Book cover design is one of the most important parts of publishing out there today. Given that both the seasoned and casual reader will judge a book by its cover, it’s essential to have great cover art. It really can make or break sales. Here are some top book cover design trends as this year comes to a close.
The Old Mainstays
You can’t go wrong reviewing the basics, and this is where even the most seasoned professionals should start looking at the year in review. It’s easy to get carried away in the design aspects of anything. If you focus too much on aesthetics and forget content, then you’ve failed at the job you were hired to do. Therefore, according to The Book Designer, book covers need to communicate five crucial elements:
- Literary Genre
- Tone of the Story
- Scope of the Book
- Exciting for the Eye
- Fits in with the Market
This means you should get a summary of the story from the publisher at the very least. While you’re not expected to read the entire book of every cover designed, it’s important to remember that book covers aren’t just works of art. They need to have to have a meaningful interaction with the text itself. That doesn’t mean that you need to make very book cover a commercial billboard, but you do need to remember the old adage about pushing the brand. Book covers are artwork, but they’re also a form of advertising. They can be beautiful, but they also must absolutely be functional. A book can have a gorgeous cover, but never gain any notoriety because no readers understand what it’s about or why they should care.
This year was all about pizzazz, rather than restraint. In the past, the most elegant serif lettering paired with monochromatic layouts were all the rage. However, the list of 20 books cover designs that Huffington Post “swooned” over in 2014 all feature extremely graphic covers, utilizing either stylized, larger than life fonts, super flat graphics, or bold, illustrative images. With so many books on the shelves in the physical as well as digital, it’s more important than ever to stand out. This year’s graphics were also not just splashy, but also clever, and related directly to the narrative of the book. Tying in aesthetic concept to the actual brand is essential when it comes to book cover design.
The majority of 19 book covers rated the best of 2014 by Print features fonts that are highly graphic or stylized. These are brands of typeface that are created solely for a particular title. Hand drawn fonts are all the rage this year, becoming more of a graphic design element than an actual, functional font. Aesthetic meanings are more important than ever in terms of how they relate to the content of the book. Coming up with the title of a book is just as important as how well the book is written. Therefore, having a font that properly showcases that title is extremely important. Even as simple as the Latest Book Cover Trends at Designhill and DIY companies tend to be, it’s still essential to understand how fonts function. Have a look at some of the “best of” lists of the past year and absorb what the best elements were. The best way to learn is to draw your own conclusions when it comes to visuals.
DIY Book Covers
These days, self publishing is more popular than ever. Whether you’re using a company like DesignHill to explore your own ideas or checking out other platforms, it’s no longer necessary to use a professional designer. It depends on knowledge and aspiration, but it’s completely possible to create and print your own book covers today. There’s lots of software and platforms that allow users to publish their own content, but that doesn’t mean that a professional can be skipped. DIY book covers are a fine balance between financially effective and a potential gaffe. You need to make sure that you have an aesthetic vision in mind, and follow through. Every industry is self publishable now, but an expert eye can’t be replicated without knowledge. Therefore, always be careful about DIY solutions. It might be a great approach if you have someone who’s creative, but otherwise, enlist a pro.
Book cover design is an art form, but it’s also a commercial skill. You need to be able to balance the two to really succeed, but it’s as simple as understanding the relationship between concept and meaning. With a clever interpretation of a text, a good idea, and a firm aesthetic, you’ll be able to keep up with the rest of the crowd. Make sure you know the trends for this year going into 2015 so you’ll know what to expect, and all the motifs that have conquered thus far will be a learning experience.