In July this year our store in Amsterdam had a great window: Blue books everywhere and some accompanying questions like “I’m looking for a book I saw here the other day, the blue one” or “I don’t remember the title, but it was blue.” Believe it or not, we do get these kind of questions quite often. That shows you how important the cover, and certainly the color, is as part of the book.
As a follow-up to the blue window, two colleagues of the The Hague store, Simone and myself, got the idea to add some permanent color to the ABC’s website recommendations. Under the “C” you will now find nine lists, all made up of books sorted by cover color.
While adding these recommendations I noticed that the cover colors are ’section sensitive’. For instance, you’ll find a lot of blue and black books in the Business/Economics section, and most other non-fiction sections -come to think of it- harboring books that want to send out a message of dependability, authority and intelligence. Black is also often seen in covers of Sci-Fi books -the color of space out there? - and Thrillers, where death and grief is often an issue. In the Psychology and Health sections you will see a lot of the color white, mostly associated with calm, space and peacefulness.
You can probably guess the most used color in the Nature/Gardening section: that’s right, green, the color of nature, trees, plants and grass. (And grass = soccer = green covers in the Sports section as well.) And what about pink? Well, it’s a feminine color and therefore the color of a lot of style and fashion books and, of course, ideal for the Romance books, except for the really hot and steamy ones, which often have -blush- red (don’t forget the firemen) on their covers.
That said, most of our beloved books aren’t just one color and knowing what some colors mean, they aren’t always relevant to the content of the book. Sometimes the colors are just nice and/or go well together. So, although colors might be used for strategic and commercial purposes, don’t stare yourself blind (oh my gosh, a pun!) on them.
(Read more about cover colors here.)