My Favorite Kinds of Cover Designs

Like most book lovers, I appreciate a beautiful cover. But what I’ve learned is that not everyone has the same tastes when it comes to the cover designs they appreciate. So today I’ve decided to take you through the kinds of covers I love, the ones I don’t enjoy, and the ones that have grown on me. I also want to just mention Shannon’s series of Unfortunate Covers of Your Favorite Books at this point, since it proves what a difference covers can make, and also, how subjective cover love can be!

When I first had the idea for this post, I expected it to be really simple to write, so I was surprised to find that was not the case! One of the things that made writing this post so difficult was the fact that my taste has changed over the years! As I was scrolling through all the books I’ve read on Goodreads, I passed by many covers that I know for a fact that I used to love, but they no longer gave me that same feeling! So these covers you’re seeing now are all covers that I still love, and on top of that, are all books I would recommend! You’ll notice a lot of similarities between most of the covers, but I had fun breaking down exactly what I like about each specific type of cover.

Generally Beautiful Covers

We’re starting with a variety of books that I just adore! I wanted to start out with some books that have some common themes that you’ll see in future sections, but that also stand out. These are books that just work for me, even when similar covers might not!

When I was first thinking of writing this post, the book that I immediately knew would be at the top of my list was Felix Ever After. As you’re about to see, I love, love, love illustrated covers, and this book was no exception. One of the things I enjoy most about this illustration is how realistic Felix looks, while the flowers add this almost dreamlike and ethereal feeling. Plus, the combination of colors is just stunning! But this shouldn’t surprise me since I already know I love the illustrator’s work! I’m going to leave their Instagram here for you to look at, but Alex Cabal was also the one behind the cover for I Wanna Be Where You Are and A Song Below Water, and their work will even feature again in a later section!

Sea Prayer is one of the few non-illustrated covers that I think is absolutely beautiful! I love how the soft colors all blend together to create such a dreamy landscape. This cover is a bit of an anomaly because I tend to dislike blurry covers (as you’ll see later on), but I think that this kind of art works for me every once in a while. Not enough to be able to create a whole section of covers that look similarly, but enough to show you that my taste does vary from time to time!

My inclusion of Kiss Number 8 might be cheating, since it’s a graphic novel, and therefore the cover matches the artwork inside, but just I couldn’t miss out on a chance to recommend this book. More importantly, though, if you’ve read my post on graphic novels, you’ll know that I have a particular art style that I like, and the cover art for Kiss Number 8 is the perfect example of the kind of style I’m referring to! For me, bold lines and bold colors are the way to go! (Although ironically, the artwork inside the book itself is all in black and white).

Scumble is another unexpected cover, since the cover doesn’t quite have clearly defined lines (which you’ll see quite a lot of in the next few sections). But there are still so many elements of this cover that I love. For one thing, there’s the color palette. I’m a sucker for a nice sunset ombre, and this cover is no exception! On top of that I love the little details that get bigger and bigger, and how well the cover matches the story. The easiest way I can explain my love for this cover is by explaining how much I love this book. And I love this book a whole lot!

Striking Covers

So while I went into more detail with each and every book in the last section, there’s really not much to say about this section except that I like it when there are minimilistic covers! Having one focal point to draw in the eye, and only using 2 or 3 colors just works for me in any genre since in order the books listed are a fantasy, a YA contemporary, a poetry collection, and a romance. Although technically Red, White, & Royal Blue might fit best in the next category, so let’s talk about the next type of covers that I love!

Pretty Typography

I know some people might disagree, but I happen to love it when a book features the typography alone! I find these kinds of covers to be so striking! Plus, there’s usually some sort of playing with colors, which I adore! And I think that the font can fit a book very well, and kind of give you a taste of the writing and the story to expect! I’ve noticed that I tend to like more blocky fonts, but I have nothing against a more swirly font every once in a while, as long as the title is still easily legible.

Books I Love With Covers I Dislike

Now we come to the covers I dislike. Now to be clear, these are all books that I love and would definitely recommend! I just don’t like the aesthetics! There are two things that stand out to me that most of these books have in common. For one thing, the colors are very muted. Whereas my favorite covers had bold, bright colors, these books have more dull color palettes. Another thing these books have in common is the blurriness or lack of focus. I love illustrated covers because I find that the clean lines draw me into the cover. When I can’t easily make out what I’m looking at, I don’t find the cover to be that appealing!

Upcoming Releases With Pretty Covers

Remember when I mentioned that I loved Alex Cabal’s work? Well A Pho Love Story was also one of their creations! Once again, I love the colors used, the little details, and the mix of fonts that make the title stand out! One of the things that I particularly love is how most of the cover is this soft lavender, while the detailed characters have these darker reds and greens and blacks. All that contrasted with the white font just really works for me!

