book covers

Never Judge a Book By Its Cover, Unless It’s a Beautiful Cover

One of the fundamental rules of all readers is to never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it’s impossible not to. A captivating and visually interesting book cover is one of the best ways to grab perspective readers’ attention. Once a particularly novel book hits the best seller lists, many books released afterwards try and emulate the cover in hopes of succeeding. This is how a trend is born.


As you’ve browsed bookstores or Amazon, you’ve probably seen some reoccurring elements in book covers. Here are some of the most prominent in 2018.


1. Bold Typography


A trend for a while in the book cover world, big and bold typography is definitely a major overarching theme. Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West both use this style of cover. 


book cover

Images via Goodreads and Amazon


While the typography used may not always be clean and straightforward, more organic elements like brushstrokes and handwritten fonts add visual interest. The big and bold typography grabs the browser’s attention and makes a serious statement and a good first impression. 


2. Vintage-Inspired Designs and Fonts


70’s and 80’s references have come back with vengeance. As those from the 70’s and 80’s are getting older, the nostalgia and the trends it renders are brought back to life. Designers have gone in multiple directions with the trend, either directly mimicking book covers of the 70’s and 80’s or taking elements like typography, patterns, color schemes, and imagery from the era. 


book covers

Images via Amazon


3. Collages


These collages are a little different from your third grade art class collages. The collages featured on these book covers combine color, texture, and shape to create clever and beautiful colors and because of this, collage covers are great for grabbing prospective reader’s attention, making these books jump off the shelf. 


Collages can give a two-dimensional canvas a more tactile, three-dimensional feel while expressing multiple ideas or themes of a book in one cover. Much like double exposure photography, Lisa Manterfield’s The Smallest Thing uses collage to combine themes of nature and the not-so-natural gas mask. 


book cover

Images via Penguin Books and Goodreads


4. Millennial Pink


The 2016 Pantone color of the year, Rose Quartz, continues to thrive in 2018 with marketing campaigns, hair colors, even book covers showcasing the soft pink that defines a generation. The now-iconic pink hue has since been dubbed Millennial Pink, and now includes many shades ranging from muted pinks to those in the quartz/muted rose hues. The color has dominated book covers from Pulitzer Prize shortlister The Idiot by Elif Batuman to the book behind the new STARZ show, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.


book cover

Images via Goodreads and Amazon


This shade of pink doesn’t only appeal to millennials: a wider audience has embraced the color as it’s more mature than a 90’s bubblegum pink but more youthful than neutrals. The softer pink shades are usually toughened up with bold handwritten fonts or simplistic graphics. 


5. Minimalism 


In drastic contrast to the visual chaos of vintage-inspired covers and collaged covers, minimalistic covers are gaining huge momentum. Unlike the collage, which can cover many aspects of a book’s message, minimalistic covers focus on one central element and emphasize it. Minimalistic covers also emphasize white space and use it to their advantage, especially in covers like that of Imagine Me Gone by Adam Hasletttt and In The Eyes Of Grace by Grace Akinlemibola. 


book cover

Images via Goodreads and Twitter


Unlike the bright and flashy covers of those mentioned before, minimalist covers of 2018 are grabbing potential reader’s attention by showing less. 


Featured image via The Secret Stash