Getting a little obsessed with book covers, it’s time to admire some covers that dare to be different. Covers that break with the norm of mass-market, genre design. Covers that aren’t scared to be that little bit different.
Like Jodi Layne’s Expelled from Hell. This is a cover that strips it right back to title, author and a fiery vision of hell itself. The typography is a simple and understated serif font that draws the eye into the hellish inferno at the centre.
Between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, you’d think the child-wizard market was saturated. So here, Darren Shan pitches Archibold Lox and the Bridge Between Worlds with a very different half-silouette character shot over a cityscape with some magical swirly lines. It’s a bit more grown-up for the mature wizarding reader and stands apart from the usual illustration of character action and mythical creatures.
Mary Trepanier’s The Queen of Heaven’s Daughter goes for a highly stylised mythical character painting that really draws the eye with it’s striking colour palette. The elegant typography is clear even on tiny cover thumbnails.
Michelle Rene’s Manufatured Witches goes a totally different way with a quirky, dust-bowl, prairie homestead under it’s own rain cloud, surrounded by parched earth. The readable Old Western typeface with decorative swirls completes the theme. It’s a cover that tells you exactly what the genre and setting are without any cover clichés.
This last cover was an accidental find; not fantasy, not even fiction. Bipin Kuriakose’s The Unseen Wings is a collection of poems. Dark, dramatic, subtle, mysterious, intriguing. It’s amazing what a little abstract design can do. The lightweight typography proves you don’t have to use chunky, extra-extra-bold fonts all the time to be readable. It’s so good you could hang it on the wall as a cool, minimalist piece of art.