book cover bests


Neon + Pattern + Illustration + Sloppy handwriting

A few beautiful book covers from 2012.


So pretty


This cover is pink. It is illustrated. It uses a big old font.
This cover was made for Paper Darts.


You'd hold this in public just to be seen holding it in public.



The designer Charlotte Strick gets Amelia Gray.
The cover is not only gorgeous, it perfectly evokes the tone of the story.



This cover is certainly beautiful. But isn't it deliciously creepy when you remember that the construction paper pattern hints at the novel's sea of lethal children?


Designers of 2013, please take note:
We need more action, texture, bright colors, and illustration. Thanks, Oliver Munday.



Jason Booher
is a god. 


Thank you, Graywolf Press.
Thank you for bringing the world a cover fit for Mr. D.A. Powell.


Those little lobsters! 


 Oh, Petra Borner. You did it.


Not just a pretty face

…real pretty on the inside too.



Racket managed to give this cookbook a masculine edge while keeping the gritty collage aesthetic fresh.


This photography book makes you wait for the goods.
The smart little handwritten title carries the energy of the entire book.



Don't let the simplicity of this design fool you. The illustration underscores the childlike wonder that surrounds the legends of New York City, though the design also feels sophisticated and polished.
Chris Silas Neal knocked it out of the park. Central Park.


This book is absolutely stunning. Well done, Glyn DillonWhat more can I say? The book is about "a young woman's struggle with love, life, and murderous thoughts.” Well, that.

I'd love to see an illustrated cover of this caliber on the face of a novel. Maybe in 2013.



Few books had me more excited than this illustrated children's book, Virginia Wolf.

Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault are my heroes.


Looks Good. Feels Good. 

Compliments of McSweeny's.



Compliments of King Dave Eggers and Queen Jessica Hische



 This book jacket in a box will only set you back $100. 



John Contino is such a treasure. And he is only 29. What will he do next year? Can't wait to see.

By the way, have you seen this yet... ?


Book sets


These books designed by Cardon Webb will be the Meryl Streep of the 2012 best book cover lists.


Coralie Bickford-Smith is the fairy godmother of gorgeous books. Her most recent set for Penguin is everything you knew it could be. 



Allison Colpoys makes these Penguin Australian Children's Classics look so lovely, she is sure to lure in an Australian adult or two.


I think we should all go in together buy Jessica Hische a two-year vacation to the Caribbean so the rest of the design world can try (and fail) to catch up to her brilliance. 

UK vs. US

Apparently US markets are calling for more minimalist covers—two of the biggest literary novels of the year received a makeunder. I greatly prefer the UK versions of these books. …Maybe I should move. 


Best of the Small Presses

Understated but mysterious, these are two of my favorite covers of the year from small presses.

L: Birds LLC // R: Ugly Duckling Presse


Cheating (2013 covers)



Peter Mendelsund nails it.



Elena Giavaldi has already made the best looking book covers of 2013, no contest.



Adventure with Ed Bok Lee

Pinner Palette: Emerald