Many students do not have direct or unrestricted access to their local libraries during our current health crisis. One of our goals as librarians and stewards is to bring books to these learners of all ages as they continue their educations at home.
As a step toward this, we have created a collection of California State Suggested Reading that is based on resources from the California Department of Education. This is intended to help students, teachers and their families find books for further learning. (As with any collection, we recommend that adults review items for age-appropriateness before passing them on to children.)
And we’ve also created some resource lists for different areas of interests in the Kid Friendly section of our help center. These are fun to explore by yourself, in company or over the internet with friends, and cover topics like :
We’ve been digitizing a bunch of books in Russian recently, and we’ve been enjoying some of the distinct graphical design choices made by Russian publishers. A lot of information about a culture can be extracted through their advertising.
One of the stand out features of the late 80s and early 90s designs is bold and oversized typography :
Conveying the book’s meaning is hard on it’s own with the use of lettering exclusively it can become nearly impossible so often we see interwoven letters used as eye catching designs.
Several Publications like Молодая гвардия, which has been around for over 80 years, serialize their designs to fit in and present a uniform layout with bold alternating colors, black heavy font centered at the top of the cover and a set of 3 illustrations/images, the author’s name in knockout (white text on black background) and decorative cursive font.
These incredible detective novella series published by a much younger publisher, Эксмо, was established in the 90’s but carved out a unique niche and immense popularity due to the eye catching hand drawn collages with a lot of items to draw the eye and with fonts like a serial killer’s note made out of dozens of fonts. These covers range from funny to surreal.
As far as trends go, a whole drinking game could be devised from spotting a greyscale photograph of someone’s face on a cover that has a colored background. In fact the whole bust/head only presentation is so common we’re beginning to suspect having a full figure on a cover is illegal…
In the end it is really fun to browse through decades of russian literature even if some of the design choices are questionable. Assuming you’re interested in judging these books by something other than the cover, enjoy the Internet Archive’s 39,000 books in Russian for entertainment, research, or building your language skills.