21 Gorgeous and Aesthetic Book Cover Designs
Books are like portals to different worlds, transporting us to places we've never been and igniting our imagination.
Books are like portals to different worlds, transporting us to places we've never been and igniting our imagination. An aesthetic book cover design is ultimately what captures the attention of a reader and promises a captivating story within its pages.
Even in the digital age where e-books reign supreme and bookstores are becoming a rare sight, the power of a visually stunning book cover still can cause a big impact on your book sales. Covers are like artwork that entices us to explore the hidden stories that lie within and we've chosen some of our top favorites to highlight in this post.
The Children's Home, Charles Lambert
This cover takes a striking approach with a captivating transformation. The design choice is a metaphorical representation of the novel's themes of transformation and decay. The golden frame symbolizes the facade and privilege that conceals the darker, more hidden aspects of the story. As it gradually morphs into a gnarled branch, it hints at the gradual unraveling of secrets and the eerie transformation of the narrative. The intricate details in the design, such as the delicate vines merging into gnarled wood, invite readers to explore the complex and mysterious world within the book.
Present Shock, Douglas Rushkoff
For a more unique approach, the cover designer chose to create a layered design almost reminiscent of sticky notes. The bright yellow boxes feel modern, almost a subtle nod to the stacking that occurs with multiple windows on a computer desktop. A refreshing take on how life easily stacks up with notifications, tweets, and emails. Despite the underlining metaphor, the design still creates order to the chaotic elements.
A Sense of Direction, Gideon Lewis-Kravs
Implementing 3D elements on a book cover is an excellent way to draw a potential reader in. The use of 2D text with the 3D push pins evokes a realistic, almost scrapbook quality to the cover. This connects to the theme of people who try to make plans for their life, and hopefully end up in the right place.
Journalism and Political Exclusion, Debra Clarke
Simple covers with one main element are a powerful way to illustrate the theme of the book. The use of a microphone, cut into different pieces is the perfect way to describe the current political landscape and how disjointed and combative different news media can be. The struggle is to figure out who is telling the whole story, as referenced with this cover.
Fake Fruit Factory, Patrick Wensink
A more retro style, a paper texture, and the doodles, make this cover stand out as a novel that's both science-based, but intriguing to read. The difficulty with using a more cluttered design, is to make the elements work together. The white text for the book title is easy to read and draws your eye in, while the yellow and black extras are hierarchically appropriate. Excellent and beautiful cover!
The Age of Perpetual Light, Josh Weil
As a designer, you may want to opt for a more somber and subdued vibe like this cover of "The Age of Perpetual Light." The use of unidirectional light creates a mysterious quality, and the subtle reflection of the author name in the light bulb help immerse you into its reality. You know that this book will have twists and turns and pieces of unexpected adventure.
The Unkindness of Magicians, Kat Howard
This beautiful book cover design stands in stark contrast to the many color-heavy book covers on the shelves. What better way to stand out from the competition than to create an all-white, bleached look, complete with 3D statue-esque elements? It demands attention and is sure to evoke imagery of spells, intrigue, and danger.
Competition, James Case
A loud and bold book title is the perfect approach to this striking book cover design. Typography is an excellent way to "show" without "telling." It's possible, the designer is carefully commenting on the tendency to get louder and louder in order to keep standing out. The contrast between the white text and the black background adds even more strength to the cover.
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Anyone who is familiar with William Golding's, Lord of the Flies, will quickly remember the disturbing themes of the book. For new readers, it's horrific and disturbing imagery of a pig's head on top of a stick, is sure to, if nothing else, be memorable. You can easily tell this story happens on an island, and the sinister use of the sun as the eye of the pig, is a nod to darker things to come.
The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge
It's surprisingly difficult to create a memorable book cover with only two colors. This cover uses a dynamic, almost hypnotic illustrative style to show the helplessness of the individual caught in the ocean, with only the moon as their guide. Readers know that this book will include many dark twists and turns before the last page is turned.
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, Chelsea Sedoti
Color can be a powerful way to create interest in a book. The clever use of paper petals on the bright yellow background, coupled with the handwritten sharpie letters, brings to memory the game "He loves me, he loves me not." You can infer that this book will be wrapped up in lies, romance, and possibly murder.
Heretics Anonymous, Katie Henry
One of the most powerful ways to create a great book cover, is to use visual metaphor: taking something expected, and then doing something unexpected to it. The use of the burnt toast imagery connects to witch burnings, and other terrible actions performed on those society perceived to be heretics. You can be sure that this book will have some interesting history.
Seven Brief Lessons in Physics, Carlo Rovelli
This cover is somewhat subdued, but still evokes a sense of scientific mysticism. The gold particles foil stamped on the dark black cover material are a perfect way to show that you are in store for theories, evidence, and methods.
The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
One of the most stunning covers, The Psychopathic Test is the perfect visual representation to what order and chaos might look like in a psychopathic's brain. The calmness of the rabbit and the aggressive leopard, paired with the glitch typography and slightly off-kilter look, makes for an unsettling result. This is sure to draw in readers interested in odd and disturbing tales.
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
Explosions of color, powder and large bold type make this book cover a clear stand-out. When we think of creativity we think of the chaos and irreverence of inspiration and the messy creative process. What better way to portray explosive and unexpected than with an aesthetic cover like this?
Word By Word, Kory Stamper
Anyone who had a large dictionary on their bookshelf growing up will feel an instant sense of nostalgia with this book cover. Thumbing through its pages and finding obscure words to stump your siblings and friends is a favorite passtime for kids and adults alike. The use of the green/red pallet, along with the chalk-like typography, is a perfect design pairing.
The Border of Truth, Victoria Redel
The rows of scissors and slices in the title leave a cryptic message found on this book cover. Are they normal scissors? Shearing knives? Barbers? You have to open the book and keep reading to find out.
Flavor of the Month, Joel Best
No one wants to be a sheep, but this book cover portrays all of us wanting to be independent, but failing miserably. A powerful image that's sure to get a curious reader to wonder, "Can I be falling to fads, too?"
The Innovator's Cookbook, Steven Johnson
After the advent of 3D printing, inventors and innovators could develop the next big thing in their basement, with just a light and a spool of filament. Everyone dreams to become the next big thing, and this book cover brings you directly into the creative action. The blueprint colors and the 3D letters are the perfect match to get you excited to read this book.
Evicted, Matthew Desmond
Poverty is a difficult subject and the designer of this book cover has succeeded in creating a silent treatise on eviction and its effects on the poorer working class. The faded areas where pictures once hung, are a metaphor for hopes lost, and the possibility for tomorrow is dashed. All that remains is the read the haunting story and to see what's causing the problem.
Time Travel, James Gleik
James Gleik's "Time Travel is a beautifully executed and aesthetic book cover design. It uses a simple theme of the typography itself being transported through wormholes to get the point across: this book will likely blow your mind and leave you more confused or enlightened.
Those are a few of our top picks for the most gorgeous and aesthetic book cover designs. There are thousands more out there for more inspiration if you're looking to design your next book cover.