Excellent Book Covers and Paperbacks

Book covers are hard to design and nice to look at. An effective book cover manages to catch human’s eye and convey the idea behind the book on one single page. However, it’s getting even harder: to make a book really hard to forget, designers need to design the cover in a unique, creative and striking way. That’s not that different from Web where it’s important to build a sound information architecture upon a rather restricted design layout.

The main idea of this post is to provide you with some creative, expressive and appealing book covers. You won’t like all of them, but you’ll definitely find some designs which are worth pondering upon.

You may be interested in the following posts we’ve published earlier:

  • Breathtaking Typographic Posters with over 50 breathtaking typographic posters designed by artists across the globe. We feature Oriental, Iranian, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and Russian typographic posters as well as a number of further references.
  • Award-Winning Newspaper Designs with examples of outstanding newspaper designs collected from dozens of countries.
  • Data Visualization and Infographics showcases spectacular data visualizations and infographics which manage to combine a strong visual appeal with the effective presentation of information.
  • Data Visualization: Modern Approaches presents interesting modern approaches to data visualization as well as related articles, resources and tools.

Please keep in mind: there are thousands of excellent book covers; we’ve selected only few ones which are excellent in our humble opinion. Although this selection is definitely subjective, we’ve tried to do our best to find interesting designs which make the book cover hard to forget. If you have further suggestions please comment on this post. All covers posted are the copyright of their respective holders.

Book Covers

1. A Clockwork Orange
Meet Alex. Simple, but so memorable. Designed by David Pelham.

Book Covers - Book Covers

2. Brave New World
Designed by Gregg Kulick.

Book Covers - Book Covers

3. A Perfect Mess

Book Covers - A Perfect Mess

4. Christopher Moore, “The Dirty Job”, 10/07

Book Covers - Christopher Moore, Un lavoro sporco, 10/07

5. Disorders of Memory and Learning
Effective and creative. 1968. Cover Design by Martin Bassett.

Book Covers - the-end-of-inequality.jpg (image)

6. Jordan Crane’s Book Covers
Crane’s illustrations are beautiful and memorable. That’s what makes a good book cover.

Book Covers - the-end-of-inequality.jpg (image)

Book Covers - Book Covers

7. Paul Rand’s Book Covers
Paul Rand: one of the most influential modern graphic designers. Simple and effective.

Book Covers - the-end-of-inequality.jpg (image)

Book Covers - the-end-of-inequality.jpg (image)

8. The End Of Inequality
Cover design by Peter Stone.

Book Covers - Judge a book.....

9. 1984

Book Covers - FFFFOUND!

10. Incomplete Manifesto
Just a sketch. This book doesn’t exist.

Book Covers - a5

11. Soviet Science Fiction book cover

Book Covers - Soviet Science Fiction book cover

12. Penguin Book Covers

Book Covers - FFFFOUND!

13. St. Cyborg’s

Book Covers - St. Cyborg's

14. A Penguin Special – A Suitable Case for Treatment

Book Covers - A Penguin Special - A Suitable Case for Treatment

15. “The book of the Spirits”

Book Covers -

16. Gas Book 08: Blue Source

Blue Source

17. The Language of Graphics

Book Covers - The Language of Graphics

18. 1964 Sex and Society – Alex Comfort

Book Covers - things magazine

19. 1970 War Gaming – Andrew Wilson

Book Covers - things magazine

A Soviet book cover from 1930.

Book Covers - 5ПЯТИЛЕТКА (1930)

21. John Gall’s Book Covers
Gall’s covers always take a look at the book content from a quite unusual perspective. Masterpieces.

Book Covers - Book Covers

Book Covers - Book Covers

Book Covers - Book Covers

22. We Can Build You

Book Covers - We Can Build You

23. Magical Thinking
The book cover is attractive and conveys the idea of the book.

Book Covers - Good Is Dead. The Learners in finer bookstores everywhere.

24. Twenty Questions

Book Covers - Good Is Dead. The Learners in finer bookstores everywhere.

25. 1982 Know Your Own Personality.

