One of the most popular trends in Book Cover Design right now is all in the Title Treatment.
If you look at top selling eBooks (or paperback novels) right now, there is one design element or trend that stands out overall in the crowd. The letters of the book’s title seem to interact with the artwork in the background.
The above cover design for ‘The Cruel Prince‘ has a bare tree branch running through the words ‘Cruel’ and ‘Prince’ (along with a crown hanging on the branch). The title is easily readable despite intersecting with the type, and the interaction with the tree branch gives the cover depth of field. The design is not cluttered, yet the elements that are included support the genre (the crown) the reader should expect. The font is also genre appropriate and nicely styled. The tiny pop of color with the green beetle is intriguing once you notice it too. Cheers to the designer!
More examples of this design trend are as follows:
In each case with the cover images above, at least one word in the novel’s title intersects or interacts with the background. The final example, “The Woman In The Window“, I found particularly clever in its execution.
Instead of the designer choosing an image of an actual woman peering out of a window, they chose to let the title itself play the role. While the design is simple – lines and text with a layer of texture to add some grit, it is on point and effective. The potential reader has a clear idea of the overall plot despite the cover being devoid of any photos/models/scenes. That is design functioning at its best. And this was obviously designed by a professional graphic designer due to the thought process put into the design, the balanced layout and execution of the concept. These books are all mainstream published as well – but independently published books can achieve the same level of professionalism as long as the author hires an experienced and accomplished designer to create their book cover for them.
While this is a top design trend in publishing at present, it too shall pass (just as the headless woman trend did). But the bottom line and lesson to be learned (hopefully) here is simplicity sells. Do not clutter up your book cover with too many elements. Take note that none of the above cover designs contain more than one image and typography. But they are all successfully representing the pages inside and their respective genres.