9 Book Cover Design Trends for 2024

As with any form of design, book cover art is forever adapting to changing tastes. While not as fickle as catwalk fashion, new looks and trends arrive on the scene every year. See our breakdown of last year’s trends for absolute proof.

While Leo Tolstoy or James Joyce can whack on an orange and cream Penguin Classics cover and call it a day, budding authors rely on quality covers to get people to read their work, because despite pleas to the contrary, this is how your book will initially be judged. 

Wrapping your tome in a trending, eye-catching design can increase interest, readership and sales. It is therefore vital that you partner with a quality cover designer who understands these hot new trends, which in 2024 take the following forms.

1. Maximalism

Minimalism has long been treated as a foundational element in the temple of design. But sometimes less isn’t more, more is more. Welcome to maximalism, a book cover design language that revels in abundance.

We’re talking big and bold, intricate and complex, a kaleidoscope of colours. Maximalism delivers the very best type of assault on the eyes – one that pulls you in then keeps you there. These book cover designs offer more options: they can more literally embody the novels they wrap, or they can deliver narratives all their own.

2. Bold typography

A picture tells a thousand words. A maximalist book cover might even tell a few more. But why use thousands when a couple of precisely chosen terms will do? The flipside to maximalism, in 2024 we’re also seeing an explosion of bold, expressive title typography.

The right font, cleverly styled, has an unmatched ability to convey everything from genre to mood in a striking and easily digestible way. As an author you understand the power of words, and bold typography turns that power up to 11.

3. Nostalgic revival

By definition retro aesthetics are nothing new. But in 2024, modern design tools mean that classic styles of the past – particularly those from the second half of the 20th century – are able to be blended with contemporary sensibilities like never before.

In a way this combination of old and new is the story of publishing at large. Physical books are experiencing their own revival in the digital age, as readers gain a new appreciation of the joys of touching, holding and smelling the printed word (not in a weird way).

4. AI-driven design

What self-respecting article on 2024 trends would be complete without an AI angle? Not this one, buster. Generative AI has shown an ability to be creative in its own right, so AI-assisted design is beginning to morph into AI-driven design, where the tech is employed at every stage of the process, from ideation to final touches.

A human driver – your book cover designer – still holds the wheel, but AI is the engine pushing the process forward. This human-machine symbiosis is pushing the bounds of what’s possible in design. Endless customisation creates entirely unique covers that perfectly align with a book’s thematic core, which is an exciting prospect for any author open to AI.

5. Abstract art

The best book covers show a bit of leg, but don’t give too much away – they hint at the plot, the themes and the general vibe of your story, but leave a tempting amount of mystery for the reader to uncover. Abstract art takes this idea to the nth degree, leaving the interpretations entirely to the viewer/potential reader.

Abstract art allows, even encourages, a reader to see what they want to see and feel what they want to feel – a book cover as a canvas on which they can paint themselves. And unrestrained by the annoyance of trying to make something that actually looks like something, abstract art can wrap your book in a very unique and eye-catching form of beauty.

6. Micro-detailing

Construction of Sagrada Família began in 1882. It is yet to be completed. The reason becomes clearer the closer you get. From afar you see a large, striking silhouette. Walk up to and inside the church and you’re met with incredible detail everywhere you turn. Put your nose to the wall and you see individual scrapes on the handcrafted stonework. The more you zoom in, the more you uncover.

This is the idea behind micro-detailing, a 2024 book cover design trend that focuses on tiny, intricate elements within a larger image or mosaic. It draws in a potential reader’s eye and rewards closer inspection, often by burying sneaky morsels of meaning within the detail.

7. Dynamic duotones

The duotone effect sees an image reproduced by superimposing one colour halftone over another, and is used to bring out a book cover’s middle tones and highlights. While moody duotones are a staple of horror and fantasy, such as the black and blue so often used for vampire novels, bright and dynamic duotones look set for a big 2024.

Dynamic duotones are one of the simplest and most effective ways for your book to catch a reader’s eye. Consider such poppin’ combos as orange and purple, green and yellow, or red and royal blue.

8. Geometric shapes

There’s something inherently attractive about the cleanliness, consistency and predictability of a geometric pattern, from simple triangles, squares and hexagons, to complex fractals that repeat as you zoom in.

Perfectly reproducible, geometric patterns are a great way to tie a book series together with a visual language. And by offering rather literal structure to the cover of your book, geometric shapes can provide a fun juxtaposition when a chaotic story lies within.

9. Layered narratives

At Damonza we like to keep readers guessing. If we had to choose a side in the battle of literal vs figurative, we’ll proudly wear our Team Figurative jersey. If your story is a layered narrative full of plots and subplots, as many of the best stories are, your cover should reflect that fact, though not in an overt way.

This book cover design trend uses visual metaphors and carefully considered compositions to hint at your story’s depth. The idea is to create a visual puzzle that draws a prospective reader in, and that can only be solved by reading the book.

In conclusion

Will 2024 be the year you break out as an author? By embracing the latest design trends in your book cover, you increase your chances of answering ‘yes’.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of professional book cover design, and more specifically a talented cover artist, in standing out on the bookstore shelf.

Absolutely nail the cover (and the story within), and who knows, it may end up being replaced by that most boring/revered of wraps, the orange and cream jacket of a Penguin Classic.

Cover Design

9 Book Cover Design Trends for 2024

Wrapping your tome in a trending, eye-catching design can increase interest, readership and sales. It is therefore vital that you partner with a quality cover designer who understands these hot new trends, which in 2024 take the following forms.

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