World Book Day – 11 creative book cover designs

* 2 min read

Each bookshop holds thousands, maybe tens of thousands of books. But what makes a customer pick one up and look and inside? More often than not, it’s the cover design that grabs our attention.

The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is rarely followed. And this is no bad thing. If the content inside doesn’t capture our imagination we’ll simply put it back down. However, it works the other way too. Indulging the powerful draw of bold, striking design can also lead to the discovery of our next favourite book.

This is a phenomenon closely allied with packaging design. Branding and packaging operate in the same way as cover art, as the final and most significant call to action in our decision to buy.

New and old, award-winners and unsung heroes, we've assembled some of our favourite design-led book covers for you to enjoy below all in celebration of World Book Day.

The Musical Brain by Cesar Aira - Designed by Rodrigo Corral and Zak Tebbal


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plaith - designed by Shirley Tucker

thebelljar min

All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen & Jory - Designed by Avery Monsen


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - Designed by David Pelham


1984 by George Orwell - Designed by David Pearson

1984 book cover min

Was Post Digital Better? Written and designed by Martin Conrads & Franziska Morlok


Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offil - Designed by Gray 318


Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus - Designed by Peter Mendelsund

LeavingTheSea3 min

A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design - Written and Designed by Chip Kidd


The Odyssey by Homer - Designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - Designed by Keith Hayes