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15 Hidden Things People Don’t Know About Book Cover Design

by Anne Carton Tweet - in Book Cover Design

Book Cover Design

Last updated on October 29th, 2021

“Never judge a book by the cover”, goes the ancient saying. It is a pretty good and reliable piece of advice that emphasize on not to judge a book by its book cover design. However, we hate advice, and our rebellious side wants to prove it wrong. It is human tendency to challenge nature and reap the benefits of the battle.

Then again, the proverb asks us only not to judge. It never contradicts nor supports the reliability of cover. Maybe it was an attempt to make us open the second page. Nevertheless, book cover design plays a vital role in the success of the book. Does the book cover plays a psychological role in the perception of the audience?

Here Are 15 Hidden Things People Don’t Know About Book Cover Design

01. Words Can Do The Job

We are always under the assumption that pictures are more attractive than words. It does not mean that words cannot be equally engaging. The right title and appropriate placement can transform an ordinary book into a bestseller. This trend is highly followed in the non – fiction category where the audience is on a quest for knowledge and guidance.

book cover design

There Are Some Specific Guidelines To Consider When Opting For This Type Of Book Cover Design

  • The stronger the words, the better the pull
  • The background colour should complement and provide more emphasis for the words
  • The lesser the words, the better the impact

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02. White Space Is Sexy

How much white space is too much space? How do we position the image in the right place? Does the white space be always white? The answers to these questions are not standardised, and it is fantastic news for the book cover designer.

Graphic designers

The book cover design is the first contact point with the viewer, and we try to fit in as much information. Graphic designers are encouraged to experiment and find the right vibe and suspense for the book. White Space grabs the attention of the readers and makes them see the book from the author’s eyes.

03. The Single Image Can Speak For Itself

Some of the best sellers of the world have created wonders by proudly displaying an image of an everyday object. We never look twice at these objects in our day to day life. However, these objects played a vital role in pushing the sales of the books.

Single Image

A tie, ring, eye mask, chess king are some of the images which created history. The success of these book cover designs lies in the careful selection of the image based on the storyline as well strategic placement on the cover. This single image can build adequate suspense and gives the readers a sneak preview of the story behind the doors.

04. Reviews Can Make It More Exciting

Reviews can make or break a book. Although all reviews are essential for both the betterment of the author as well as the sale of the books, some reviews can change the course of the books.

Book Cover Reviews

For instance, a report in the New York Times can be flaunted in the book cover design. It emphasises the importance of the book and credibility of the author. Professional book cover designers have mastered the art of strategic placement over the years.

05. The More Mysterious It Is, The Better It Sells

Every book is a work of art so is the cover. The more mysterious the cover, the more it intrigues the reader. No predefined rule demands a complete replica of the book on the cover. The most complicated cover catches the eyes of the reader faster than the others.

Mysterious Book Cover Design

However, too much cluster can spoil the beauty of the book. The book cover designer can position an intriguing art to create the mystery look. This technique has worked for some of the best-selling books like Murder on the orient express by Agatha Christie.

06. Every Pixel Counts

Book cover design is all about creativity and innovation. But it is a highly complicated market, and the best one stands out. A bookstore or shelf contains hundreds of the same genre and some stores even have them colour coordinated.

book cover design Colors

The only way to make your pink book unique among loads of same shade pink books is to carefully craft every inch of the colour. Even a dog mark design of the top corner can make yours the most exciting book on the rack. Pay attention to every element of the book cover design and not just the primary image.

07. Simple Is Never Outdated

Book Cover designer and graphic designers are expected to be creative to be on top of their game. Creativity is never a synonym for intricate designs. Even a single stroke can convey the intended message when positioned at the right place.

Simple Cover Design

A simple and neat design can qualify as a professional book cover design when it justifies its purpose. So keep it simple as it never gets outdated.

08. The Font Matters

The title of the book and the author name is not just the dream of an individual writer. It marks the birth of new art in the literary world. Book cover makers need to utmost prudence and consideration while selecting the font.

book cover font

It could be a professional and straightforward serif, an elegant and modern sans serif or a personalised and cosy script font. The font on the cover creates the hype and sets the tone for the entire book or novel. Utilization of multiple fonts could turn fatal if positioned carelessly.

