David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

Designing book covers

A quick bit of book cover inspiration.

The advantage of designing covers for a series/collection of books is that you can approach it like so…

Oliver Sacks book cover design

Designed by New-York based Cardon Webb for Oliver Sacks. Via Design Milk.

Like so…

Angus Hyland book cover design

Designed by Angus Hyland of Pentagram for a series of Laurence King books.

So, and like so…

Penguin book cover designs by YES

Designed by London-based YES Studio for Penguin.

In addition, here’s an excellent cover design resource: The Book Cover Archive, “for the appreciation and categorization of excellence in book cover design,” edited and maintained by Ben Pieratt of General Projects and Eric Jacobsen of Whisky Van Gogh Go.

More than 1,300 covers can be searched by designer, title, author, publisher, publication date, art director, photographer, illustrator, typeface, and genre.

The Book Cover Archive

My second book on Amazon

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9 appreciated comments about “Designing book covers”

  1. I find my self over at the Book Cover Archive on a regular basis. It curates the best of book design from many a talented designer. If you can’t find any inspiration there, you won’t find it anywhere.

  2. Awesome. I love book cover design. Thank you for that great resource link as well David!

  3. Good to see a sprinkling of penguin book covers in there. I think some of these are really inspiring. Thanks for posting.

  4. Those Oliver Sacks ones are gorgeous – every single one works individually but obviously when you put them together you get that ‘little bit extra’.

  5. I should imagine it’s a difficult one David, I honestly liked the starkness of the cover you put in your previous post. To the point, no frills. But that’s just me, is that going to sell the book? I don’t know.

    I quite like the less formal and totally ripped off designs from the Guides area of the MailChimp site… http://mailchimp.com/resources/

  6. Some nice examples David; I personally like the ‘oldie worldie’ designs of bygone years (such as pre war designs etc.).

  7. It’d definitely be easier designing a cover for someone else’s book, Abbas, especially when illustrative ideas like those for Oliver Sacks are concerned. My idea is to go with something like that in my previous post because it’d be easier to live with further down the line. Plus it’s to the point, as you say, which is what I’m aiming for with the content.

  8. Great post, but in my mind book covers aren’t that relevant.
    I still believe that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.
    Of course it may sell better, but the content will be the same no matter how good is the cover.

    You may think this is a bit far from the design subject, but it’s actually not. I have learned to admire book covers that seemed ugly just by liking the content of the book. :)

  9. Yeah, those Oliver Sacks covers are great. Book covers are one of those things that so many of us would love to do but so few of us actually do. Thanks for the link to the archive. That should help me procrastinate some more today!

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