Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2022 conferred on UPES professor
Ishan Khosla, Associate Professor at UPES School of Design, was felicitated with the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2022 by jurors including Dr. Shashi Tharoor. He won the award for designing the cover of ‘Kintsugi’ by author Anukrti Upadhyay, published by Fourth Estate
When browsing through countless rows and columns of books, readers often judge a book by its cover, contrary to the popular metaphorical phrase. And why not? An intriguing book cover can leave a lasting impression on a reader’s mind.
Designing a book cover is a fascinating and complicated art; an art that UPES School of Design faculty Ishan Khosla has mastered and how! Recognising his brilliance in book design, iconic bookstore chain Oxford Bookstore bestowed the ‘Book Cover Prize 2022’ on him. Ishan won the award for designing the cover of ‘Kintsugi’ by author Anukrti Upadhyay, published by Fourth Estate. The award is a remarkable accomplishment that speaks volumes about his skills and expertise in the field.
The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize is a one-of-its-kind award for extraordinary work in book design and an attempt to recognise and encourage the extraordinary work of illustrators, designers, and publishers throughout India. Ishan Khosla, a renowned visual artist, designer, and researcher, won the seventh edition of the prestigious prize. He was felicitated with the award by jurors Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Dr. Alka Pande, Dr. Kunal Basu, Priti Paul, and Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens at an impressive gathering of designers, publishers, artists, and book lovers.
Ishan pursued his Master of Fine Arts in Design, School of Visual Arts, New York City, USA, and has an experience spanning over 18 years. He has published and presented several papers such as ‘Skin to Screen: Transforming the indelible markings of godna into a digital typeface, CIHA.’ He has also spearheaded initiatives such as ‘The Typecraft Initiative’, in which students were made aware of the craft of Soof embroidery and Barmer Katab through Decorative Type Design.
On the significance of book covers, Ishan says, “The book cover is an essential branding and marketing tool in an age where we are bombarded with many new books. The book covers have to be easy to comprehend; they should be able to engage as well as facilitate identification and recall.”
He adds, “Whether it exists as a small thumbnail or a large poster, an e-book, an audio book, or even a film based on a book, the cover is then literally the visual identity of the book.”
Elucidating on the process of designing a book cover, Ishan says, “It is important to read the book and speak to the author to understand the tone of voice and the target audience the book caters to. How can we design the logo of a drink we have not tasted? Or the label of a perfume we have not smelt? It is the same thing with designing a book cover.”
Book covers have always been an essential aspect of the brand of a book and author, especially in today’s digital age where over a million books are published online every year. “The lesser known the author, the harder the cover has to work to persuade a viewer to become a reader,” Ishan signs off.