Book Cover Design Trends for 2019: Your Guide To The Biggest and Hottest Trends

The cover of your book can make or break book sales.

Books with compelling covers have a much higher chance to be discovered and read. Forgetful covers leave books sitting on a shelf.


Despite consumers purchasing e-books and audiobooks more than ever, print is still king.

And even for readers buying books online, digital cover thumbnails continue to reflect the importance of well-designed book covers.

Ask any author who has poured their heart into a story — this is a big deal. No author wants their book to gather dust.

Sure, there are some who say that people should not judge a book by its cover.

But the truth is that everyone does. Science reminds us that our brain becomes a critic within seconds of seeing an image.

Just look at any bookstore or online book site – including Amazon – and you will undoubtedly be drawn in by professionally designed covers, and turned off by those that look more amateur.

So, if your aim is to create the next NYT best-seller, pay attention to your book cover.

Here are 6 book cover design trends that drive book sales in 2019.

  1. Relaunching with a new cover
  2. High impact typography
  3. Minimalism
  4. Hypnotic circles
  5. Handwritten and drawn elements
  6. Retro feel

>> If you’re interested in current book cover design trends, read 10 Top Book Cover Design Trends for 2022.

1. Relaunch your forgettable cover into a best-selling design

If your book is already on the market but not selling, consider a cover redesign.

Your cover just might be the anchor that’s keeping your book from the bestseller list.

Consider New York Times bestselling author, H.M. Ward. As an independent author and self-publisher, Ward creates her own covers. Ward shares a lesson learned about the importance of book cover design:

This one was the biggest oops: I wanted the cover to reflect the artistic stuff in the book. Problem: No one could identify the genre of this book based on the original cover art. Someone mentioned they thought it was going to be a thriller when it first came out. I was like, you’re cray cray, dude. And I was totally wrong.

What I learned: COVERS ARE STOP SIGNS. They should quickly reveal as much info about your book to the reader as possible and this did not.

H.M. Ward’s book, Scandalous, sold close to zero copies for 9 months.

After a book cover (and pen name) change (original cover on the left, below and the new cover on the right), the book shot up to land a spot on the New York Times Best Seller List.

2. High Impact Typography

High impact typography is not a new trend to the publishing community. In fact, many authors and readers love in-your-face bold typography and this trend continues into 2019.

Typography is a great way to create drama and draw the eye’s attention to the book.

3. Minimalism

Marie Kondo’s rising minimalist life-style approach has taken the world by storm in 2019.

We are noticing a similar style used in book cover design.

Minimalist covers offer a no fuss, no filler, straight-forward design.

These designs often have pristine sharp text, tightly-knit colorways, and feel both neat and tidy.

The premise behind a minimalist design is that without a lot of noise to compete with, readers’ eyes are immediately drawn to the title and images that support it.

Minimalism works especially well within the publishing industry because an uncluttered design is more visually clear in online thumbnails.

42% of books are purchased online, and the space allotted for a cover preview is limited.

Minimalist covers are able to relay the information and genre without compromising style.

4. Hypnotic Circles

Another trend we’re seeing in 2019, is hypnotic circles.

This design element offers an excellent way to focus the viewers’ attention.

Often representing movement, travel, or layering, hypnotic circles (and other geometric shapes) tend to be married with a minimalistic style for effect.

This style of design is not new.

In fact, from the 1950s through the 1970s, repeating patterns, circles, optical illusions, squares and solids were very popular for nonfiction and fiction.

5. Handwritten and drawn elements

One of the most satisfying book cover design trends in 2019 is handwritten and drawn elements.

This trend transcends genres of all types from children’s fiction to nonfiction, fantasy to mystery.

In prior years, handwritten graphics were seen primarily on book covers targeting women. However, in 2019 we are seeing more masculine and androgenous handwritten and drawn covers.

The subtlety of handwritten text can bring warmth or darkness filled with human characteristics to the title. As we previously mentioned,

One growing trend is to use handwritten fonts. Handwritten type gives books a unique feel, and depending on the quality of the type they can seem more personal or intimate.

You’ll find plenty of cookbooks using handwritten type – it emphasizes the connection and warmth you get when sharing a recipe with a friend or family nature. Handwritten text can feel threatening or frightening, as well, which can work well for suspenseful genres. It all depends on how the type is written and the context it’s presented in. Childish-looking written text might work well on a parenting book, but it could also add a disturbing touch to a mystery or horror novel.

Be on the lookout for this trend and consider if the content of your book would benefit from this type of design option.

6. Retro feel

They say all things circle back in style.

The truth is, retro is having a major moment in fashion, music, art, and design.

There is something appealing about the past to the mass market.

Vintage and Retro designs are welcoming because they are a reminder of simpler times.

These book cover designs are no longer only found in your Grandmother’s mothy bookshelf.

The often muted tones, softer lines and brushstrokes, and simpler covers, in general, are speaking to the masses and making a comeback.

If you are writing a book that has a vintage feel, 2019 is the perfect time to get it out into the marketplace.


There you have it, the hottest 6 book cover design trends that are rocking the book world in 2019.

Give your new book an unfair advantage – invest in a professional book cover design that will inspire people to read it.

Want a closer look at other graphic design trends for 2019?

2019 logo design trends

2019 web design trends

2019 packaging design trends

2019 product design trends