Book Covers - things magazine

26. ВЧЕРА И СЕГОДНЯ (1935)

Book Covers - ВУЕРА СЕГОДНЯ (1935)

27. Alvin Lustig’s Book Covers

Book Covers - Alvin Lustig, Modern American Design Pioneer - Books & Periodicals - New Directions

28. Suiza Constructiva

Book Covers - Suiza Constructiva

29. “The Art of a Book”
Interesting conceptual solution.

Book Covers

30. “The Creative Process”

Book Covers -

31. Understanding Media
Interesting use of symbols.

Book Covers - Favourite Book Covers 088

32. Exile and the Kingdom
Eye-catching. Designed by Helen Yentus.

Book Covers - Book Covers

33. House of Meetings
Designer: Peter Mendelsund.

Book Covers - Book Covers

34. Manuel Bandeira, “Poems chosen by the author”
The Brazilian designer Elaine Ramos is known for simple yet unusual book cover designs. “The wonderful thing about this cover is that the paper has thin horizontal lines in relief that complement the horizontal design. Again, tactile. White dots you can see are numbers from one to fifty – the title is “fifty poems selected by the author”. The sky and stars reference one of the author’s most famous poems, translated “Morning Star”.”

Book Covers - Cosac Naify - Detalhes do Livro

35. Cigarette Century

Book Covers - The Book Design Review

36. Dutch paperback book cover design

Book Covers - Dutch paperback book cover design

37. Hans Kleefeld book cover design

Book Covers - FFFFOUND!

38. Livre perdu1 / Lost book 1

Book Covers - Livre perdu1 / Lost book 1

39. Toby Litt

Book Covers - blogphoto6.html

40. Grabink Book Covers Decoration
Book bindings by gner-artists Chris Enock and David Enock.

Book Covers - The Arts Décoratifs Collection/Grabink

Book Covers - The Arts Décoratifs Collection/Grabink


41. The Music of Chance

The Music of Chance

42. One Red Paperclip

Book Covers - The Book Design Review

43. Supercapitalism

Book Covers - Book Covers

44. A Clockwork Orange
You remember, right? Alex liked milk spiked with various stimulants (”milk plus”) or hallucinogens (”synthemesc”).

Book Covers - A Glass of Milk

45. Worst Years Of Your Life

Book Covers - Book Covers


46. Expo 58, book cover

Book Covers - Expo 58, book cover

47. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Book Covers - The Illustrated Novel

48. Last Days Of Publishing

Book Covers - Book Covers

49. The Trouble With Physics

Book Covers - The Book Design Review

50. Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

Book Covers - Book Covers

51. The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual

Book Covers - Book Covers

52. Emil Ruder, “Typographie”

Book Covers - Emil Ruder's Typographie

53. Nikelleo Rellana’s work

Book Covers

54. House of Leaves Book Cover
Designed by Joe Paul.

Book Covers - House of Leaves Book Cover

55. Change the Way You See Everything: Through Asset-Based Thinking

Through Asset-Based Thinking

56. Kidney For Sale By Owner
Designed by David Drummond.

Book Covers - Kidney For Sale By Owner

57. Ace of Spades: A Memoir

Book Covers - AIGA Design Archives

58. About Face: Reviving the Rules of Typography

Reviving the Rules of Typography

59. The Mayor’s Tongue

Book Covers - The Book Design Review

60. All the Sad Young Literary Men

Book Covers - The Book Design Review

61. swissmiss: Books


Sources and Resources


1 comment so far

  1. Hank Wasiak on

    Enjoyed reading this post and thanks for including our book, “Change The Way You See Everything-Through Asset-Based Thinking as one of you noteworthy selections. You’re right in that covers are critical elements in a books success and in our case it was a very critical part of the overall book strategy. We created a new genre of business and self help book with compelling content driven by powerful visuals and succinctly presented insights and advice. It is meant to be a non-stop cover to cover emotional reading “experience”.

    The cover played a critical role in setting the expectations for the reader…this book was something different. Reverse, backwards type was risky (lots of skeptics), but it worked. Our third book in the series, “Change The Way You See Everyting – For Teens” will be in stores next month. We have successfully built a franchise around this design/creative concept.

    Thanks again for the recognition and come visit our blog and join the ABT positive conspiracy. http://tinyurl.com/abtblg

    Hank Wasiak

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