Some of my favourite book cover designs!

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!

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Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

32 Comments Leave a comment

  1. These covers are brilliant! A lot of them look like the US rather than British editions (though I’ve not checked this so apologies if I’m wrong!), and I love that aesthetic. The Nicholas Royle cover is especially clever.

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  2. The Nicholas Royle is my favourite. I love jacket designs which is why it makes me so cross when the publisher ruins a beautiful cover with a ‘sticker’. I agree with you about movie/tv tie-ins, which I think of in the same breath as the blasted ‘sticker’!

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  3. There are some beauties here. I always find it fascinating to see how covers differ between countries. Some of these are the same as I’ve seen here in Canada but a few are different, like There There and Dept. of Speculation.

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  4. I have a great fondness for the Penguin English Library covers and have been gradually replacing my old Penguin black cover classics with them over the past few years. I agree about the film tie-in covers – I know no-one who likes them, why do they keep making them?
    I think my favourite of the covers you’ve included here is A Manual for Cleaning Women.

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  5. You’re clearly a big fan of Suzanne Dean’s work! (And lots of eyes on those vintage covers.) I’m a sucker for flora and fauna images on books, but I do particularly like these Priestdaddy and Dept. of Speculation covers, too.

    I’m impressed that you managed to find the designer name for all of these. Is that something that’s generally mentioned on the back cover and/or in the copyright information, or did you have to do Internet searches to find it?

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