25 Amazing Book Cover Design Ideas
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Are you in the process of publishing your first book and you’re clueless about what the cover design should look like? Perhaps it’s the second or third but you just can get your head around the design. We’re here to inspire you.
We know how unnerving and headache-inducing it can be to come up with a compelling design for your book. So, we’ve pulled 25 of some of the amazing book covers out there to inspire your own cover.
Before we dive in, let’s look at some basics.
The importance of book covers
Don’t be deceived by the popular axiom “do not judge a book by its cover.” A whopping 79% of book buyers confess that they do judge books by their covers and that book covers play a critical role in their book purchase decision.
A great cover doesn’t just sit there to make your book thick. It’s there to grab your prospective reader’s attention by communicating all important information on what to expect within the book. Therefore, for your book cover to catch the reader’s eye and make them turn the first page, it has to be informative, attractive, purposeful, and accurate.
When designing your own cover, consider the following elements of great book covers.
Elements of a great cover
A stand-out style
Great covers arrest attention with their distinct style and standout design. This is how your book doesn’t get lost in a pool of other books in the genre. Your cover design needs to be easily noticeable by a prospective reader who walks into a bookshop or is scrolling online. You do this by creating an evocative, enchanting, catchy, and standout design. You need to employ the best typography, colors, images, design technique, and layout that fits and conveys the essence of your book.
A cover design is a gateway to the details in your book. As such, it has to capture the main story, theme, and concept in the book. You may want to be creative with the cover of fiction in a way that encrypts the message of the book, but you cannot afford to not be explicit with your nonfiction book design. Great covers speak for themselves from the book’s title to the author’s name, central image, and color of the design. When properly designed, your book cover can evoke the right feeling in the prospective reader enough to make them buy.
You want to create covers that command and demand attention, but you don’t want to chaotic and overwhelming design that puts the readers off. So, you want to avoid overdesigning your covers. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. You only need to give just enough to get the readers to key into the message of the book.
Must-have features of a book cover
Although the spine and back cover also play major roles in attracting the buyers of print books. when you consider both print and online ebooks, the most important part of the book covers is the front cover.
So, let’s take a look at what the front design of your book must have:
- Author name (and credentials)
- Focal image
It may also include:
- Book genre
- Brief review or excerpt
- Publishing details
Now that you know the essential features of a great cover, let’s look at some design inspiration for your own cover.
Non-fiction book cover design ideas
Your nonfiction books owe a lot more to their design them their fiction counterpart. Most people judge nonfictive books by how much the covers tell about the content of the book.
Non-fiction books provide enough detail in their covers that give readers an idea of what to anticipate in the book. The designs often reflect the main subject matter or a theme within the book.
Here are some nonfiction book cover ideas to inspire you. Check out some yearbook cover design ideas.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon’s compelling guide shows every creative person how ideas aren’t original but that all creative works are inspired by an existing one.
To portray the theme of the book, the book cover deftly uses typography and simple white color on a black background to communicate its essence.
The use of a handwritten typeface shows creativity and where we think creativity stems from- the inner child.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
This popular self-help book stands out because of its many elements and how they sit pretty on a white background.
The first and most striking element of the book cover is the title graphic. The use of small circular atoms to create a representation of the subject matter and promises of the book make it visually appealing and attention-grabbing.
Long-Distance Real Estate Investing: David Greene
Imagery can be very powerful in getting the message across to your readers.
David Greene’s guide on investing in long-distance real estate uses a simple visual pun to represent the ideas of the book.
Binoculars with images of houses can do no wrong in helping you see clearly the essence of the book.
Performance Partnerships by Robert Glazer
Robert Glazer’s book contains a wealth of experience for digital marketers and affiliate marketers to learn about building mutually beneficial relationships.
The choice of serif font captures the need to appeal to a corporate audience. Then the cover image carefully gives depth to the book’s title.
How else can you convey partnership better than employing the use of symbolism like this? Simply creative.
Top of Mind by John Hall
Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You is a must-read for you if you’re a content writer.
The designer of the book cover design uses contrasting colors and a hierarchy of font sizes to create a picture in the reader’s mind about the subject matter.
The use of a stack of white balls almost unnoticeable and a red ball on top that clearly stands out gives the prospective reader an idea of what to expect in the book.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
Berger’s book reveals the secret behind the effectiveness of word of mouth in making things go viral. The design is quickly arresting because of how the image and book title are made focal points.
From a fair enough distance, you can see that title in black text and the image of spark portraying how things spread.
The book cover design focuses on one thing at a time- simple yet effective.
The End Of Food by Paul Roberts
Illustrative images are a way of giving readers a clear picture of what’s to come in the book.
The design of Paul Roberts’ captivating account of the alarming problems faced by the global food industry in our modern society has a striking cover; an empty food tray.
