Top Ten Tuesday: Book cover trends

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Book Cover Trends (or just elements of covers) I Like/Dislike {can stick to one or the other or both!}

Below are 8 of the cover trends I like and 3 that I don’t like. I’ve put a few examples to illustrate what I mean.

1. Pretty typography – by pretty I don’t mean swirly, wedding invitation fonts. I hate those. I just mean interesting use of typography

Say What You WillLove Letters to the Dead

2. Bold colors – book covers don’t use enough bold colors. I also like when book covers are black and white with some color

Standing in Another Man's Grave

3. Simple graphics – the book cover doesn’t need to be full up and busy for me to notice it.

The HumansThe Fields

4. Related to the plot – I love when you’re reading a book and suddenly you realize what the cover means

It's Kind of a Funny Story

5. Photography – you know, I used to not really care for these, but there’s been several covers lately that have a photo and some cool type, and I like them. But it has to be done right. I still don’t like some of them.

Since You've Been GoneTo All the Boys I've Loved Before

6. Soft covers – this doesn’t really have to do with the design, but you know those covers that feel nice and soft? They are the best.
7. Drawn covers – I like when it looks like the cover has been drawn by hand. These always seem to be really interesting and sometimes very intricate.

She Rises

8. Combination of things – I don’t know what to call this. I’m just going to put the cover for The Last Banquet below and let it speak for itself.

The Last Banquet

Trends I don’t like (I’m not including examples because, honestly, I just don’t want to save any of them on my computer. Ha):

1. Couple silhouettes – generic, romance-y books tend to have a silhouette of a couple of the front. Boring.
2. Fancy fonts – I don’t like swirly, elaborate fonts. Never have.
3. Generic faces – it seems to be called whitewashing of covers. Blah.

What about you? What are some of the cover trends you like? Ones you don’t?


43 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book cover trends

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite TTT topics | Caught Read Handed

    • Haha. It’s not. It just so happens that I’ve found books that I love that happen to have covers I love. I mean, that makes sense, right? These are the trends I like. Book covers are one of the things that draw me into checking out a book. Of course, I love being able to showcase these books as often as possible. Lol. But isn’t that kind of the point of this TTT?

      • It certainly does make sense. I think it was just the fact that I feel like I know many of your “5-star” rated novels just from these TTT’s. But then I again…I guess they’re in the top ten list for a reason. But hey, we should have no shame in flaunting around our favourite books anyways. More exposure is needed for this form of entertainment in my opinion (considering I am in the 1% of people that I know who read for leisure).

      • Definitely agree with the generic faces one, but even more annoying to me is like when someone’s face is is cut off. So it’s like you don’t see the eyes or you don’t see the mouth. I also really hate when publishers try to make classic books looks fresh and contemporary – they are classics for a reason! And in general fashiony covers bother me – like just a picture of really high heals.

    • I want every single person on this earth to read The Humans, so I would be ecstatic if you did. I hope you love it. I would love to hear what you thought.
      Thanks for stopping by! I’m heading to check out your list. 🙂

  2. I totally agree with you on all but one: photographs. You’re right, some of them are done well, but when they go wrong, boy do they go WRONG. I really like book covers that look like a piece of art unto themselves. One of my fav book covers I’ve seen lately is the on for The Martian. I would buy that book and frame it!

    • Yeah, like I said, I wasn’t really a fan of covers with photographs. But if the people in the photos look how the characters look, I like it. A lot. The girls on the cover of Since You’ve Been Gone look exactly how the characters are described and I love it.
      I love covers that are a piece of artwork by themselves. There was a recent Top Ten Tuesday that was book covers you’d frame as art. So fun.

      • See, I actually liked the cover of Since You’ve Been Gone because of the typography. It wasn’t a bad picture for a background either. There are some book covers, though, that have pictures that look like someone took them with their cell phone or a cheap digital camera. Those, I don’t like.

  3. My biggest requirement is evidence that the designer actually read the book. In a lot of Sci Fi or Fantasy covers end up having elements that are not at all in line with the plot. That irks me. Just make the cover fit the book please.

    • I completely agree with that. It annoys me when it’s just a generic sci/fantasy cover. I mean, the marketing/editorial department will give a designer info about the book that includes a plot summary and character info, so I don’t know what happens between that and some of these designs, but it’s not good. Haha.

  4. Oh my gosh… I swear I didn’t read yours before I posted mine (I make it a point to not read anyone else’s before I write my own so I don’t inadvertently copy someone else), but we have so many similarities! Even in order! Obviously I completely agree with your list! 😛

  5. Pretty colours, particulary purples and dark blues, or plain and simple black & white covers with simple graphics and eye-pleasing fonts are what make a book appealing to me. I really don’t like couple silhouettes or in your face, busy covers; they automatically put me off. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I have been guilty of that, I have avoided a book because I didn’t like the cover and then bought it a few months later when they released it with a new cover! I also prefer paperbacks over hardbacks, there just more tactile :). Great post.

    • Haha! I’ve done the same thing. I’ve avoided buying a book until I found a cover I like. It’s silly, but whatever. I’m spending my money on it. Haha.
      I love minimalist covers as well. It doesn’t need to be crazy, in your face for me to be attracted to it.
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      • Exactly! Books aren’t cheap and no-one wants to spend money on something that looks horrible. No, simple and understated are a nice change :). You’re welcome, I’ll definitely be stopping by again!

    • I love typography, so when it is used really well on a book cover, it’s perfect. I didn’t put it in the post (mostly because I somehow forgot about it), but this cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is so beautiful and a great use of typography.

  6. I like it when the cover doesn’t makes sense until after you’ve read the book. (Like the early Dresden files covers.) It’s like that moment when you understand what the name of the book means. I love that!

    It annoys me when the characters look nothing like they are described in the book. (Especially when the put a girl in skimpy clothes that you know would never be caught dead looking like that.)

    • I definitely love that moment when you realize what the book title means. It’s like OHHH! 🙂
      I hate that too. It’s almost like the designer/publisher don’t actually care about the characters. I like the Since You’ve Been Gone one because those two girls look EXACTLY like the girls are described in the book. It’s very cool.

  7. #4 is definitely the most important to me! I did a post like this several months ago (which is why I skipped it today) and all but one of my favorites were directly related to the plot. The only one that wasn’t was a vintage P&P, with a peacock on the cover (I’m guessing because one of the collective nouns for peacocks is pride, so maybe it is plot related).

  8. I’ve just noticed that the cover of The Humans here has a different quote than the copy I have. Mine says “There’s no place like home.” Everything else about the cover is exactly the same though. I know there are different cover designs for this book out there, but I think it’s quite interesting that they only changed that one element of this design. Great post! 🙂

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