OK, I admit. I am a book-lover. I am addicted to books.
I can, and I do, read everywhere – on the bus, on the plane, while waiting in line, in bed, on the computer, during my lunch break. I go kind of nuts when I have finished a book and I don’t have anything new that I would like to read. It’s crazy, I know.
Seeing as I am also crazy about design, the amount of time I spend in bookstores is getting close to ridiculous. I look at the actual content of the books for about 70% of the time, and then I spend the remaining 30% oohing and aahing at some gorgeously designed book cover. While it’s true that it is the content that really counts, if a reader doesn’t actually pick up and open a particular book, the amazing story that is hiding inside will never be appreciated like it should. Besides, it is fantastic to have the satisfaction of holding an altogether great product in your hands, one that is beautiful both inside and out.
So below is a small selection of what I think are great book covers, one s that speak for the stories inside and compliment them. These were ones that made me do the mentioned above oohing and aahing or that have just screamed at me “come buy this book!” from across the bookstore.
Of course, I don't claim that these are the best out there or the only ones that are good. This is not an exhaustive list; it's just a small collections of covers I like. For more, check out the useful links at the end of the post. Also, here is a disclaimer: all posted covers are copyright to their respective holders.
1. Book: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Cover art and design: Christopher Stengel
This is, hands down, one of the most gorgeous book covers I’ve seen lately. It is so in tune with the mood of the book that I get goose bumps by just looking at it. Just like the author’s prose, it is lyrical and poetic without being overly ornamental. If I ever write and publish a book, I want its cover to be this wonderful.
2. Book: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Cover art and design: Robert Ryan
This one is also a big favorite. I love Rob Ryan’s papercuts. Once again, the cover image reflects the tone of the book really well with its fairy tale look and ominous overtones.
3. Book: Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Cover art and design: Jon Gray
These are just plain cool. Sometimes working just with words and typefaces can produce a great result.
4. Book: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, Cover design: Tom Bean, Cover image: Russell Munson
This one is actually not new at all, but it is timeless. It is a proof of the beauty of simplicity.
5. Book: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Cover design: David Wardle
6. Book: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork, Cover design: Christopher Stengel
This is another Christopher Stengel. I guess he's pretty great.
Oh, and here are some useful links about the designers mentioned in this post and about book cover design in general:
Rob Ryan's Blog
Book Cover Archive
Chip Kidd's official website