The Best Book Cover Designs of 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by Shaun Hensher 85 Comments

It’s that time of year again! Time to showcase the best book cover designs of the year. If you missed last year’s list, check it out here: The Best Book Cover Designs of 2010.

Once again, I’ve sorted through thousands of new books to find the gems for you. 2011 has turned out to be a pretty darn good year for book design. The themes of the year seem to be great art, understated typography, the return of white space, and unique materials/binding/packaging.

Enjoy!

At the request of my readers, I’ve tried to include the designer credits where possible. If you know who designed any of the unknowns, please drop me a line with the info.

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland cover

Designer: Paul Sahre

Best book covers : An Object of Beauty

Designer: Darren Booth

Zombie Autopsies cover design

Designer: Catherine Casalino

Chicks with Guns

Designer: Bob Aufuldish

Wild Abandon cover art

Designer: Unknown

Perfect cover design

Designer: Unknown

Why Be Happy book cover

Designer: Unknown

When She Woke cover

Designers: Anne Winslow and Keith Hayes

The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks cover design

Designer: Unknown

The Uncoupling book cover design

Designer: Unknown

In Other Worlds cover design

Designer: Unknown

Tinkers book cover design

Designer: Bernard Schleifer

B book cover

Designer: Alex Miles Younger

This Time is Different cover design

Designer: Unknown

The Woman Who Swallowed Her Cat book cover

Designer: Unknown

Amerika cover design

Designer: Peter Mendelsund

The Visible Man book cover design

Designer: Paul Sahre

The Free World cover design

Designer: Unknown

The Sense of an Ending book cover design

Designer: Suzanne Dean

The Leftovers cover design

Designer: Rob Grom

Best cover designs : THE DISAPPEARING SPOON

Designer: Unknown

Sugar Nation cover

Designer: Unknown

The Sisters Brothers cover art

Designer: Suet Yee Chong

Best cover designs : Science Ink

Designer: Unknown

Rex Murphy: Canada : great cover art

Designer: Unknown

Best book cover designs : Quitter

Designer: Unknown

Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin cover

Designer: Unknown

The Best book covers of 2011 : The Innovator's Cookbook

Designer: Helen Yentus

Love and Shame and Love cover art

Designer: Unknown

Best book covers : Once You Break a Knuckle

Designer: Unknown

Odd Bits cover

Designer: Betsy Stromberg

Best cover designs: Puppet

Designer: Unknown

Oceana cover

Designer: Paul Kepler

Best book covers 2011 : Moonwalking with Einstein

Art Director: Darren Haggar    Designer: Tal Goretsky

Life Kills book cover design

Designer: Miriam Rosenbloom

Best cover designs 2011 : Maine

Designer: Abby Weintraub

Magnetic North book cover

Designer: Unknown

The Little Shadows book cover

Designer: Unknown

A Love Letter from a Stray Moon cover design

Designer: Susan Miller

In Stitches book cover design

Designer: Unknown

I am Half-Sick of Shadows

Designer: Diane Hobbing

Half-Blood Blues

Designer: Michel Vrana

Malcolm Gladwell Collected box set design

Designer: Paul Sahre

Best book covers : Feathers

Designer: Unknown

Facing the Hunter

Designer & Illustrator: Andrew Roberts

Best book cover designs: We, the Drowned

Illustrator: Joe McLaren    Designer: Susanne Dean

Breadcrumbs cover art

Designer: Unknown

Blood, Bones and Butter

Designer: Unknown

August

Illustrator: Guy Shield    Designer: WH Chong

A Strange Wilderness cover

Designer: Jeff Miller

Apricot Jam and Other Stories

Designer: Natalya Balnova

And So It Goes cover

Designer: Unknown

Amazing Absorbing Boy

Art Director: Jennifer Lum    Illustrator: Michael Cho

1Q84 hardcover design

Designer: Chip Kidd

So there you have it. All the best of book cover design 2011 has to offer. So what are your thoughts?
Do you have a favorite? Are there any that aren’t on this list that you think should be? Sound off in the comments.

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85 Responses

  1. Alan Taylor says:

    Could you tell me where these covers are chosen from and who chooses them please?

  2. Rebecca Evans says:

    I had not seen the cover for “Perfect” before. It is wonderful. Do you have design credits for these covers?

  3. mark toce says:

    Thanks for bringing all of these together, some really great stuff. Even if they stop printing books they will still need designers for the cover of the PDF!

  4. Boyd Lemon
    Twitter:
    says:

    Very interesting. Thank you so much for doing this, Shaun.

