This weekend in the Guardian, there was a fascinating article on the current state of book design and how, thanks to Instagram and social media, the book cover is having a moment.
It’s a really interesting article – well worth a read – and got me thinking about some of my favourite book covers of recent years. I know what I don’t like in a book cover (movie tie-ins and images of the back of women wearing raincoats) and I’m a sucker for certain editions and imprints like Penguin Twentieth Century Classics, the Harvill Secker Leopard series and Faber covers from the 1990s.
Here are some of the covers from the last few years that I think are really innovative and eye-catching.
I will say, that in pulling this together, it was often really difficult to find the name of the designer whose work I was celebrating. Possibly one upside of the interest in book cover design will be a greater public acknowledgement of the fine work that these artists do.
There There by Tommy Orange, cover design by Suzanne Dean
Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy, cover design by Oliver Munday
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood, cover design by Rachel Wiley
The Start of Something: The Selected Stories of Stuart Dybek, cover design by Suzanne Dean
Mr Fox by Helen Oyeymi, cover design by Helen Yentus and Jason Booker
Moonglow by Michael Chabon, cover design by Adalis Martinez
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson, cover design by Suzanne Dean
Middle C by William H Gass, cover design by Gabriele Wilson
The Disappointment Artist by Johnathan Letham, cover design by Marc Cozza
First Novel by Nicholas Royale, cover design by Suzanne Dean
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, cover design by Gray318
A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, cover design by Justine Anweiler
The Emissary by Yoko Towada, cover design by John Gall
One Day in the Life of the English Language by Frank L Cioffi, cover design by Chris Ferrante
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday, cover design by David Litman
Aurorarama by Jean-Christphe Valtat, cover design by Jiří Rathouský
And finally, I couldn’t resist sharing a few of my favourite covers from older, classic novels, these are designs that have stood the test of time and still make these books jump off the shelves!
100 Years of Solitude, cover design by Tomas Galambos
American Psycho, cover design by Marshall Armisan
1984, cover design by Ben Jones
A Clockwork Orange, cover design by Barry Trengrove
Psycho, cover design by Tony Palladino
The Trial, cover design by Peter Mendelsund
The Art of War, cover design by Jaya Miceli
Spring Snow, cover design by Yuko Shimizu
Snow White or the House in the Woods, cover design by Faith Jackson
Have you a favourite from all of these covers? Let me know in the comments!
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!