I’ve just opened up my very own design shop catering to authors, so I have been studying covers A LOT in the last few months. Indie authors, and artists designing for them, really changed the cover game, flinging out the traditional, or at least incorporating traditional elements in new ways.

We’ve all seen the contemporary New Adult romance cover design trends: the shirtless, headless (or semi-headless) man; the clutch; black and white and color; the tattooed bad boy. A lot of covers incorporate a number of these elements. And they’re GORGEOUS!

But some of my favorite new adult covers don’t have any of these…they don’t even have people on the covers, or they’re not the primary focus. Colleen Hoover’s covers are stunning. Ugly Love.  Confess. Maybe Not. (the latter does have a couple, but they're cleverly masked in the title typography and it is gorgeous.)

I’m also a fan of the “single object” covers, especially objects that aren’t overused. For example, Rhonda Helms’ Scratch, about a reserved DJ, features a turntable with a vinyl record as its only image. The beautiful color and clever typography make Scratch a unique cover I can’t stop looking at!
I’m also fond of series branding, where the cover artist creates a cohesive look amongst books in the series. Of course, this has been done forever (think Harlequin and the covers for each of their lines) but I adore the unique branding in series titles I’ve seen coming out this year. The ALL THAT GLITTERS series by K.A. Linde, debuting April 21, may be my very favorite. So different, and so mesmerizing. Take a look: 

So tell me, what are some of the cover trends you’re seeing that you adore, or maybe some that you would like to see more of?

Post a Comment

  1. I keep seeing some fun and interesting graphic NA covers and I gotta say that I love them! The more the merrier :)

  2. Yes! I love the covers you highlighted. They're original and eye-catching. My brain almost shuts down when I see model covers these days because there are so stinking many of them. (Many featuring the same models in the same poses.) When I see covers heavy on symbolism and not people, it makes me automatically think there's more to the story.

    I get why so many contemporary romance covers feature couples. I do. If you aren't going to scream "this is romance" you better have a lot of faith in your cover design and blurb. And that's the other thing I love about the covers you highlighted. There is a confidence in them. They're unabashedly bucking a trend to do something cool.

  3. Great post! Some other great examples are FLAT OUT LOVE by Jessica Park and BETTER by Carey Heywood... I love the Sylvia Day covers, too... So much can be done with color and font - and then you don't have to worry about having the same model on your cover as another book...

    PS - if this comment appears four times... I've had a bit of trouble with the form this morning. Someone please delete repeats!

  4. Most NA covers I see feature neon colors (hot pink, safety green, etc) for titles. Usually over a muted-colored background to show contrast. I like the look, and I think it's become distinguished in the NA genre.


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