Make Lit Fashion: An Interview with Book Cover Designers

Book cover art of three books featured in article

Cover art (L to R):  Kai and Sunny, Sarah Brody and Sean Kapitain (Type Design),
and Emmanuel Polanco. Art direction: Gigi Lau.

New York. London. Milan. Paris. What do those cities have in common? They've all had fashion weeks occurring in the month of February. Fashion isn't usually a preoccupation of a book festival but when you think about it, book covers are the outfits that stories wear. It's the first impression and it's hard not to judge a book by its cover when there are thousands published in a given year. When a striking cover catches your eyes? It's a magical moment.

There are people behind those magical moments: book cover designers. Three of them—Oliver McPartlin, a freelance designer; Gigi Lau, Art Director at Harlequin; and Jessica Boudreau, an in-house designer at Simon and Schuster—have agreed to discuss what it's like to design a cover, their most interesting moments and the trends they've noticed on book shelves.

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Sustainable Storytelling: How Publishing is Addressing the Climate Crisis

Woman laying down inside a tent reading with the door open, wearing a knitted hat

Publishing has come a long way since the invention of the movable type, and today mass production makes it easier than ever to manufacture and distribute books. With books being so highly accessible now, book publishing has grown into a $1.6 billion dollar industry in Canada (Ontario Creates 2018 Book Industry Profile). Like any major industry right now, publishing has an impact on the environment and a responsibility to tackle the current global climate change crisis. In fact, there was a huge effort in the mid-2000s for publishers to "explore and implement practices to lower their carbon footprint" which led to the formation of the Book Industry Environmental Council in 2005.

It's a new decade and according to a 2019 U.N. report, "global greenhouse gas emissions must begin falling by 7.6 percent each year beginning meet the most ambitious aims of the Paris climate accord". So we wondered, what is the publishing industry doing to play a part in achieving environmental sustainability? Here’s what we found…

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Black Lives On Campus: A Recommended Reading List

The back of a female of colour, in her graduation gown and hat

In honour of Black History Month, the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) is exploring works that break down barriers to Black liberation and could inspire meaningful discourse on a post-secondary syllabus. Authors Eternity Martis and Clelia O. Rodríguez have offered up the books they'd put on their dream syllabuses, which include authors of marginalized identities, as well as other timely and timeless conversations. Find their reading lists below, paired with the personal thoughts behind their choices. 

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, you can watch Eternity Martis discuss her upcoming book, They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus, and Growing Upwith fellow author rosalind hampton (Black Racialization and Resistance at an Elite University) when TIFA Presents Black Lives On Campus: A Roundtable Discussion. The conversation will be moderated by Clelia O. Rodríguez and hosted by Téa Mutonji.

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TIFA Appoints Roland Gulliver as Director

Headshot of TIFA Director, Roland Gulliver

Toronto International Festival of Authors appoints Roland Gulliver as Director


We're delighted to share that after an extensive global search, Roland Gulliver has been appointed the new Director of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA).

An accomplished cultural leader and recognized internationally, Roland comes to TIFA after 12 years with the prestigious Edinburgh International Book Festival, where he exceeded the high expectations of international audiences, authors, the literary industry, public stakeholders and private sponsors.

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