Book design trends change as fast as fashion. Just like designer storefronts, book covers display what’s popular at the time. It could be bright pops of neon and bold font to a minimalistic design of white and black with small print that makes the cover. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” has become a thing of the past. With the high rise in bookstagrammers, a stellar cover design is essential if you want to see it on the ’gram.
It’s been widely discussed that much of the time, books are picked for their covers because they are more stylish or aesthetically pleasing. On instagram, a book is often picked solely for their cover. With book covers like those, the hits on bookstagram and can even send the book to the New York Times bestseller list.
To gain popularity and reach a wider audience, book designers are often tasked with the job of predicting trends. A major influence can be seen through bookstagram due to its wide audience. So, what are some factors that designers take into consideration when creating their book covers? And how does Bookstagram influence the design process?
The Influence of Bookstagram
Bookstagrammer Femke Brull, who runs @booksfemme, said to the Guardian: “If I don’t like the cover, I won’t photograph it and put it on my feed.” With that sentiment in mind, it’s fair to assume that publishers take that idea into consideration when designing covers for their books. When we scroll through #bookstagram, we can see a lot of things in common with each book. The covers are all really nice to look at.
Book-staging plays a major role in the Bookstagram community. We even have a whole blog post about it! If a book is easy to stage and pretty to the eye, then it will usually be the first to pop into a feed. For books that may not be as pleasing to look at, they might be open to a certain page or even just left out entirely. How does this effect books that are up-and-coming?
The Influence of Trends
Book designers pay close attention to what’s trending. 99designs predicted 9 trends that would influence book covers in 2019. Many of the trends were showcased in already published books from SparkPress. Our post talks about how certain trends will always come back in style—but that can also be said about fashion (scrunchies, people)!
A predicted trend was mid-century modern illustrations. That style was widely popular back in the 20th century, which can be showcased in many original covers for classic books (think Fahrenheit 451). This trend proved to come back in style as numerous books this year were published with similar designs! But . . . why should authors care about trends?
The Influence of Consumerism
Because it’s all about exposure: social media is a great tool to use when advertising your book. It can gain mass amounts of popularity if shown to the right audience. The perk of bookstagram is its vast influence over the reading community. These snapshots can gain the attention of a plethora of future readers. That is, if they like the cover.
But trends always change. So, what may be in style one month may be out of style in the next six months. Classic books seem to get new modern makeovers every couple of years. Each design is fitting for what’s in style. Book designers often take into consideration what is currently in style—and what will be trending for the next season. And bookstagram is a great place to start looking.
The Influence of the Season
Seasons play a large role in bookstagram posts. As the weather changes, so do popular colors. When fall is in season, tones of yellow, bronze, and burgundy colorize many posts. In the spring, books with pink, blue, or green are displayed. Designers typically consider how to design a book depending on the season it’s being released.
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𝔹𝕠𝕠𝕜 𝕄𝕒𝕚𝕝 Thank you @booksparks and author Henry Hitz for allowing me to be part of this Pop Up! This books comes out October 15th. When I saw this book I just had to request for it. It sounds so interesting and I’m all for anything that involves stories with animals. Especially when stories are told from an animals point of view. Excited to dive in. 𝚂𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚛𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚆𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚟𝚘𝚒𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 𝚊 𝚞𝚗𝚒𝚚𝚞𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚔𝚕𝚢 𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚕 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚕𝚎 𝚜𝚎𝚝𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚗 𝚊 𝚆𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚒𝚗 𝚕𝚊𝚔𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚊 𝚔𝚊𝚕𝚎𝚒𝚍𝚘𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚙𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚋𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚔 𝚊𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚘𝚝𝚑 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚕 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚝 𝚊𝚋𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑. 𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚜. 𝓠: Do you like stories with animals? 𝓠: What is your favorite animal? Penguins and Pigs are my absolute favorites. #bookstagram #book #buckwildbibliophiles #booksharks #igreads #booksparks #animals #squirrelsinthewall #booksofinstagram #instabook #bookmail #arc #october #qotd #booklover #avidreader #reader #bookish #bookstagrammer #bookaddict
For example, Squirrels in the Wall by Henry Hitz, displays the same fall color scheme. Many posts that feature this novel, which was released this fall, contain numerous seasonal elements. Backdrops of fallen leaves and warm tone are captured in many of the pictures. The cover itself remains right on point with popular trends (which can be seen with many other books such as Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson).
The Impact on Cover Designs
Does bookstagram affect cover designs?
To an extent, Bookstagram does influence book cover designs. Covers that are attractive usually tend to make it into the feed. However, there are many factors that lead into this process such as season and trends. But what’s trending is constantly evolving—which means designs will always be changing too. It’s important to take in current trends and predict future styles and platforms. Though bookstagram may be popular today, there could always be a shift towards a new media outlet. Do you think bookstagram is a passing trend or will continue to influence book designs in the future?