Monday, June 23, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Book Cover Trends I Like/Dislike


I'm participating in my first Top 10 Tuesday, a book blog meme created by ! It's all sorts of fun, so I'm excited. This week's theme is book cover trends. I'm choosing to break this up into two Top 5 lists, one for my favorite book cover trends, and one for the trends I absolutely hate.
Let's start with the bad:

Top 5 Trends I Hate

1. Thin White Girl with Perfect Hair
The Last ForeverThe Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

Listen, everyone is self-conscious. Especially young men and women in the middle school to college age range. And we really don't need another source of media telling us how we are supposed to look, or telling us that happy endings happen only to beautiful people. I'm not saying it's a crime to be beautiful; I'm saying that book covers like these, and many of the ones also pictured below in other categories, tend to make readers feel excluded. And we really don't need any more of that in the world. And note to publishers: Just because you don't show the face does not mean that it is not exclusive! Also, the backs of heads are not that interesting.

2. Dramatic Ball Gown
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)The Elite (The Selection, #2)

LOOK AT MY LONG DRESS AND FORLORN FACIAL EXPRESSION! I think this trend is finally on it's way to dying out. These types of covers just strike me as incredibly cheesy and unnecessary, and I think the publishing world is starting to get the message that no one likes them.

3. Dat Kitchen Object Tho
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking SchoolA Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

These covers bore me to no end. I don't care if it's a book about food. There are so many more interesting and dynamic ways to convey this theme. I don't think publishers give the masses enough credit; if more cover designers thought more artistically and less literally, I think we'd all get a lot more enjoyment out of book covers. (Keep reading to see the Top 5 Trends I Like for peeps doing book covers right!)

4. Foot Fetish
Honey, Baby, SweetheartIt Happened One Wedding (FBI / US Attorney, #5)

Why are there so many feet and shoes in the book world? I just don't understand. And a general theme you'll see in all my dislikes: I wish we used more graphic design, original artwork, illustration, and thoughtful photography on book covers, rather than this generic photography that we see so much.

5. Romantic Embrace of Two Perfect Humans
    (See also: Thin White Girl with Perfect Hair)
He + SheBiggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)

Again, this is just so exclusive, not to mention cheesy and not that interesting (Ouch, I am on a roll). I think as readers we are all capable of imagining what characters look like. In fact, imagining the people and the setting of a book is one of the greatest things about reading; each reader brings their own perspective and imagination to the process. Publishers, please don't take that away from us, and especially don't make us feel like crap about ourselves in the process. Thanks, Love ya

And now, drum roll please:

Top 5 Trends I Love

1. Typography
This is Where I Leave YouThe Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Who doesn't love a great font? Especially book people. We love words, and love them more when they're pretty or interesting. I love this trend and hope it continues to evolve.

2. Creative Illustration/Artwork
The Patron Saint of UglyThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

These two covers are great examples of illustration and art meeting book design.

3.  Bright and Colorful
The VacationersThe Interestings

Humans are attracted to bright objects. I don't know if that is scientifically true, but it sounds right. And I sure am attracted to these books that use color beautifully.

4. Artistic Rendition of an Animal

Not only do these book bring in an illustration/art element, but they feature animals! Why that draws me in, I don't know, but these covers are a success. It also doesn't hurt that they feature a great use of typography.

5. Combo Plate (Great Font, Eye-catching, These Books Have it All)

These are just two fantastic book covers. They are colorful, they use cool fonts, and they are just really well-designed and original. Kudos, book world.

Well, there you have it. The good, the bad, and the ugly of book covers. What are some of your favorites and least favorites?

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