As for Honey Girl, the cover immediately grabbed my attention, which led to me reading the synopsis and deciding I need this book in my life ASAP! The fall tones are just beautiful, and although the picture looks very simplistic at first glance, the illustrator, Poppy Magda, did an amazing job of adding in these wonderful little details that show you show complex the cover actually is!

Then I just had to include A Rogue of One’s Own, which is probably going to be a cover read, and very possibly a cover buy. Now I read Bringing Down the Duke last year, and really enjoyed it, so you’d think it would be obvious that I’d read the next book. But we already met the love interest in book one, and I wasn’t the biggest fan, so I was on the fence about whether I wanted to read this book. But then I saw the cover, and suddenly my interest was piqued! And the more I stared at the beautiful blue background and the bright colors of the characters, and the lovely font, the more I was convinced that I needed to read this book! So it definitely had to get a shout out in this section!

Fangs is another graphic novel, but I just adore this cover so much that I had to mention it! It’s combines my love of bright colors and striking images just so well! Sarah Anderson is the author of Adulthood is a Myth, which I love, and combined with the cover art, I just know that I’m going to adore this story when it comes out next week!

So there you have it! The things I look for in a book cover are bright colors, something bold, and a pretty font! And if something is illustrated, there’s a 99% chance I adore it!

Now this post could have been a whole lot longer had I included covers I loved but books that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend. It would have been longer if I hadn’t made categories and instead just showed random books that I enjoyed and talked about what I loved about each one in particular. But I think this post is long enough without those additions. And the good news is that if you like this post, it’s possible that I’ll do a follow up with some more variety in the future!

Do we share any similarities in the kinds of covers we like? Which cover that I mentioned is your favorite? Do you prefer bright covers, or more muted tones?


36 thoughts on “My Favorite Kinds of Cover Designs

    1. Yesss! Pretty typography is the best! And it’s funny, because All-American Muslim Girl isn’t one of my favorites, like most of the other books I mentioned are, but I still had to include it because of how amazing that cover is!

      And bright colors, just make me so happy in general. So when you combine the happiness that i get from books with the happiness I get from bright colors on a cover, there’s just an excessive amount of happiness to go around!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am also a fan of simple covers – that Pillow Thoughts one is absolutely gorgeous! 😍 However, I absolutely hate it when there are only people on a cover. Illustrated people are a little better than pictures of people, but I still don’t like covers such as Kiss Number 8’s, for example 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simple covers over crowded covers any day! Although one of my favorite things is when a cover looks simple, but when you take a closer look, it’s actually quite intricate and there are lots of details to uncover! And yes, the cover was what drew me to Pillow Thoughts in the first place, and I’m so happy that it did, because I’m reading it now and loving it!

      So for me people on the cover are hit or miss. I can’t think of many covers with real people on them that I like, but there probably are a few that I think are just adorable. But it’s way more likely that I fall in love with an illustrated person on the cover, although it really depends on the art style and the colors, as those are the things that I care about the most in terms of cover art, no matter the image!

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  2. I love bright and illustrated covers, there’s some super pretty ones on here. Typography is really nice too! Cinderella is Dead (UK edition) is my most recent favourite. The prettiest cover I’ve ever seen is State of Sorrow, I stumbled across it in a bookstore once and I was blown away. I’ve never actually read it, but it’s gorgeous!

    Honey Girl and A Pho Love Story just leaped onto my TBR. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Honey Girl before. When I used to read fanfiction the “married a stranger in Vegas” trope was a favourite of mine, so I’m now very excited for a book on it. Especially when it’s F/F!

    I’d love to see more versions of this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the covers I chose! I think you mentioned all the key words I was trying to get across! Bright, illustrated, and beautiful typography are the only three things I need in order to adore a cover!

      Cinderella Is Dead is really pretty (in both editions, honestly) but it wasn’t one of my personal favorites, and I haven’t read it yet, so it didn’t make it onto this list! And I just had to look up State of Sorrow, because I hadn’t heard of that book before! The cover is super mesmerizing, and definitely makes me curious to learn more about what the book is about and how that cover represents the story!

      Yay! I saw both books randomly as well! I really hope they start getting more hype soon because they both sound absolutely fantastic! I really hope Honey Girl is everything you love and more because it sounds perfect for you!

      And that makes me so happy to hear! 💕 Hopefully I’ll have a follow up post within the next few months!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My fave types of book covers are definitely pretty illustrated ones. And also pretty typography too, especially because I love all forms of lettering and those sorts of graphics you see on Pinterest and Instagram.
    The worst covers for me though are the ones with real people! Think 2012-2014 dystopian. Not for me haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesssss! Illustrated covers are the absolute best! And I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy, so maybe that plays into my love for typography in general! I just think that it’s so interesting how different fonts can so easily express a sort of feeling, beyond what the words themselves say.

