Book cover trends

On browsing through the Guardian bookshop online recently I typically found myself less interested in buying any books, but more in the cover designs and the amount of trends that seem to be emerging. Especially when it comes to the typography.

I’ve gathered together some covers to create a digital scrapbook for my own reference if nothing else, but thought I’d share it, as there may be others that find this interesting and/or useful. These are all non-fiction, mostly science and the environment, economics and politics. I’m sure there are many more trends in fictional publishing, but I’m not going there.

Trend 1: Hand drawn type
I’m not talking about the sort of beautifully hand rendered type mentioned in my previous posts. These are rough and rustic, very freestyle, in no way perfect. Some look like a hand painted sign that might advertise potatoes for sale by the side of the road, some like a child has cut them out of coloured card for a school project, or maybe some were done very roughly at visual stage and the marketing team emphatically stated ‘yes, we want it JUST like that’. It happens if you’re not careful, and then before you know it, a trend is born.

Trend 2: Images within the type.
This isn’t exactly a new thing, designers have been doing it for years, since discovering how to turn type into an outline path. It’s much easier these days and it seems to be a re-emerging trend. Or maybe it’s just always been there and I’d not noticed. It can work well in some cases, making the type more illustrative.

 Trend 3: Type over the image
This is sort of the reverse of trend 2. Either knocking the text out of the image, or just laying it directly over or somehow within the image. Some of those in trend 1 also fit into this category. A much more tricky one to get right, but there is sometimes a notion that text and image should be separate, but sometimes they can work brilliantly when blended together.

Trend 4: Stamped and distressed type
This has been a very noticeable trend of late, so much so I even did it with my own logo. Similar to hand drawn type, except with a rough stamped or stencilled feel. I’m pretty sure these aren’t done by hand though, just some nifty photoshop work at play, with a bit of extra distressing for that authentic look.

Trend 5: Type to help illustrate the title
This is sort of the holy grail of cover design. Finding a typographic solution that also illustrates the books content in some way. The simpler the better.

And finally these three covers don’t fit into any trend as such, but I like them for their simplicity and much more for the typography than the image. I particularly love the Science Delusion and the way the type fizzes and sparkles, I don’t know the relevance but I don’t care.

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One response to “Book cover trends

  1. Pingback: New work examples | Zoe Naylor Graphic Design

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