Book Cover Art: 2014 – 2016

Beautiful Cover Design

CoversBestof1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Next month, I am submitting cover art for a local exhibition about banned books. When I first started designing the cover, I felt incredibly motivated working late into the night on my first sketches, the initial photoshop, and illustrator work. However, for the past couple of days I’ve focused on other things and much of my motivation for the book design has been drained.

So, in order to get back in design mode, today I am going for some visual stimulus in the form of research on current trends in book cover art. Since there are literally millions of books, I decided to limit my search to literature published between 2014 – 2016. I’ve picked some favorite designs, as well as creating some groupings of trends that I noticed while searching.

The Illustrated Cover

Illustratedcovers1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Illustrated designs are probably my favorite type of cover art for books. The possibilities are limitless! I found illustrated covers to be most common in young adult fiction and children’s books, with my favorites showing up in the middle grades genre.

Bold Graphic Design

graphiccovers21. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

These graphic designs were among the most unique covers that I found. I really love the vintage appeal the artwork has while still feeling modern.

Damaged Design

damageddesign1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

This is a style I’m really liking, the old, ripped, torn, and defaced imagery creates a trompe l’oeil effect on the cover that can be very appealing. While I don’t feel that all these designs are completely successful, it is definitely an interesting idea to try out.


silhouettes1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

I had no idea using silhouettes was such a popular design choice. I felt like I was seeing them everywhere. I can see the appeal, it allows the designer to represent the characters without creating a specific look which may differ from the writers intention. Also, they’re just pretty.  I do think that this is a style I will avoid though, as it is just too commonplace.

If you’d like to dive down the rabbit hole that is book cover art the Book Cover Archive has fantastic examples of really great design.

Happy hunting,


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