Today’s Illustration: We all do it!

When: January 2020

What:  A Study On Book Cover Design

  • The study was conducted by Dr. Arūnas Gudinavičius and Andrius Šuminas at Vilniaus University.
  • The experiment quantified eye-tracking and duration when people looked for books.
  • The study involved 180 participants — 90 male and 90 female
  • The study covered three age groups, with 60 in each group.
  • The age groups were 18-35 / 36-55 /over 56
  • The participants were shown 18 randomly selected book covers on a computer screen
  • The computer was equipped with eye-tracking devices.
  • The participants then selectively clicked on the one they liked the most.
  • The study focused on graphics, not wording or type styles.[1]


  • Younger women selected cold colors.
  • Men over 56 preferred warm colors.
  • Both men and women liked orange.
  • Both men and women disliked yellow, green, black, and white book covers.
  • Men chose blue and red book covers.
  • Women selected multicolor and violet color covers.
  • Younger women are quicker to choose a book by its cover. [1]


It is said by publishers that the cover of a book is of the utmost importance!

“Never judge a book by its cover.”

Canva says it this way — “Show, Don’t Tell.”

Book covers are the original clickbait.


“Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumb nail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.” ― Larry Correia


“Good cover design is not only about beauty… it’s a visual sales pitch. It’s your first contact with a potential reader. Your cover only has around 3 seconds to catch a browsing reader’s attention. You want to stand out and make them pause and consider, and read the synopsis.”― Eeva Lancaster, Being Indie: A No Holds Barred, Self Publishing Guide for Indie Authors


We all do it. We can’t help it. We’re predominantly visual creatures. (The visual area at the back of our brains comprises 30 percent of our cortex.) The wrappers in which things come not only powerfully affect what interests us but also how we react to the contents we find inside. This certainly holds true for companies, which can convince us with professional-looking marketing materials, web sites, and offices that they produce professional-quality work. It also holds true for books, whose covers draw our attention, create an expectation that excites us, and suggest a certain quality of writing. Certainly the truth is laid bare once we start reading (just as the truth about a company’s quality is laid bare soon after we hire them), but if anyone doubts how their expectations for a book they’re about to read are affected by its presentation, I’d challenge them to examine their initial reaction to a book not with an unattractive cover but with an amateurish one. –Alex Lickerman M.D.


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

  • appearances
  • word and deed
  • “they say, but”
  • church growth / decline
  • judgments
  • facades
  • false prophets
  • covering up
  • failed promises
  • by all appearances
  • John the Baptist – his appearance
  • excuses / justifications / cover stories
  • it appears like, but it’s not
  • wolves in sheep’s clothing


Sermonic Example:

(use whatever information from above you find useful)

. . . . I remember the days in school when one of the first tasks given to us as students was to cover our textbooks.  Typically, we did it at home using a fairly new paper bag.  While the actual book cover was no longer visible, we ended up making our own book covers with decorative drawings or doodling for the less artistically able.  The artwork, words, notes, poetry, limericks, or colors on that brown shopping bag cover had nothing to do with the contents of the book it was wrapped around. The book cover was an expression of us, not the content of the book.  You knew which book to grab because you knew what was on that book’s brown bag cover.

Some of God’s people live that way.  What is written inside is not what is on the outside.  Sometimes, it is confusing to see the cover and figure out how that squares with what is inside.  One such individual is named — Obadiah.  We read about him in I Kings 18 . . . .


Other Information & Links:


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