      And I totally agree! The blurry, dark toned covers, with a person standing dramatically in the center haunts me to this day! I’m so glad that a lot of those series got re-designed covers, and that covers with real people on them are now a lot prettier, even if they still aren’t my fave!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have good taste in covers! I like covers with strong colors that stand out. I prefer covers that don’t have people on them (although obviously there’s something to be said for POC on covers), but if the cover does have people, I DEFINITELY prefer for the cover to be illustrated rather than a photo. Which isn’t to say that every cover with real people is bad, but…*early 2000s flashbacks*

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    1. Why, thank you! Yes! Bright and bold colors just catch my eye and demand my attention!

      And I don’t mind people on the cover that much in more recent years, although I agree that the early 2000’s was not a great time for people on the cover. Now though, I find that covers tend to be brighter and less blurry and gloomy when there are people on the cover, which makes a big difference in the overall design! But there’s something about illustrated people on covers that I just love! I don’t know what exactly it is, but whatever it is just works for me! And the increase of POC on covers in general, whether it’s illustrated by a POC illustrator, or there’s a real POC person on the cover makes me so very happy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m so excited to read Fangs in a few days!

      And I haven’t seen those books talked about much online either! But it’s such a fantastic series that I try to talk about it every once in a while in the hopes that someone might pick it up and discover how amazing those books are!


  5. I do not like book covers with actual people on them, haha. A book I like very much, The Kiss of Deception, has a cover which I’d like to change if I could. I also seem to like book covers with red, black, white, gold and silver colours. The combination of these just looks very good in my opinion and an example would be the UK edition of Caraval. A different cover I just fell in love with is the one of Spin The Dawn! It’s beautiful. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My initial reaction was that I dislike real people on the cover as well, but taking a second to think about it, I realized that wasn’t really true. I dislike the old school real people on covers, but I’m enjoying the new displays a lot more! Books like You Should See Me In a Crown may not have my favorite cover, but I still enjoy them nonetheless!

      Oh yes! The Kiss of Deception just has a super boring cover in my opinion! But I’m curious as to what exactly you’d like changed! Do you have a particular cover design in mind instead?

      Oooooh, yes! Those colors are all beautiful and they each work so well with one another! And I feel like both the UK and US editions of Caraval both have those colors and use them so well! And I’ve seen so much cover love for Spin the Dawn, especially when it first came out! And I definitely understand why! The pose and the colors are so striking and just catch the eye!


  6. Minimalistic design, bright colours, pretty fonts and illustrations are all elements that I love for a cover!! The chance for me to check them out is definitely higher too 😉 Another thing that I love in a cover is if they use pastel colours and if there’s this intricate design with flowers or leaves like Wild Beauty and The Binding! I find myself easily attracted to this kind of cover as well.

    I love the covers you showed in this post!! And omg the cover design for A Song Below Water is the prettiest!! That plus its soft background colour and the gorgeous, detailed illustrations make me want to grab the book for the cover alone!! I like Sea Prayer’s cover too. It looks like watercolour painting which as you said created this dreamy landscape.

    This is a very fun post, Malka!! And I would LOVE it if you make part 2 for this. Please bless my eyes with all these beautiful covers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Those are exactly the elements I love in covers as well, and exactly what I tried to highlight in this post! Oooooh, yes! Flowers are a big win for me as well! Of course, I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I know that there are many covers out there that drew me in by having summery, beautiful flowers all over the cover!

      Thank you! 💕 Yes! A Song Below Water has a beautiful cover, but I haven’t read it yet, so I couldn’t feature it on this list! But I think it’s okay because I got to feature two other covers by the same illustrator! And Sea Prayer definitely has a dreamy cover! I get that feeling a lot from watercolor paintings, but this cover especially feels especially whimsical.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed! I’m now hoping to write a similar post in the next few months! But this kind of post takes quite a bit of time, and I just started the fall semester, so hopefully that doesn’t get in the way of my creating a part 2!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeayy!! It would be great to see the second part of this post. And don’t worry, I get that people are getting busy back again after the whole lockdown thing and I’m definitely one of those people 😆 So, it’s okay if the post’s late!!

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  7. Loved reading this post so much, always a pleasure to have these STUNNING COVERS bless my eyes. Felix YESSS SO PRETTY. Still need to read that one. I hadn’t heard of Kiss Number 8 before nowe but I’m def going to try get my hands on it because it is so pretty eeepp. I am definitely with you on typography, I’m always amazed at how cover designers even find some of those pretty fonts sometimes

    A Pho Love Story has such an adorable cover omg. And Honey Girl too. I love her hair sm. Also I think I just prefer bright covers, they can have any designs but I just love colourful covers!!

