50 Examples of 2019’s Top Trends in Book Cover Design

Team Superside
April 2 | 16 min read

2019 is set to be a dynamic, exciting year for design. As technology advances and designers get bolder in their pursuit of high-end, whimsical, or thrilling looks, we get to be surprised and delighted by what they put out. That is true also for book covers.

Book covers need to be eye-catching. Their very purpose is to attract a perusing reader to pick it up and read the back (or inside cover). From there, the hope is the reader will be enthralled, purchase the book, and enjoy the story. But it all starts with that cover.

At the turn of the 20th century, when book production became cheaper and faster, book cover design grew. Some of the very first radical designs were by avant-garde artists in the 20s. Since then, publishers have acknowledged the need to stand out on the shelves. But like all design, trends have come and gone. What catches the reader’s eye today may blend in tomorrow.

So, designers, writers, and publishers are constantly adapting concepts. Sometimes it is bringing back a style. Or being the only book on the shelf with sans serif font. Or it could be as simple as picking a shocking color. We’ve combed through more than 50 book covers to predict the top trends for 2019. Check them out below.

Trend 1: Bold Typography

Typography is an excellent way to interest an audience. And bold, lively typography is stealing the show in 2019. While this trend has been used in the past, its steady growth has proven it is still on trend for the new year. Expect to see dynamic new fonts, alternative ways of presenting old fonts, and cool brush strokes, shaping, and edge transformation.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 2: Minimalism

There’s no doubt minimalism has had a tremendous impact on design. It has permeated fashion, interior design, graphic work, and photography. In 2019, we expect to see this element take over book covers in exceptional numbers. Minimalist covers can evoke a myriad of emotions: serious, scary, thrilling, histrionic, or intellectual. This trend, combined with bold typography, tells a reader exactly what they need to know about the book.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 3: Going Old School

The retro trend is hot, hot, hot right now. It all started with hipsters and their desire to go back to old school, natural ways. The pull away from industrial, corporate feelings has led to some really neat design methods. Book covers are feeling this too, though the trend is just starting. We can expect to see more old school covers that emulate the feel of decades long past in 2019 as nostalgia grows and longing for simpler times increases.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 4: Think Pink

Pink is a power color. For too long it was relegated to the pastel pink of little girls’ bedroom walls or Easter dresses. But daring, vibrant pinks are all about strength, confidence, and energy. Softer pinks emote romance, dreaminess, and whimsy. In 2018, pink book covers began their ascent, and we expect that to peak in 2019.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 5: Works of Art

Have you ever looked at a book cover and had your breath taken away? If not, wait for it…(and also, look at more book covers!). Artists and designers have been creating masterful works of art for decades, and we expect to see more digital masterpieces in 2019. Vibrant colors, elements of classical art, dramatic collages, and layered pieces will sweep through book design, and you’ll want to be watching so you can see the best.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 6: Sans Serif Fonts

Serif fonts have long been the calling card of book design. Based on decorative book lettering from time immemorial, serif fonts denote the sophistication and majesty of books (yes, we love books enough to describe them that way). But more than a century before minimalism emerged, there came a simplification of fonts to remove the extra flourish. Sometimes called “grotesque” fonts, sans serif is finding a home in design as a bold choice and we expect to see this increase in 2019.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 7: Big Book Design

“Big book” design is a fairly new trend that varies, but primarily uses the following elements: vibrant colors, a large title with equally large or more prominent author name, few additional elements (so no big, complex designs). This look was typically reserved for authors who were well-known (hence featuring the author’s name more significantly—for fans specifically looking for that author). But in the last year, indie authors and other smaller publications have adopted the trend, so this will grow even larger in 2019.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 8: Floral Patterns

Floral patterns aren’t just for grandma’s couch anymore. The whimsical pattern says a lot about the book—maybe it is fun or quirky or menacing or quixotic. Best of all, floral patterns are no longer just for feminine books. The pattern is being adapted for all types of books, and it is crafted to allude to what’s within. Expect the upward swing of floral to continue in 2019.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 9: Covering Up

Traditionally, it is a huge no-no to cover up the title of the book, but 2019’s book titles are a bit more modest than they used to be. Designers are having a great time creating stylish looks that integrate text and imagery. Part of that is the coverup trend in which a part of the title will be obscured by design. It’s a skillful showing of book cover design, and one of our favorites for 2019.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Trend 10: Lydian

Move over League Gothic and Baskerville! Lydian is the new girl on the block, and she’s taking over all the names. Lydian has actually been around for a while, but it is seeing a resurgence in book cover design as a gender-neutral, lighter sans serif option for fiction and non-fiction alike.

Book Covers Following the Trend

Book design is critical to the success of a book. It is the first impression you will give your audience, so it’s important it projects the right message. And it’s equally important that it is professionally done. Superside has built a unique global community of experienced designers that have completed more than 12,000 projects over the last three years, including book cover designs. Our team of project managers is on standby 24/7 to help you match with the right designer for your book. They take end-to-end responsibility for the project’s quality and execution. So, when you’re ready for the all-important step of book design, reach out to us.

Written by
Team Superside
Team Superside is comprised of writers from all over the globe. We love making stuff, telling stories and sharing fun, nerdy ideas with the world.

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