Question Time: All About Book Cover Designs

June 19, 2019 7:11 am

book cover designPhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What Makes Book Cover Designs Iconic?

With the average attention span standing at just 8 seconds, there’s not long to capture a reader’s attention when they’re scrolling through Amazon looking for their next must-read. Often, it’s the book cover designs that take the first step in persuading readers to pick up and purchase your title.

But what makes an iconic cover design?

One that sparks the imagination and leaves readers wanting more, a cover you’d be happy to look at every time you delve back into a story.

We put your questions to Camilla Davis, our book cover designer for some expert insight.

Tell us, in your opinion, what constitutes an iconic cover?

“A striking title, whether large and filling up the entire cover to make a statement, or small, using negative space to draw attention is crucial. Thinking up an eye-catching title can sometimes be the hardest part of writing your book, but it’s time well spent. Make sure it’s enticing, original and appeals strongly to your target audience.”

Okay, so I’ve thought up a standout title, what’s next?

“Keep it simple! Using minimal imagery and opting for bold, flat colours works well. These are timeless and won’t look outdated, even if your book is in print for years to come. A cluttered cover often occurs when an author tries to make their cover into a blurb. We want to try to make a reader feel something rather than show them exactly what’s inside. Only those reading the book should be able to unlock the mystery of its cover.”

What about the genre? Should I try to fit in or stand out?

“Readers expect a book of a certain category to look a certain way, but this doesn’t mean you can’t stand out from the crowd! Try to keep in line with other books similar to yours. For example, in a classic romance novel, you’d expect to see colours such as reds, pinks and purples coupled with white or black, along with script fonts. Although a lime green book cover might catch your eye, is this really the relaxing, indulgent romance you were after?”

Are there a specific book cover designs that stand out for you? What is it and why?

This version of Lord of the Flies. I love the bold colour contrasting the cream negative space. The use of deep red brings the gore of the pigs head to life despite being merely a silhouette. The alignment of the sun creating the eye is a nice touch and the trees bring faux shading to the head, giving it some depth. The book title itself is somewhat disjointed, in a brush calligraphy style, which gives the impression of disorder or carelessness. It has similarities to a child’s handwriting which is fitting for the book.”

Why should I choose a cover design from Book Printing UK?

If you’re trying to cut costs and keep your project on a low budget, trying to do your own artwork can be a tempting option – but it’s important to know where your strengths lie. If your book has a professional look and feel from the outset, it’s more likely to sell and appeal to a larger audience. In short, you’ll make more profit in the long run.

At Book Printing UK, we have access to thousands of high-quality images that we can adapt to suit your story. We also provide an illustration and bespoke cover design service if you’d prefer us to create original hand-drawn artwork or graphics for your cover.

To see examples of our designer’s work and learn more about our cover design service, you can find out more information here.