looks nice because of well chosen stock, however it's very limited in terms of print finish exploration. For a special edition, I imagine fans would want something more in terms of production to make it really collectable and feel as if it's a special edition.
The street sketchbook uses a Canvas like material as the cover, which gives it a nice textured feel that compliments the paint strokes on the cover. It also features a nice spot varnished black design that really stands out. The use of spot varnish could be really significant for me to use in terms of creating a unique feel to the book covers, either as a finish over the top of an object to make it stand out, or over the background to create subtle imagery.
This is a cookbook. I picked it because it uses a technique called foil-blocking to create a very classic finish to the typographical elements. This would be one way to create a very traditional feel to my books, although it could be manipulated to give a really contemporary feel.
The Spiderman:Blue comic book by Loeb and Sale features a paper sleave, which is actually not that interesting to me, though it features a nice typeface. Underneath, however, it features a debossed Spiderman in a darker blue that creates a wonderful finish. The font down the spine uses a similar feeling. In one of the interviews, one of the answers to the favourite book covers section was that he liked the hardback cover underneath the paper sleeve because it was well finished. What this indicates to me, is that in terms of memorable covers and certainly special eition, the hardback bit is more important than a paper sleeve and because of this, I'm likely to work straight with the hardback and not use a paper sleeve.
The Mozipedia isn't mine, it belongs to my friend Craig. I wanted to show it though, because his hair is spot varnished, accentuating an iconic part of Morrissey. It's just a really clever and subtle use of spot varnishing. I also really like the typographical choices in the book. Both these things were pointed out to me when this book came up in an interview with another person.
I then decided to look at a few existing book 'box-sets'. This helps inform ideas of how to package my book. This kind of open edged book that allows you to see the spines is quite a common one, it's similarly replicated in the Lord of The Rings box-set below. The real difference between the books I'm looking at, and these is that the spine size differs greatly, it might therefore not be as advantageous for me to present the spines, leaving a weird unsymmetrical look. I also think that the way this particular Lion, The With And The Wardrobe box-set is designed in terms of the actual graphics is incredibly dated looking.
I really like how this Lord Of The Rings boxset looks, again it uses a box package that exposes the spines, which might not be that useful to me, even though the spine size on these varies, it isn't quite as drastic as the way mine does (from 15mm to 45mm). I really like the simplicity of the design, and I thin this is something I'm acutely aware of needing to do with mine. In terms of making a coherant set and packaging, simplicity is often a help and complexity a hindrance.
P.S. the spot varnish on it is sick.
This Harry Potter box set uses a fully enclosed box, with the books presented inside. I think this type of packaging might be more useful to me, though, this is quite a gimmicky box-set, which is fine, given what the material is. For classic novels like the John Steinbeck collection, though, it's best to go with something with a little more class.
This again, is hardly re-inventing the wheel in terms of packaging, the design is also a little bit all-over the place, with too many stylistic influences going on at once.