  5. Your choices are spot on. As a book designer I can tell that some were probably technically difficult, and some were simple to execute, but all of them exhibit a creative burst of excellence in design! Thanks for putting it together for the rest of us to enjoy.

  6. Wim says:

    Nice posting. I’ve done CD jackets but we recently had a bash at designing a book cover, needs a completely different mindset. Thanks for posting these covers.

  7. justin says:

    Fantastic list, amazing covers (and picks!), but isn’t the August book upside down?

  8. Hi Shaun,
    I don’t have any background in design but I can see that you have a great collection here.

    My favorites are: The Innovator’s Cookbook, Oceana, The Visible Man, The Leftovers, and The Sisters Brothers. They just somehow made an impression on me.

    A feast for the eyes, thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!
    Theresa Torres recently posted..Happy Holidays: Holiday Season in AmericaMy Profile

  9. Thor says:

    This is an excellent list!

    I purchased Other Parts and When You Break A Knuckle, and I can say that these two books are absolutely awesome to read, aside from having one of the best covers out there.

    I’d recommend other parts to anyone who loves cooking. I never knew how much money I could save and still get good quality meat… as long as you know how to cook it!
    Thor recently posted..Battery trouble? Keep your vehicle starting in Colorado winter conditions with these tips.My Profile

  10. Ruth Sayson says:

    I have a copy of the book “When She Woke Up” I bought it, because I love the cover and the novel itself. You surely have a beautiful collection of book cover Shaun.
    Ruth Sayson recently posted..5 Fixed Blade Hunting Knives Everyone Should OwnMy Profile

  11. Michael
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great idea for a post and good selections too. Personally I don’t like the “Perfect” cover, just found it a little hard to read.
    Michael recently posted..Gobble and Go, AdelaideMy Profile

  12. Jay says:

    Hi Shaun,

    I love the artwork on display here, I know the old phrase “you should never judge a book by it’s cover” is true, but we all do.

    My favorite is The Zombie Autopsies :D
    Jay recently posted..Protected: Bonus DownloadsMy Profile

  13. Great Book cover designs, the designs are unique. When it comes in choosing a book to read, I actually don’t particular the designs I actually more particular the titles and the interesting contents of that book.

  14. Jesper says:

    I got Murakami’s 1Q84 and was just actually just about to suggest adding it to the list when … there it was, last in your picks ;-) A flat JPG doesn’t do it justice though, one has to actually see the actual jacket in order to appreciate it’s design. Nice list I love looking at book cover and have to admit that I’m very guilty of judging books by it’s cover as most of my books are bought that way.

  15. […] year. Flavorwire put together a selection, and so did Publishers Weekly. However, this one from Hensher Creative is especially comprehensive, even if they’ve included at least one that predates 2011 (Paul […]

  16. […] of book designs that are rated highly in terms of excellent design from 2011, which can be found at Hensher Creative. Well worth a look, especially for new and innovative […]

  17. Alex Cortez
    Twitter:
    says:

    Funny, my wife has a copy of ‘Odd Bits’, I think it definitely deserves to be on your list. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Farrell says:

    I like the innovator’s cookbook design. The image tricks your eyes that you are a looking at a three dimensional image and tells many of the things you can expect inside. I also like the compass image. It’s like the first one i mentioned.
    Farrell recently posted..The Year to Improve EyesightMy Profile

  19. Rich says:

    Other Parts is one of the best books published after 2010.

    I never knew how much money I could save when you use parts of the animal that are normally seen as “bad”. However, the proof is in the book, if you know how to cook it, there is no problem!

  20. Pete says:

    That crinkled paper effect on Quitter is a huge conversation starter in my house. The book sits on my coffee table, where we do a lot of informal meetings with my clients.

    The idea of a lawyer having a book called quitter is a fun thing to explain.

  21. Superb list! “Perfect” would have to be one of my favorites from your list. I had not seen your 2010 list either. That’s quite a good list as well.

    Cheers!
    Jennifer MacKay recently posted..Panama City Beach | Duplex for saleMy Profile

  22. Amit Shaw says:

    Wow its Really amazing collection. Superb list. Odd bits is little bit odd ;). Thanks for sharing this.
    Amit Shaw recently posted..How to Move Your WordPress Blog to a New Web HostMy Profile

  23. Alex says:

    one word to say: perfect! these book covers only may consider masterpieces!
    Alex recently posted..Celebrity Photo HuntMy Profile

  24. Rob Thomson
    Twitter:
    says:

    You’ve picked some really interesting choices. I like them. I know I shouldn’t but I often judge a book by its cover when selecting one to read.
    Rob Thomson recently posted..FHA Bridal Registry – Little-known Program for the NewlywedsMy Profile

  25. pajekplus says:

    Titles are the ones who pull the reader into the book and covers are just ornaments. But yes, they are some great cover in the list well to comment it.

