Book covers are hard to design and nice to look at. An effective book cover manages to catch human’s eye and convey the idea behind the book on one single page. However, it’s getting even harder: to make a book really hard to forget, designers need to design the cover in a unique, creative and striking way. That’s not that different from Web where it’s important to build a sound information architecture upon a rather restricted design layout.
The main idea of this post is to provide you with some creative, expressive and appealing book covers. You won’t like all of them, but you’ll definitely find some designs which are worth pondering upon.
You may be interested in the following posts we’ve published earlier:
- Breathtaking Typographic Posters with over 50 breathtaking typographic posters designed by artists across the globe. We feature Oriental, Iranian, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and Russian typographic posters as well as a number of further references.
- Award-Winning Newspaper Designs with examples of outstanding newspaper designs collected from dozens of countries.
- Data Visualization and Infographics showcases spectacular data visualizations and infographics which manage to combine a strong visual appeal with the effective presentation of information.
- Data Visualization: Modern Approaches presents interesting modern approaches to data visualization as well as related articles, resources and tools.
Please keep in mind: there are thousands of excellent book covers; we’ve selected only few ones which are excellent in our humble opinion. Although this selection is definitely subjective, we’ve tried to do our best to find interesting designs which make the book cover hard to forget. If you have further suggestions please comment on this post. All covers posted are the copyright of their respective holders.
A Clockwork Orange
Meet Alex. Simple, but so memorable. Designed by David Pelham.
Brave New World
Designed by Gregg Kulick.
Disorders of Memory and Learning
Effective and creative. 1968. Cover Design by Martin Bassett.
Jordan Crane’s Book Covers
Crane’s illustrations are beautiful and memorable. That’s what makes a good book cover.
Paul Rand’s Book Covers
Paul Rand: one of the most influential modern graphic designers. Simple and effective.
The End Of Inequality
Cover design by Peter Stone.
Just a sketch. This book doesn’t exist.
A Soviet book cover from 1930.
John Gall’s Book Covers
Gall’s covers always take a look at the book content from a quite unusual perspective. Masterpieces.
The book cover is attractive and conveys the idea of the book.
“The Art of a Book”
Interesting conceptual solution.
Interesting use of symbols.
Exile and the Kingdom
Eye-catching. Designed by Helen Yentus.
House of Meetings
Designer: Peter Mendelsund.
Manuel Bandeira, “Poems chosen by the author”
The Brazilian designer Elaine Ramos is known for simple yet unusual book cover designs. “The wonderful thing about this cover is that the paper has thin horizontal lines in relief that complement the horizontal design. Again, tactile. White dots you can see are numbers from one to fifty – the title is “fifty poems selected by the author”. The sky and stars reference one of the author’s most famous poems, translated “Morning Star”.”
Grabink Book Covers Decoration
Book bindings by gner-artists Chris Enock and David Enock.
A Clockwork Orange
You remember, right? Alex liked milk spiked with various stimulants (“milk plus”) or hallucinogens (“synthemesc”).
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
House of Leaves Book Cover
Designed by Joe Paul.
Kidney For Sale By Owner
Designed by David Drummond.
Sources and Resources
- Book Covers
- Book Covers Club: Flickr Pool
- Soviet Book Covers on NYPL Digital Gallery.
- Soviet Children’s Books
- Penguin Book Covers
- Seen Books
- The Old-Timey Paperback Book Cover Pool
- The Book Design Review
- Pelican Project
- AIGA Design Archives: Book Design
- Czech Book Covers of the 1920′s and 1930′s