The designer deftly makes the cover realistic by making the tray display information about the book- the title, the author’s name, and his previous work.
More remarkable are the fonts used in this design which is just the perfect font for a packaging like this.
Dog Ear by Jim Johnstone
Here’s another creative cover art on a poetry book. Jim Johnstone’s book instantly stands out from other books in its genre due to its creative typography and choice of background color.
Interestingly, the book title and the book cover design tie together to the content of the book. The book explores how we leave our marks in the constantly changing world. To depict this content, the title which alludes to the folds on the edges of books is chosen.
Then, the title design in an eye-catching paper clipping style instantly evokes curiosity about the contents of the book. Explore some amazing book cover designs.
The black background allows the text to be more noticeable.
On Gravity: A Brief Tour of a Weighty Subject by A.Zee
Book covers should help books stand out and give an illustrations
On Gravity’s book cover, you see the different letters that make up the title dragged down as a result of, you guessed what, gravity!
Interestingly, the topsy-turvy layout of these letters is the most suitable design for this profound science non-fiction.
The black and bold text on the white background creates a sharp contrast that allows the cover to be more noticeable.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown by Brené Brown
The designer of Daring Greatly‘s book cover uses a daringly great, bold typography written in containing colors that help to convey the powerful nature of the book’s message.
We notice that the cover page is divided carefully to emphasize the title and also give space to other necessary information such as the subtitle, the author’s name, and his qualification.
It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy by Greg Behrendt
Greg”s hilarious self-help book has one of the greatest book covers you can see out there for a book in this category.
Ask any girl who’s been heartbroken, apart from your friend who’s there to comfort you, a bowl of your favorite ice cream is your best buddy when going through a breakup.
The perfect text colors deftly combined with the right picture give this book cover a personal touch. You can almost feel how helpful the book is just by looking at this enticing cover.
Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
The book cover of Atlas of the Herat speaks of luxury and quality. The author’s name and book title in gold on a red background is an appealing contrast.
Then, you notice the main graphic. The creative design is an anatomical shape of the heart visually showcasing different aspects of nature’s essence which portrays how humans can create a beautiful life within themselves.
After noticing the title, you see the author’s credentials which can be the defining element for readers to purchase the book.
Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick
There’s a whole lot a simple font can do to the overall design of your book cover.
For example, this book’s typography tells a lot of the mood and essence of the book. The lowercase conveys the gloomy mood of the title.
The most striking detail of the book cover design is the separation of the dot from the “i” to portray alienation and isolation.
Fiction book Cover Design Ideas
Fiction book covers also do well to convince readers that they are indeed worth picking off the shelf and worth every dollar.
For example, if you’re writing a book with a mysterious plot or one with a spooky storyline, you need cover art that captures the eerie feeling and keeps the perspective readers intrigued about the content of the book.
Here are some fiction book cover ideas:
The Idiot – Elif Batuman
One image can tell a thousand words. In the book cover of Batuman’s semi-biographical account, the designer uses a single rock-shaped brain image to allude to the characteristics of an idiot.
The design is simple but it doesn’t fail to raise the reader’s curiosity.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This interesting novel gives a romantic feel right from its cover design. Readers already get a feel of the glitz and glamour to come in the book.
The standout image of the apparent celebrity woman clothed in a green dress is matched with a green background and easily readable fonts of white and another shade of green.
The mix of green gradients doesn’t only make the book cover easy for the reader’s eye but is fitting for the book’s genre.
It ends with us by Colleen Hoover
Color cohesion is a popular feature of romance novels. Using a range of cohesive colors helps convey the romantic nature of the book. Similar to the cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Colleen Hoover’s book cover design uses single color.
Unlike other book covers where there’s a contrast in the colors of texts and images, the designer of this book cover uses a single deep pink color across the book cover image, book title, and author name. This is done carefully to arrest the reader’s attention without distracting from the important details.
The use of black text in the other little details on the book cover helps to create a frame for the details at the center.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
First appearing in a Spanish edition, this social critique book tells the story of a librarian’s son.
What strikes you first is the picture of a man who appears to be the main character and a book on the book cover, then inside the book is the labyrinthine library in Spain where the novel is set.
This is a good use of multiple images cohesively without overwhelming the book cover.
All We Saw: Poems by Anne Michaels
The book cover of Anne Micheal’s elegy captures the essence in one poetic image,
On a white cover is this outstretched hand wrapped under a night sky depicting the essence of the book as one that presents imagery of holding on and losing under the unending fog that life is.
The image is striking and is a representation of what you’ll often see on poetry book covers.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert’s widely acclaimed influential science fiction isn’t only a masterpiece with the story inside, the book covers over all the series have also been great cover designs.
The book cover designs effectively use the font, color scheme, and image that gives perfect illustrations of the adventurous story.