    “I like the last on left” simple.

    • I disagree. Book covers are a great deal more than ornaments. The cover sets the mood for the book and creates an emotional expectation in the viewer. A good book cover contains meaningful symbolism and can give the viewer an immediate sense of what it will be like to read the book.
      Shaun Hensher recently posted..Graphic Design PortfolioMy Profile

      • pajekplus says:

        No. How many times I saw book covers where nothing and I mean nothing associate with content of the book.
        Sorry, to many times. So just another good design. And it should be and I love it.

  26. Daniel says:

    designers not credited makes this an incomplete post but, several of the selections are nice.

  27. Amit says:

    That’s really huge and nice collection ..Thanks for sharing
    Amit recently posted..Effective tips to get traffic to your blogMy Profile

  28. Susan Miller says:

    Hi Shaun

    I have just stumbled upon this list and was thrilled to see a cover I designed for Text Publishing (A Love Letter from a Stray Moon) and also one by my colleague WH Chong (August).

    Thanks

  29. Shahid says:

    What a great list of the cover. Thanks for this and i like the Miriam Rosenbloom design, awesome management of text and it covers the lot of information in there.
    Shahid recently posted..PlayBook OS 2.0 AnnouncedMy Profile

  30. Adam Wahler
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great work. Made the comps for more than half the jackets shown. Seeing the ideas helps sell the ideas.

  31. Farrel says:

    I love the tinkers. This cover is simple but the impact is great. By just looking on it you will capture the attention of your readers. Thanks for putting all together.
    Farrel recently posted..XHTML Special CharactersMy Profile

  32. Kulwant Nagi says:

    Amazing Collection and Creativity… Book covers says a lot of words and its the best way to attract more readers..
    Kulwant Nagi recently posted..How to effectively use Email Marketing without spammingMy Profile

  33. abhinav says:

    Great post.All pics collection are so nice. thanks for sharing wonderful post.
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  34. Margarita says:

    My favorites are Tinkers and Perfect. I admire simplicity. It conveys clarity and peace. The cover for books is like the dressing code for people. It communicates the content within. Thanks.

  35. abhinav says:

    Really great list you share with us.I love this list so much.thank you so much for sharing this post.
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  36. Chris says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am just in the process of putting the finishing touches to an historical novel I have written. (The product of three long years!). I am on the hunt for a skilled graphic designer to do the work justice and provide a nice, eye catching cover.

    If you want to offer your services, or you have any leads which may help me, I would be delighted to hear from you.

    Drop me a mail at phileasfrogvi (at) gmail (dot) (com)

    Chris

  37. Jack Sander says:

    Really great collection of covers. Book covers says a lot about its content, therefore designers have to use their creativity to highlight its essence in an image.
    Jack Sander recently posted..How to bend drywallMy Profile

  38. Balu says:

    These covers are really wonderful and perfect, thanks for sharing.

  39. Blair Orlens
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great idea for a post and good selections too. Personally I really like the “Perfect” cover,Thank you for sharing.

  40. Elena Anne says:

    Wow really cool covers. That gives me good ideas if I ever want to write a book. No matter what they say people do judge a book by its cover so you better make it a good one.
    Elena Anne recently posted..How to Treat and Prevent Muscle CrampsMy Profile

  41. [No Name] says:

    Really a great book covers shared by you but in my view the best cover is the brother and sister one awesome cover design really a nice work done by it ..:)

  42. Elena Anne says:

    I especially love the “Chicks with Guns” cover. I love the creativity and artistic style. The cover for “Perfect” is also amazing, I love the beautiful paintwork. These are all amazing, I would love to read them all! :)
    Thanks for posting this
    Elena Anne recently posted..Collagen Production SuperfoodsMy Profile

  43. Sara says:

    I really just love the cover of books. I like how they look smell and all that. I know with new digital books it is supposed to be the same but there is something about a good book. This is making me want to read.
    Sara recently posted..The Best Climbing Plants For Wooden ArborsMy Profile

  44. Rick says:

    Hi,

    Awesome list of the covers. Thanks for this and i like the Miriam Rosenbloom design, awesome management of font and it covers the lot of information in there..!

