The saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover.”, but what if the cover is just too stunning not to judge?
Cover art is a way of conveying the book’s content without words and capturing the reader’s attention.
So next time you’re standing in a bookstore mesmerized by the cover design of a book telling yourself not to judge books by their covers, ask yourself “Why the hell not?!”
Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that books with cool covers are better than others.
Frankly, the liking and disliking of books is a completely subjective matter.
Remember, covers scream to be judged!
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The first book on our list is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but we’re interested only in the cover art, which was done by Francis Cugat. F. Cugat, created the cover for The Great Gatsby before the book was finished and Fitzgerald was so enamoured that he “wrote it” into the novel.
If you have read the book, you might know where to find the incorporation of the cover’s floating eyes.
We’ll give you a hint just in case “blue and gigantic – their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose.”
This cover has a very rich history, another fun fact is that Ernest Hemingway hated it and almost didn’t read the book because of it!
Can you believe that?
We could never hate this piece of iconic artwork!
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
Our next classic piece of literature, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, has a new cover, which it received in 2008 from Penguin.
If we didn’t think big brother was watching us, well, we certainly do now!
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Brandbury
“Good writers touch life often.”
This quote by Ray Bradbury, the writer of Fahrenheit 451, can just as easily be said about cover illustration.
Joseph Mugnaini did a superb job at channeling the gist of the story with his strong representation of Fahrenheit 451.
The Cat in The Hat, Dr. Seuss
On a happier note, our next story is a true childhood classic.
The Cat in The Hat by Dr. Seuss was illustrated by none other than Dr. Seuss himself, who goes by the name of Theodor Seuss Geisel.
We have to mention here that The Cat in the Hat is not the only book of Dr. Seuss’ with illustrations that make us nostalgic. Some other noteworthy mentions are How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, and Green Eggs and Ham.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
Continuing with a book that everyone knows and loves, we give you: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!
There are many variations of covers for this particular book, but our favorite is by far the 1997 Bloomsbury Children’s Edition cover by Thomas Taylor.
It is also the most infamous of them all.
This cover gives us a blast from the past every time we see it and just makes us itch to dive back into that wondrous world of adventure battling the Dark Lord and flying broomsticks to catch the golden snitch!
8, Amy Fusselman
Next on our list of amazing cover art is on a book with a very simple title.
8 by Amy Fusselman’s cover features the number eight and two small people.
This 2007 rendition of the book’s cover art was done by Nicole Caputo and although the skin of this memoir seems far fetched at first, it becomes decidedly clear while reading.
An Ethics of Interrogation, Micheal Skerter
This simplistic cover shadows the human perception of interrogation perfectly.
Isaac Tobin, Illustrator of Michael Skerter’s science book, An Ethics of Interrogation, portrays the fear and the cold metal chair we imagine by only the illustration of a dully lit hanging light.
Sex.Lies.Murder.Fame., Lolita Files
If the title doesn’t catch your attention, the cover, illustrated by Will Staehle, certainly will! Look at this:
Nobody is Ever Missing, Catherine Lacey
The cover of Nobody is Ever Missing, designed by Charlotte Strick, is beautifully eerie with its iridescent colours ranging from its muted translucence to the boldness of the underwater.
All My Friends are Dead, Avery Monsen and Jory John
Witty, odd, and downright adorable!
All My Friends are Dead, written and illustrated by Avery Monsen and Jory John, this cartoon for adults is “the saddest funny book and the funniest sad book you’ll ever read” according to the authors.
Take a look at this confused dinosaur.
Playing for the Commandant, Suzy Zail
Forbidden love is without a doubt a fan favorite topic to read about.
Playing for the Commandant by Suzy Zail is about just that and more.
The brutality and bloodshed of World War II and also the beauty and elegance of the tunes of a piano is brilliantly conveyed by illustrator Matt Roeser.
Wolf in a White Van, John Darnielle
The mysterious cover of Wolf in a White Van by John Darnielle hints at a “strategize and survive” kind of book.
Timothy Goodman, illustrator of the cover art, certainly had an idea of how to connect the skin with the body.
Look at this intriguing piece!
In Case of Emergency, Courtney Moreno
Like The Wolf in the White Van and Nobody is Ever Missing, the cover of In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno, illustrated by Sunra Thompson, is one of the best pieces of cover art of 2014 and we can certainly see why.
On Such a Full Sea, Chang-Rae Lee
Another one of 2014’s great covers, On Such a Full Sea, written by Chang-Rae Lee and illustrated by Helen Yentus is bold and raw with its limited strokes of black paint on white canvas and the perfectly formed letters.
This list of amazing cover art is only a cracked door into what is a whole world of different types of cover art, but even this short list proves that beauty can be found anywhere, all you have to do is open your eyes and see it.
We hope you found these cover designs as stunning as we did.
Maybe you even found your next read in the process!
If you are a fellow cover art enthusiast and we left out your favorite piece, just tell us in the comment section below.
You can even share the beauty with your friends and colleagues!
Have a good one!