A few cover collections I like (some more obviously pre-planned than others).

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire spine designBy Clarence P. Hornung for The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volumes I to VII.

Penguin book cover designs by YESBy YES Studio, London, for Penguin.

Oliver Sacks book cover designBy New-York based Cardon Webb for Oliver Sacks.

Angus Hyland book cover designBy Angus Hyland of Pentagram.

And The Book Cover Archive is a great resource “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, searchable by designer, title, author, publisher, publication date, art director, photographer, illustrator, typeface, and genre.

The Book Cover Archive

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February 20, 2012


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.

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

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

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/

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.

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. :)

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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