    Thanks,
    Rick @ Berlin.

  45. Rob William says:

    These are really a very nice collection of cover with innovative ideas and attractive designs as well. i am really impressed with it.

  46. -daniel says:

    Tinkers’ cover was designed by Bernard Schleifer

  47. Advin says:

    These are very attractive book cover designing. Thanks for sharing different book cover designs and posters.

  48. Great book cover collection. As for me, sometimes book covers are big contributors to make a book sell, not unless if the author is overly famous of course.

  49. jenni | mambo templates says:

    Great collection of covers , really amazing ..thanks for sharing
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  50. neha says:

    Hi Really Its amazing book cover collection. As a book designer I can tell that some were probably technically difficult, and some were simple to execute and really its mi favorite Design.Anyways thank for sharing of book cover collection.
    neha recently posted..Grade 10 – Science and Math ComboMy Profile

  51. Shane says:

    WOW! Very nice covers! I like the Quitter cover and August! These are all very entertaining to look at. Thanks for posting this! I’m having a closer look after I post this comment.
    Shane recently posted..Cirebon FM 89.2 Indonesia Radio OnlineMy Profile

  52. jawad zaib
    Twitter:
    says:

    i am not planning to write a book yet but i saved your information on my PC in case in the future i need a cover by the way its a great post and awesome selection thanks for this great post and keep up the good work…
    jawad zaib recently posted..Panasonic Toughbook SX2My Profile

  53. Mary Jacobson
    Twitter:
    says:

    I find the “Disappearing Spoon” really intriguing to my ears..Looks like there’s something beneath the cover.

  54. Jerry | parakeet for sale says:

    I enjoyed to these book cover designs. I like a lot “Perfect” cover design and “The Leftovers” by Tom Perrotta. Nice collection!
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  55. Avni says:

    Dear Admin,

    I visited on your blog “The Best Book Cover Designs of 2011″ from google, Actually i am doing a research work on “Book Covers & Magzines Covers”, i really found your article useful for my research project. As i was looking for more related articles on your blog but couldnt find anymore of it. Hope i ll get them in few days…I will keep following your blog till then..!!

    Regards
    Avni

  56. Jerry says:

    I would like to know how much you design book covers, please.
    Thanks

  57. Chris | Pinterest
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am half-sick shadows, I like it. The creativity and idea is simply amazing. Those designs are really great, nice share.

  58. Kent Morris says:

    Hello,
    ‘Thanks for bringing all of these together, some really great stuff. Even if they stop printing books they will still need designers for the cover of the PDF!
    Thank you
    Kent Morris recently posted..Legal Buds Efficiently Combat FatigueMy Profile

  59. […] found the covers in The Best Book Cover Design of 2011 at Henser Creative and in The Book Cover […]

  60. […] las tapas en Henser Creative y en The Book Cover […]

  61. marinacarlos9
    Twitter:
    says:

    choosing the right cover design for a book is a very essentiel thing.It is important to choose the right cover design.It is known that anyone wants to buy a book ,he or she will choose the one who attracts him or her.the latter besides the title of the book of course.so , the cover design and the title are very essentiel for the successful of a book.

  62. Vikram
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey, all the covers are really very nice. Some are really awesome and i have saved some of them and i will use them as wallpaper of my computer. Thanks for sharing these beautiful covers.
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  63. nabil | référencement maroc says:

    The right Designs of any book plays a greta role in the success of any book.That’s to say , the more qualified the cover of any book , the more successful will be.I love the above covers.They are so interesting.They give the desire to read those books , especially the novel “when she woke”.

  64. robert | Topographie beni mellal says:

    I really like most of the above DESIGN covers.They are expressive and interesting.I Love them all.The appropriate design will give the book a successful selling.

  65. the above designs are awesome and same as i expected thanks for the share

  66. I like the cover of the sisters brother, thanks for sharing the awesome collection of cool Book covers Designs!
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  67. Rana Irfan says:

    wow great collection of Best Book cover. Very very nice cover it is. Thanks for sharing such nice king of post here.
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  68. Tom Frankel says:

    It’s 2013 and these designs are still some of the best i’ve seen!

  69. Super books :)I read most of them.

  70. Akash
    Twitter:
    says:

    Awesome book cover pages collection… Sure i inspired..
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  71. A good book cover makes a big difference in setting the right mood for what is inside.

  72. Ginna james says:

    I my opinion half blood is the best book which had a great exterior look

  73. Great designs. But how about for 2014 and/or 2015?
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