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What does it take to design a book cover that actually sells?

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While the main principles of book cover design generally remain the same, the small design nuances that hook your reader’s attention and compel them to pick up your literary masterpiece change with every coming year. 

Why? Because trends are constantly changing, which collectively alters our aesthetic interests and expectations.

So, a cover that sells in 2022 may look slightly different than what sold last year…and the year before that. In the true nature of trends, they tend to be on their way out once they’ve gone fully mainstream.

So, how do you stay ahead of the curve and design a book cover that keeps up in 2022?

Guide: Design a compelling book cover for 2022 

1. Start with the basics and ideas

PSA: new trends will never override the core principles of book cover design. 

You should always incorporate the basic principles of book cover design because they help build a strong and clean creative foundation. From there, you can experiment and explore as you please! 

A few principles to note:

  1. Remember to always tell your story and give your readers an idea of your theme through your book cover design. It should:
    1. Set the right tone of voice and genre.
    2. Trigger the right emotions.
    3. Draw curiosity from your readers.
    4. Never deceive with misleading imagery. 
  2. Don’t forget the back cover. This is where your prospective reader will confirm their buying decision! Make your book description pop and maybe even use a few blurbs or editorial reviews.
  3. Keep it simple. Don’t overcrowd your cover.

By keeping these core principles in mind, you can experiment with new design trends without going too far astray from industry standards.

Lost in Beirut featured by Coverkitchen in this blog post about designing strong book covers
Book cover design by COVERKITCHEN

2. Try minimalism

Minimalism isn’t new, but it has gained popularity in a number of realms from lifestyle to interior design and—you guess it—book cover design, too!  

Minimalistic design style embraces simplicity, space and eye-catching typography. It’s inherently simplistic and only includes the most necessary elements to drive a message or aesthetic forward. Minimalism is about cutting out the noise, the unnecessary, the loud and crowded—it’s bare bones and can be incredibly impactful if you’re able to draw emotion for your minimalist design. 

Take note: minimalism is usually designed around content, which makes your choice of words on the front and back cover of your book even more important.

Minimalist cover design featured by Coverkitchen, aftermath a memoir by anthony s giarratano
Book cover design by COVERKITCHEN

3. Think seriously about your typography

Typography is important because it’s the messenger for your words. Different fonts invoke a variety of different emotions, so choosing one that resonates well with your audience is important. 

A few typography trends of 2022 include large, bold, and attention grabbing fonts. Another seemingly opposite trend is using handwritten fonts. If you go with the latter and are well-versed in calligraphy, you can actually use tools to turn your own handwriting into a font. How cool is that?

Book cover designs by COVERKITCHEN

4. Test out photography

You’ve heard it before: a picture is worth a thousand words. Why not put one on your book cover? 

Photography remains one of the most popular forms of cover design for a reason. Using an original photograph can help the reader place themselves realistically in the center of your book. It can help attract attention, invoke emotion, and give the reader a more literal idea of your theme. Just make sure the photo you use is high quality!

Book cover designs by COVERKITCHEN

5. Create a collage

Collage is a perfect way to incorporate multiple design elements into your book cover while also remaining aesthetically cohesive. 

Collages—by nature—are loud and messy, and potentially distracting. So, while you’re experimenting, it’s important to not get too carried away. Try to keep to a color scheme and  incorporate elements that compliment your story rather than using misleading imagery.

Book cover designs by COVERKITCHEN


1 Comment

  • Rangaham
    Posted September 27, 2022 at 2:28 pm


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