This article was contributed by Meena Azzollini.
A great way to start 2017 is to remember and be inspired by 10 fantastic book covers, designers and cover artists of 2016.
Book cover designs are art on a book. As you hold the book in your hand and even before you read the blurb, the cover design will transport you to the inside.
It’s the book cover which will market the book by appealing to readers.
And that’s why book cover designers are so important. With their design skills, they are able to translate the entirety of the book into a single visual element – your first impression of a book.
The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown
Designer: Oliver Munday is a New York based graphic designer whose first love was designing posters. Known for minimalist book cover designs, Munday likes to play with typography and use bold colors and imagery in unconventional ways. Munday believes that a book cover design should not be about decoration but about conveying an idea – and he does it well with this cover.
The Trees by Ali Shaw
Designer: David Munn is the art director at Bloomsbury publishing. But he did not start his career with book cover designs, but was a packaging designer for a short while. Offered a position as a book cover designer at Simon and Schuster, Mann has since designed covers for many authors. His favourite aspect of being a book cover designer is an opportunity to create a new image for the same novel a year later. Mann tries to read most of the titles he designs for to spark any ideas for the cover.
My Father the Pornographer by Chris Offutt
Designer: Jamie Keenan is London based book designer who believes that designing a book cover gives him the freedom to treat is as a piece of packaging, a mini poster or corporate identity where he can use photography, try illustrations or experiment with typography and create something wonderful. Keenan designs a cover that reflects the 400 pornography novels written by the author’s father, which initiates a journey into a complicated father-son relationship.
Burned Away by Kristen Simmons
Designer: Goni Montes is a talented illustrator from Puerto Rico, now settled in USA where he concentrates more on freelance advertising and editorial work. His work is vibrant and bold, rich in color and fascinating in concept and style. This cover demonstrates his signature style and he doesn’t fail to impress.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Illustrator: Lisa Perrin is an award winning illustrator and designer and finds her inspiration in folk art, Victorian decorative arts and the natural world. During the day she is an illustrator for American Greetings. After work, she is busy with freelance projects honing her skills and developing her style which is flat, graphic and has a palette full of modern colors – reflected in this wonderful illustration, used by book cover designer Kristin Smith.
Cuckoo by Keran David
Designer: Jack Smyth is an Irish designer now living in London and designing book jackets for Simon and Schuster. For this cover he has essentially captured the gist of the novel about a boy couch surfing and sleeping on floor as he goes through a crisis, by photographing his housemate in a makeshift experiment. He used type face and color to complete the look and add a bit of personality.
Version Control by Dexter Palmer
Cover Art: David Szauder is a Hungarian media artist now living in Berlin. His unique style of computer code-based digital images is exhibited in this cover which is apt for a time travel novel. David developed his style by experimenting with computer code and adding concepts and narratives to images that visually express beauty and emotion. The cover designer is New Jersey based Janet Hansen.
The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge
Cover Art: Vincent Chong is a UK based award winning illustrator and designer. With a request from the publisher to keep this cover similar to the author’s previous book, The Cuckoo Song, Vincent designed the cover of this book through a series of sketches based on input from art director and designer, Maria Middleton.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Designer: Jacob Eisinger also known as Yippeihey. This German designer has panache for type-driven design. With his love for letters and his prowess in 3D CGI, he has created many astounding designs. He loves the process of creating letterforms and with this cover he has created another masterpiece under the direction of Michelle Taormina, who is a hand letterer, designer and art director at Harper Collins.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Designer: Rachel Willey is a graphic designer from Brooklyn, USA. Considered as one of her most highly regarded covers, this cover was designed by using overlapping silhouettes that interact with color and design to reflect the story about relationships between women. Hailed by How Design as “master of book design”, Rachel’s other notable covers in 2016 are Little Nothing by Marisa Silver and Boy Erased by Garrard Conley.
Do you have any other notable book cover designs from 2016 or 2017 to add to the mix?