Break the rules -judge a book by its cover!
As the old saying goes, it's what's on the inside that counts. But when it come to books, that's no excuse to neglect outward appearances. A fantastic cover design is one that would catch your attention from even the darkest, dustiest corner of a bookshop -not just because it's pretty, but because it elegantly incapsulates what its contents explores.
We've collected 6 of the best designs for your viewing pleasure -some of which are available to buy, whilst others have been dreamt up by some very talented artists. Click on the cover that grabs your attention for more info.
1. 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury
The first cover on our list is nothing short of genius. Those familiar with Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel will know that it is set in a world where books are banned. In this society, firefighters are employed not to put out fires but are ironically tasked with starting them, to get rid of any illegal books hidden away (the title, 'Fahrenheit 451', refers to the temperature at which paper burns). In keeping with this theme of censorship, artist Elizabeth Perez has designed this brilliant cover that you can actually burn -its spine is made of matchbox material, and it comes with a handy match included (in case the fire brigade ever come knocking at your door). Unfortunately, it's not actually available to buy, but you can check out more of the artist's work here.
Fun fact: In the 1953, Ballatine released a limited edition of the book that was actually unburnable. To achieve this, the book was bound in an asbestos materal -a very nasty substance that we now know can cause numerous health problems. Perhaps books really are dangerous...
2. 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath's 1963 novel 'The Bell Jar' explores the fragile nature of identity through a young woman's descent into mental illness. This striking concentric circle design is a great relection of the life that is spiralling out of control within its pages.
3. 'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell
This gorgeous copy of 'Black Beauty' makes the perfect gift for any craft-lover. The picture doesn't quite do the real thing justice, but instead of the usual, boring old printed cover, this one has been hand-stitched with a needle and thread to create a tactile reading experience. You'd never get that with a Kindle, eh?
4. 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' by George Orwell
This cover might seem unremarkable; impractical, even -considering you can barely make out the title or author. However, for those familiar with the plot of Orwell's dystopian novel, it's genius. 1984 is set in an extremely oppressive society, where the government attempts to control every aspect of its citizens' lives, including their thoughts. Concealing the text on the cover powerfully evokes
5. 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' by Dave Eggers
Yep, that second image is meant to be upside-down! This one is a bit of a cheat, as it's the book design as a whole that caught our eye, rather than just the cover. The first image is the fairly-standard cover of the book, a memoir exploring the author's mishaps parenting his much younger brother following the deaths of their parents. But the turn book over, flip it around and there's a whole other hidden section looking back over the book.
6. 'The Wild Things' by Dave Eggers
Another Eggers title! 'The Wild Things' is a more complex take childhood favourite 'Where the Wild Things Are' -exploring alienation, responsiblity and of course fantasy. We love this beastly, furry cover -mostly because it reminds us of 'The Monster Book of Monsters'-ouch!
7. 'Frankenstein' -Mary Shelley
The sterile, carefully arranged surgical equipment gracing this new cover of Mary Shelley iconic Gothic novel subtly points towards the grotesque butchery involved in creating the monster. It's enough to put you off your dinner!
8. 'Dracula' -Bram Stoker
Finally, archetypal vampire novel 'Dracula' is given a minimalist cover that speaks volumes. The snow-white background is tainted by two tiny drops of blood representing the corruption of innocence, death and of course, the vampire's fatal kiss.
What's your favourite book cover? Have you ever had a go at designing your own? Give us some inspiration in the comments!