Readers have likely noticed that super-bright colors continue to dominate book cover design in 2022, but while evaluating all the covers she’s seen this year, BookPage’s Brand & Production Designer Meagan Vanderhill was looking for more than eye-catching colors. Good book jacket design is certainly about grabbing a reader’s attention, she explains, but it’s also about what awaits the reader who chooses to look closer.
“Draw me in, and then give me a brain puzzle,” she says. “It’s like a mystery. You’re looking at [a cover], and you’re seeing why a designer chose to do it that way.”
She narrowed down the year’s best covers to 11 show-stoppers by focusing on both elements: the bright pop that catches your attention, and then the details that await. We see juicy, vibrant colors on the covers of Bliss Montage, Body Language, The Book of Goose and Boys, Beasts & Men; layers upon layers on Ghost Town, This Is What It Sounds Like and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow; and even sweet nostalgia on Animal Joy and Search. Special attention must be paid to the very brainy cover of Bread Head and the iconic simplicity of Rabbit Hutch, the latter of which benefits from the fact that “it doesn’t have other elements that distract. It is a very confident cover: We don’t need that much; this book is so good, we know you’re going to love it.”