09. The Black Dot Always Stands Out

This analogy is quite old, but it also quite right. Human eyes are trained to see the black dot in the plain white sheet. However, what is considered as a flaw in the real world is seen as a novelty in the art world.

Use Black Dot

Be different and challenge yourself to create unique and exciting book cover designs. We always tend to appreciate or at least consider the distinctive design amidst the multitude of conventional tones.

10. The Protagonist

The girl with deep blue eyes or the man with the slight limp can do the much-needed magic. In some books, the characters have more substance than the plot. They make the book original and enthral the reader throughout the mystery journey.


The readers see the entire book through the eyes of the protagonist. They smile and weep along with them. It is the right of every book cover maker to utilise the main character as their muse for the design. In fact, they are conceiving a visual image to the imagination of the readers.

11. Colours Should Complement Each Other

Bright colour book cover designs do not always guarantee the success of the book. Colour plays a vital role and defines the characteristics of the book.

The colour theme is generally in synchrony with the genre of the book. It would be better to avoid multiple colours unless there is sufficient white space.

book cover design colors

If only two shades are used, make sure they complement each other, instead of overpowering the other. Some neutral background colour would be required to highlight and emphasise the image.

This could either a picture or a silhouette as elected by the book cover designer. Never choose a colour because it catches your eyes, pick the one which fits the theme.

12. Read The Book

It could be technically impossible to read all the books before designing its cover thoroughly. However, the inspiration for the book cover design is right in the book. Either skimming through the book or interacting with the author could accomplish the trick.

Read The Book

This would be more justifiable if the book cover designer understands the soul and inner meaning of the book before working on the design. Art ignites art, and the outcome would be excellent for all parties involved. It also helps the readers to connect in a much better way with the book.

13. Is The Client Always Right?

The most important rule of any business venture is ‘Don’t bite the hands that feed you’. But artists are wired to look and perceive things differently. They understand the basics and have experimented the different permutations and combinations of designs all through their lives.

Client Review

They have an idea of how designs work and most importantly where they fail. Sometimes the clients provide unrealistic plans and expectations.

It is the duty and responsibility of the book cover designer to explain the nuances of graphic designs professionally to guarantee the choicest quality product for the clientele. Never ignore your instincts as they are usually right and never deliver a design you hate.

14. It’s A Girl

Most brands utilise beautiful exotic women as the distraction or as an allure to push their product. This trend is followed irrespective of the quality of the brand. Luckily, this technique does not work on book cover designs.

book cover designs

It would be a fatal error to rely on an attractive woman to sell the book. It is true that the protagonist or the lead female character can do the much-needed justice. But there is an ocean of difference between the character and the distraction. Do justice to the book and never go for an image only for its exquisiteness.

15. Ditch The Trend

Every article and forum defines a pattern, rules and techniques to be followed in book cover design. However, none of these trends was available from Eve. They were created over the years by the trial and error method.

Ditch The Trend

A book cover designer should be ready to embrace the change as well as be bold enough to create a new trend. The industry is filled with unexplored possibilities of patterns and illustrations. So be ready to ditch the trend and be the change you envision the world to be.

Be an inspiration for future generations to come. To hire professional graphic designers for a killer book cover design, you can refer to Designhill. The site has a community of graphic designers and offers every kind of design needs.

Are You Looking for a New Graphic Designer?If Yes, Call Us on +1-855-699-2851 [times for calling 9am to 6pm EST (US)] or Register for a Free Design Consultation


Book Cover design is an art, and these hidden messages could add more value in your quest to be an artist. Thus, a book cover design plays an important role in deciding the fate of your book, so keep the above listed pints in mind when creating a book cover design and make most of it.

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Anne Carton is a small business consultant, designer and an enthusiast blogger working with Designhill, one of the fastest-growing custom design marketplace. She has authored several blogs, articles and editorials on various topics related to interactive content, concerning design, social media strategies, growth hack strategies, digital marketing and e-commerce. Facebook | Twitter

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