How to Design a Compelling Book Cover

Lucky Bat Books cover design artist Theresa Rose shares some of her insights on designing covers for ebooks and print.

We simply asked what makes a good book cover design and then transcribed Theresa’s words:

Good Design? Multiple Components Enter the Picture:

  • Typography and the use of a font that reflects the feeling of the story
  • Compelling or beautiful images whether photographs or illustrations
  • Composition and proportion of all the elements
  • Use of color, texture and light

Good book covers are designed to seduce potential readers.

The objective is to grab the attention of the reader and make the sale. The best will entice the reader with a visual that reflects the subject matter at hand and creates a subliminal emotional connection.

Theresa Rose cover for upcoming book by Robert BucchianeriA connection can be accomplished boldly or subtly – sometimes only by typeface or color. Designs run the gamut from austere to extravagant; there is no one design style that is most pleasing.

I think if a book is beautiful, artistic, and reflects the story inside, readers will want to possess it. That being said, if money is no object and a book can be sold for a high dollar amount, then extravagant design techniques, embossing, artistically illustrated pages, thick, creamy paper, beautiful end papers, all create a very desirable possession.

However, a combination of beautiful typography and an outstanding photo or illustrated artwork reflecting the general focus of the book can be just as effective at enticing a reader.

Theresa Rose cover, The Dreables by RA JonesIf you are designing a cover for your book, then keep in mind one essential premise: design is rather like art preference; each of us knows what grabs us emotionally but it’s difficult to describe the why and how of it.

There are basic design rules, but overall it’s the combination of elements that elicit an emotional connection.