Bachelor Thesis Project

The Topic: Covers of Latvian fiction books published in 2000, 2010 and 2020.

Main questions: Are there similarities in cover styles between the years? What are the most used font types and colour used in the covers? Are there correlations between different aspects of information about the book and the cover style?

So, for the books itself, the main research source was the data massive created by the National Library of Latvia, which is essentialy an excell sheet that provides information on books published in Latvia from 1991 till 2020. The information includes the author, title, secondary title, if it is a part of a series, where it has been published, the publisher, the language, if it is a translated text, if so, then which language it is translated from, the content category, the type of ficion, name of translator and number of pages.

So from this list of over 60 thousand books, I took 4 criteria :
Fiction books.
Not translated – language latvian.
Published in 2000, 2010, 2020.

After creating a list of the titles, the second part of searching came, to actually find the covers of the books. The total of the books came around 600. But, searching online, it was a challenge to find the cover images in good quality, especially for books published in the year 2000. So, the final count that was decided to be used, was 543 book covers. The images were good enough quality to be analysed.

So then, the main analysis was conducted. Creating an excel sheet with the criteria of visuals to be analysed, and then each single cover was looked at and the respective criteria were marked with 1. So in the end, the complete statistics could be counted.

 

In addition to the criteria collected by the visual analysis, I collected 5 other points of information about the books – year, place, publisher, genre of fiction and number of pages.

The analysis of the cover was separated into 12 parts:

  1. Image/illustration on the cover
  2. font type of the authors name
  3. font placement on the cover of the authors name
  4. font colour of the authors name
  5. font type of the book title
  6. font placement on the cover of the title
  7. font colour of the title
  8. year of publishing
  9. place of publishing
  10. the publishers
  11. the genre of fiction
  12. the number of pages

The main part of final outcome is the illustrations that show the data gathered. In order to create it in a systematic way, I took all the book titles in aplhabetical order, took away the spaces and used a monospaced font to have almost a perfect rectangle. On top of it all, i created a grid in the middle of each letter with a horizontal and vertical lines and then each of the book titles were overstriked with a singular line.

So then, depending on the criteria used, the lines over the titles of each category were put on a different layer, so here is books published in 2000, then 2010, then 2020. and if we look at it all together, we have an almost perfect rectangle of titles that are striked over, and if we take the text part away, it is lines that each represent a different book title.

 

So for the previously mentioned 12 points of information gathered, I created such base illustration of a singular line for each title. Only the separation  on different layers were different. So for example, about the place of publishing, i divided it into 2 categories – Riga, which is the capital of Latvia and Other. For the Genre of fiction, i created 5 – prose, poems, collection of multiple genres, folklore and drama.  And so fort for each of the criteria.