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    1. Awww, Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed! 💕 I was more than happy to share a post filled with beautiful covers to brighten someone’s day!

      Felix is just gorgeous! And having read it this month I can vouch that the story is just as great! And, yes! Kiss Number 8 is so underrated, and it makes me sad because I enjoyed that book a lot! I really hope you pick it up! (Let me know if you do!) And I’m always in awe that there are so many variety of fonts to choose from! I’m actually quite jealous. My handwriting is quite bad, and I’d love to learn calligraphy and to perfect the way I write various letters!

      Even though I haven’t read the books yet, I somehow feel like A Pho Love Story and Honey Girl both have covers that match the book. Of course, I can’t verify that feeling for another few months, but every time I look at those covers I get excited all over again about getting the chance to read them sometime in the near future!

      And bright covers are such a fantastic way to capture the eye! I fully agree with you! The more striking the colors on a cover, the more likely I am to take a second look!

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  8. Oooh you have good taste in covers! I really love the minimalism of Pillow Thoughts, and the bold and colorful of Kiss Number 8! Totally agree with you on the ones you dislike, especially those covers like Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, they’re just lazy. I remember when almost ALL YA covers were like that, skinny white boy/girl/boy + girl. It was so boring. Now most are pure works of art 🙂

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    1. Why thank you! 💕 The cover was what initially drew me in to Pillow Thoughts! I had never heard of it before, but I saw it in a book store and immediately knew I had to buy it! And Kiss Number 8 has those fantastic splashes of yellow that always draw my eye!

      And yes! It’s not that I hate the cover for Amy & Roger, but there’s just nothing special about it! Like you said, it was a typical YA cover a few years ago and it just doesn’t have a spark! Nowadays all the covers seem to be outdoing themselves in terms of the amount of talent that each cover manages to display!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love so many of the covers that you talk about! Covers are so important (I often partly choose books based on their covers to be honest). I love covers with colors and typography can be really cool. Such a great post🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m so glad! Covers are definitely important! I think that a lot of people judge books by their covers, whether they intend to or not! (In fact, I wrote a whole post about this!) But that makes sense, because that’s literally the purpose of a cover! It helps give you context clues about whether or not a book will be right for you! Otherwise all books would just have the title on a plain background in a boring font! But they don’t! Because like you said, cover and typography can be really cool and can draw you into a book!

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this! As you know (and thanks for the shoutout!) I am a HUGE fan of discussing and dissecting book covers! And I feel like we have very similar tastes, as I also like all the ones you like, and also DISlike the ones you dislike, and for the same reasons. I love bright, and I love sharp- I don’t think I realized it until right now reading your post though, but you are spot on! The blurriness really bugs me! I know some people love it (a watercolor sort of aesthetic I suppose) but nah, hard pass for me! Also you reminded me that I am WAY overdue for a new covers post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think it’s so much fun to dissect book covers, probably because I love dissecting everything! (That sounds weird. I meant that in philosophical ways, not creepy ways!) I agree that we have very similar tastes, especially since I normally love the pretty covers you include in your wrap up, at the very end just to bless our eyes!

      Sharpness is so important to me! Maybe it’s because I have terrible vision, and so I just feel like I have my glasses off when a cover is blurred, but having clean, defined lines just makes me so happy! There are very few cases that I’ll make an exception, but it has been known to happen! (Like with Sea Prayer, for example!)

      And I would, love, love, love to see a new covers post! They always make me laugh! And question certain the taste of certain cover designers from various countries!


    1. Thanks, Stephen! And Felix Ever After and Middlegame were some of my immediate choices, because when I thought of covers that I was drawn to, those were the ones that came to mind! And I love intricate patterns, but I don’t like to feel overwhelmed. I feel like in my follow up post I’ll probably mention a few books with more detailed artwork though, so it will be fun searching around for those and getting to see all those beautifully designed covers! And I just looked up Stacey Halls’ books and I adore the covers! I definitely understand what you mean!

      Also, thank you so much for the tag! I saw it, but I haven’t been blog hopping recently, since I’ve been overwhelmed with school and just life in general so I haven’t had time to respond yet! (I barely have the time to respond to comments!) 🙈 But I’m very excited to see what the tag is all about, and to start working on what my own answers will be!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That’s what I feel as well! Since showing covers I like only gives half the picture, including the books with covers I dislike helps fill in the gaps, and give a much clearer view of what aesthetics I enjoy!

      And I’d love to see a post with covers you didn’t enjoy! I always find it so interesting to learn what works and doesn’t work for other bloggers in terms of cover design, which is part of the reason why I wrote this post in the first place!


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