Best Book Covers

Book covers are insanely good these days — like miniature works of art. “Often we’ll see 10 to 15 ideas for one book,” says Andy Ward, vice president and editorial director at Random House. “The covers that I love most are beautiful but also convey the idea at the heart of the book. That’s really hard to do. When designers get that right, it’s magic.” Here are a few of our favorites over the last couple years…

Best Book Covers

“When designing covers, I try to imagine someone browsing at Three Lives bookstore,” says art director Megan Wilson, who has been at Vintage and Anchor Books for 23 years. “You really want someone to pick up the book. I love simple covers.” What doesn’t she like on covers? “The backs of people’s heads,” Wilson says. “It’s a cop out.”

Fascinating, right? What books — and book covers — are you loving these days?

P.S. The best books this fall, and cool typography.

(Unabrow design by Zoe Norvell. Manual for Cleaning Women design by Justine Anweiler. The Girls design by Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday. Munich Airport design by Anne Twomey. Olio design by Jeff Clark. Dept. of Speculation design by Jon Gray. The Mothers design by Rachel Willey. First Novel design by Suzanne Dean, photograph Stephen Banks. Was She Pretty design by Leanne Shapton. The Lonely City design by Henry Sene Yee, photograph by Jerome Liebling. The Nix design by Oliver Munday. Methamorphosis design by Peter Mendelsund. Alena design by Abby Weintraub. The Italians design by Nick Misani. Girls on Fire design by Jack Smyth. Hold Still design by Mario J. Pulice, photograph by Robert S. Munger. Trans design by Joanna Walsh. Pond design by Alex Merto. Liar design by Jake Nicolella.)