This week’s topic: Ten Book Cover Trends (or just elements of covers) I Like/Dislike. To make things interesting, I’m going to give you find trends/elements that I like and five that I dislike. It’s hard to come up with ten of either likes or dislikes for this one because I find that there are a few trends in the book cover world that tend to be ubiquitous.
5. Strategic debossing/embossing. This 1984 cover from Penguin is one of my favourites.
4. Simplicity and intelligence. Nothing makes more of a statement than simplicity. It can have more of an impact than complicated covers. (P.S. I LOVE Chip Kidd.)
3. Artistic covers (as opposed to photos). I like images that are drawn and imaginative. To me, it’s like the designer shares his/her interpretation of the book in a way that does not impose their opinion of ideas of the book on the reader. The cover becomes more of a suggestion.
2. Images that cover the entire front cover, back cover, spine. I love how the book and the image become a work of art when the image is an envelope for the entire book.
1. Bright, uncomplicated images that draw focus and capture your attention. The images is just as important as the text. I like balance and it’s nice to see the text and the image hold equal weight on the page rather than competing for attention.
5. Girls in ball gowns. Most of the time, the pretty girl on the cover in the ostentatious dress has little or nothing to do with the actual story. These covers are so generic. There’s just no creativity with these covers. Example:
4. Faces. How hard is it to slap some words over a profile picture. That’s what these covers feel like to me. When given a cover with a face on it, I feel like I’m being told, “This is your protagonist. This is the face that you’re going to imagine for the next 400 pages.” I like to be able to come up with my own protagonist, not visualize the one set out for me before I even crack open the book.
3. For a while, after the release of the Twilight series, teen book covers were alive with bright, almost monochromatic images on black backgrounds. It was a striking cover the first time around, but it quickly became redundant and boring.
2. Covers that are all text with no image. These covers don’t grab your attention. You want them to catch your attention from the shelves with bold or thought provoking images. Text only covers just don’t have the same visual appeal.
1. The Divergent circle. There’s no other name for it. Starting with the Divergent series, circles popped up on teen covers everywhere. All the popular books have them. Once one book is successful, others attempt to recreate that success with a similar cover.