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Engaging Book Covers

To start off this project I’ve researched a number of covers (mainly adult fiction as this is what I’ll be creating) that I find particularly engaging.

Grown - by Tiffany D. Jackson

Stunningly detailed profile illustration of a black lady pictured in a powerful pose where she looks down at the viewer. The title of the book is incorporated into the earrings she is wearing - big gold hoops with the word ‘Grown’ embellished into them. The authors name is displayed in a handwritten font above her head, following the same shape.

The Night Manager - Design by Annie Kobyluch

I was drawn into this cover because its so simple yet alluring and makes you want to read the book. I particularly like the way the front and back cover is combined to create one image but also works well separately.

Emil and the Detectives - Design by Ailsa Johnson

Same as with the previous cover where the front and back cover are joined to make one image are particularly engaging. All three angles are cleverly combined and make an incredible book cover.

Film cover - Manhattan - by Woody Allen

Simple, yet bold profile illustration that creatively incorporates the Manhattan skyline above the glasses on the face. Sets the location of the book while also giving a basic profile description of the main character.

One Perfect Day, The Selling of the American Wedding - by Rebecca Mead

Incorporates an illustration of a receipt attached over the cover - giving a 3D effect. Perfectly reflects the idea of commercialisation that the book touches on.

The Operator - by Gretchen Berg

This book is set in the 1950s which is perfectly illustrated in the cover. The plot involves “a nosy midwestern switchboard operator who discovers a secret about her own family. Its about “nice” small towns in a fictionalised midwestern past with a mystery to it.” The use of the old phone dial set and homely pattern of a potential table cloth or wallpaper implies to the time and setting of the book.

Little Red Riding Hood - Design by Jen Wang

Using nothing but lettering this redesigned book manages to arouse sheer fright and terror.

The Sisters Brothers - by Patrick DeWitt

Boldly illustrates both brothers on the front cover while additionally illustrating a full moon behind them that could also be seen as a skull using the heads of the brothers as eyes. In the book the brothers set out for a kill in the 1850s while bickering along the way and questioning their immorality.

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge

Limited but effective colour palette using only red, white, and black. The woman running down the stairs adds suspense and drama while also making the viewer intrigued by what she’s running from. The rose is merged perfectly with the rounded flights of stairs that seem endless through the above angle they’re pictured in.

Clap When You Land - by Elizabeth Acevedo

Not only is it a beautifully illustrated cover, it also incorporates the story really well. Clap When You Land tells the story of half-sisters who didn’t know of each other until their father died in a plane crash. The cover depicts both sisters, mirrored in each other but each of them having their own background that portrays their individual life - one in New York and the other in the Dominican Republic. Separating the two is a silhouette of two planes flying towards each other.

The Elephant Vanishes - by Haruki Murakami

The enlargement of the trunk with added use of negative space is cleverly placed. The added use of lines create the effect of noise coming from the trunk - or a different interpretation could be illustrating the disappearance of the elephant. The text is placed nicely to the right, while there is also type placed in the middle of the lines.


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