Production Editor Erica Johnson is on the blog today to talk about book layout, photo selection, and one reason why it’s really ok to watch music videos while at work:

Book design and photo selections are shaped by many different choices. Sometimes it’s content-based: what imagery is available for this topic? Is the text taking an informational or a conversational tone?

Sometimes it’s audience-based: a younger child will need a photo that closely relates to the text, with an older audience you can give a creative caption in order to relate a photo to the text.

Sometimes it’s based on an emotion: what approach are we taking with the text? Is it somber and reflective? Then moodier photos and a subtle design work best. Is it high-interest and energetic? Then bright photos and a fun design are key.

For example, take our book K-Pop: Korea’s Musical Explosion. South Korean singer Psy had a huge influence on bringing K-Pop into American pop culture. But Korea has been exporting their musicians to the US since the 1950s. Today’s K-Pop artists are chosen not only for their musical abilities but also their dancing, acting and image. They star in elaborate music videos and big arena tours. To select the right imagery for K-Pop, I spent a lot of time watching music videos. Our book even includes a playlist for each chapter.

Here is a sampling of videos to inspire you:

“Eat You Up” by BoA – http://youtu.be/OLnr2u_nj10

“It’s Raining” by Rain – http://youtu.be/9VqpPtb7RJg

“Gee” by Girls’ Generation – http://youtu.be/U7mPqycQ0tQ

“Bonamana” by Super Junior – http://youtu.be/tSOSxwEWFA4

“I am the Best” by 2NE1 – http://youtu.be/j7_lSP8Vc3o

“Fantastic Baby” by BigBang – http://youtu.be/AAbokV76tkU

“Gangnam Style” by Psy – http://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0

Pick up K-Pop: Korea’s Musical Explosion to learn more about these artists and the story of K-Pop’s domination in worldwide music.