Fantastic book cover designs

13/3/17

It’s probably not surprising but I have a great love of books covers and will often spend time visiting bookshops to look at the covers of the recent releases. I also like seeing how publishers have revived older books by their most popular authors – a single concept and style carried across a suite of books.

Having some space on the website I thought it was a nice place to put some of my favourite book designs. I’ll try to add more as I discover them (the newest will be at the top).

Habibibi
Craig Thompson

The beautifully illustrated book by Craig Thompson uses intricate hand drawn patterns across the cover. The typography beautifully matches the style and subject matter of the book whilst there’s still a very contemporary feel to the design. There’s also a lovely contrast from the red and yellow hues of the rest of the cover to the black and white portrait in the centre.

The Loney
Andrew Michael Hurley

This is a brilliant delivery of a challenging brief – a contemporary cover design which also has a visual connection with the classic horror novel genre. The bold use of the typography in the vertical title branching out into the image of the tree makes a superb silhouette on the stark white cover. There’s an effective but subtle use of colour, in the single drop of blood off a branch and the blue of the author’s name. It’s the kind of cover which jumps off the book shop shelf, which it did when I saw it in Oxford a year or so ago.

You Shall Know Our Velocity
Dave Eggers

A design which significantly deviates from the conventional cover design. The story begins on the cover (using a large serif font printed upon an uncoated grey board) and continues directly onto the the inside front cover. The opening lines of the novel sell the novel arguably better than any cover picture could, and the approach, including the omission of the author’s name and book title, seems to mirror the contemporary style of the author’s work. I would have loved to have come up with this idea first and had the opportunity to use it but alas, it wasn’t to be.

The Gap of Time
Jeanette Winterson

A really striking cover design, with the prominent san-serif  typeface and the red quill sitting on the crisp white background. The books themes, a modern reworking of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, a book about a play, about revisions, reinterpreting and rewriting is beautifully realised in the symbol of the quill. The back cover is almost a mirror image with the title reading instead ‘A Winter’s Tale’ though the words are partially obscured on this occasion by the quill. A beautifully realised concept.

Memories of My Ghost Brother
Heinz Insu Fenkl

An older book – this is an effective mix of imagery in a style reminiscent of the pop artist Robert Rauschenberg – the collage of American and Japanese icons. Whilst the typography isn’t overly prominent, there is a very strong visual impact to the overall design with some rich textures and beautifully realised detail which draws the eye in.

The Minotaur takes a cigarette break
Steven Sherrill

I’ve enjoyed occasionally enlisting the help of illustrators to create a book cover. The story of the mythical minotaur being immortal and now living life as a chef is beautifully created on the cover. The bold and blocky typeface gives the design a very modern feel and there’s a nice style to the comments at the top and bottom of the page. 

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