Behind the Book Covers with Berkley’s Colleen Reinhart

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Our latest Behind the Book Covers feature presents Colleen Reinhart, Senior Designer at Berkley.  She has worked at Penguin Random House for more than four years, designing dozens of covers along the way.  Colleen brings an imaginative, original, and striking style to the design process, resulting in unique, colorful and sometimes playful creations that connect with and visually engage readers.  Read on to learn about her creative design world and view a selection of her wonderful covers. 

What initially drew you to the world of book cover art design?

Once I realized that book cover design was a job it became a no-brainer. I love books and art so it only made sense to combine the two.  I interned with the Berkley design team during my senior year at Parsons and have managed to stick around since then.


How would you describe the conceptual processes you follow when envisioning then creating a book cover?

It really depends on the project, sometimes when the editor is describing the book in our meeting I can picture exactly what I would want the cover to look like in my head. Other times I find myself working on a title that covers material less familiar to me, like the book, THE SPY WHO COULDN’T SPELL, which is about the FBI attempting to break a code from a government informant.  Safe to say I don’t have any expertise in this area, so reading up on the case and looking at images of the code helped me conceptualize the cover.


Which of your book cover designs are your most proud of and why?

I feel like this answer changes depending on when I am asked since I am usually most excited about whatever I am working on. Right now, I am proud of the cover for THE KISS QUOTIENT.  A lot of the romance books that would have gotten a more photographic treatment in the past are moving towards fun illustrated covers and I think this style really captures the feeling of this story.


How has the evolution of digital technology impacted your craft?

This is a difficult question to answer since as long as I have been working in design Photoshop and InDesign have been around. In terms of how to use technology to sell books, the majority of people buying books online means that the thumbnail of a cover is almost as important as the full-scale image.  More and more we want something that is visually interesting and easily identifiable at a smaller scale.


Posted: December 4, 2017