How the Dead Live by Derek Raymond
The design on this here is what you’ll call a double entendre in poetry. The design aptly captures the ferocious violence readers might see in the course of reading the book.
The negative space in the shattered plate is used to depict a skull giving the book cover an eerie feel. The orange background helps emphasize the detail of the design.
Creatively, the font size used for the texts serves to make the image take the focal point in the book cover without causing distraction.
Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood
Seen a dead man walking? Not the zombie kind. We’ll assume he’ll be as invisible as the man in the cover design – fully clothed but faceless. This arouses the reader’s curiosity.
Rather than talk about a dead man, Elizabeth Greenwood wittingly explores the idea of hiding in plain sight and making yourself hard to find. The cover is used to highlight the central theme of the book showing a headless corporate man.
The Circus by Jonas Karlsson
Jonah Karlsson’s book is a story about a real-life vanishing act gone wrong. It has a mysterious plot filled with unnerving narratives.
You quickly notice how unsettling the book can be from the book cover.
The peak act you might guess will happen in a circus would be the performer severing their own head. Would definitely leave you gaping.
The kaleidoscopic font colors also emphasize the fun and chaotic feel of the book.
The Room by Jonas Karlsson
An absorbing story deserves an absorbing boob cover, don’t you think?
Jonas Karlsson and his designer seem to understand this. In the book cover of The Room, shows an interaction between real-world objects and typography.
In the book, Karlsson tells a story of a man who claims to have found a mysterious place within the office that gives him more power.
In this cutting-edge cover design, there’s a dominating 3D typography design in sans serif font neatly paired with a script font. Then, we see a man walking through the ‘o’ in the room as if it was a doorway to an actual room.
Timur Vermes – Look Who’s Back
Book cover ideas that play with minimalist designs are great for pulling the reader’s interest in the book.
In Timur Verme’s book cover, the designer creatively uses the bearest minimum elements to capture the message of the book.
We see a simple hairstyle, white space, and the book title doubling as a mustache to create an imaginative image of one of the most despicable personalities in human history.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
As old as 1969, the cover design of Kurt Vonnegut’s semi-autobiographic science fiction remains one of the greatest book covers you can draw ideas from.
The image of a house blueprint is depicted in a broken number five with different colors that make the parts noticeable.
Some little details in the background such as the alien ship and small bombs sign allude to the details in the book.
Now that you have some top-notch inspiration, you may want to ask how to go about designing your own cover.
How to design a book cover
You may choose the DIY route for your design or hire a professional design agency.
If you’re on a tight budget, DIY might come in handy. However, if you consider that your book will be read by a large audience, you need a professional touch. This would be especially important if you’re having a printed copy of your book. A designer will give you the perfect quality that when printed will not fall short of the soft copy’s quality.
Whether you’re designing yourself or hiring a designer, consider the following important steps and elements in your design.
Get to know the author
Aside from the design elements which are visible, the author’s credentials on the book cover also play an important role in making a prospective reader decide to purchase a book.
You may also want to reflect the author’s writing style in the book design. This helps you bring brand recognition to the reader’s mind.
Understand the content
Would you be needing an evocative or cryptic image or one that clearly alludes to the subject matter?
Understanding the content of the book allows you to make the right design choices from the font, color, and shapes to use on the cover. It would also help to ensure that you’re not overly simplistic or overwhelming in the design.
Identify the genre and key themes
Once you understand the content, you will be able to identify key themes, ideas, characters, symbols, and the setting of the book that you can represent in the design. It might be hard for you to choose a single theme from a book with multiple themes. In this case, try considering the recurring theme or overall theme of the book to not confuse the audience or overwhelm your design.
You want to also acknowledge the genre of the book. This will help you identify the major design techniques used for the genre. Although you want to stand out, using design elements that your audience already recognizes can help make your book easily located.
Is the book generally eerie or humorous? It is sci-fi or romance?
Answering this will help you identify the design and techniques to adopt.
Know the audience
When designing your cover art, you want to identify how your readers might react to the design. What makes them tick? Would this appeal to them?
These questions might be hard to answer. However, thanks to the internet, you can gather opinions from your prospective readers using social media platforms.
Apart from this you also want to recognize the place your book will be sold and buyers’ behavior in that market. Ebook covers need to be legible even when converted to a thumbnail and designs on print books are usually dictated by the sizes of the book. Large book sizes usually use small or medium size fonts.
So, we’ve shown you some amazing covers to inspire your own design. These designs are generally awesome, compelling, simple, creative, and purposeful. There is quite a lot to learn from them when making your own cover.
To wrap it up, remember your best shot to having a book cover design that isn’t only attractive but stands the test of time and gets readers to purchase is by hiring a professional graphic designer. A designer is more experienced with book covers and they can help you handle all the thinking while you focus on writing and putting the strategy in place to market your book.
We hope you’ve gathered enough insight to make your next book cover stand out.