The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

52 Women Book Cover Designers


If you follow the Casual Optimist on Twitter, you will know that a couple of weeks ago design studio Aishima asked people to tweet about inspiring women graphic designers using the hashtag #celebratewomen. As today is International Women’s Day, I thought I would follow up my #celebratewomen tweets with a visual list of 52 inspiring women book cover designers (one for every week of the year!) — from influential veterans whose work I’ve admired for years to junior designers that have just appeared on my radar.

The names of all 52 designers can be found at the end of the post. With a few more hours in a day the list could easily have been many times longer, so apologies to anyone I have overlooked. Please let me know who you would’ve included in the comments or on Twitter.

Don't Let's Go To the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller; design by Justine Anweiler (Picador / January 2015)

Justine Anweiler

Jane Eyre Clothbound design Coralie Bickford Smith

Coralie Bickford-Smith

Aftermath design Kelly Blair

Kelly Blair

The Wall design Gabrielle Bordwin photograph John Gay

Gabrielle Bordwin

forever design Lizzy Bromley

Lizzy Bromley


Lynn Buckley

Curious design Nicole Caputo

Nicole Caputo


Jennifer Carrow

m train design carol devine carson

Carol Devine Carson


Catherine Casalino

Cat and Fiddle design Allison Colpoys

Allison Colpoys

Stoner (hardback)

Julia Connolly


Eleanor Crow


Lucy Ruth Cummins

First Novel design Suzanne Dean photograph Stephen Banks

Suzanne Dean


Barbara deWilde


Sinem Erkas

Madness So Discreet design Erin Fitzsimmons

Erin Fitzsimmons

Dust to Dust design Alison Forner

Alison Forner

Seating Arrangements design Elena Giavaldi

Elena Giavaldi

barefoot queen design Kimberly Glyder

Kimberly Glyder

Lopsided design by Carin Goldberg

Carin Goldberg


Jenny Grigg

Voices in the Night by Steven Millhauser; design by Janet Hansen (Knopf / April 2015)

Janet Hansen

What the Family Needed

Jennifer Heuer

follow me design Karen Horton

Karen Horton


Linda Huang


Anne Jordan

This Will Be Difficult to Explain design Chin Yee Lai

Chin-Yee Lai

Silvered Heart TBK.indd

Yeti Lambregts


Emily Mahon

first husband

Jaya Miceli

Sixty design by Terri Nimmo

Terri Nimmo

Unabrow by Una Lamarche; design by Zoe Norvell (Plume / March 2015)

Zoe Norvell

Welcome to the Circus design Natalie Olsen

Natalie Olsen


Lauren Panepinto

A Good Book design Ingrid Paulson

Ingrid Paulson


Isabel Urbina Peña

Redeployment design Rafi Romaya

Rafi Romaya

Canada design by Allison Saltzman

Allison Saltzman

Year I Met You design Heike Schussler

Heike Schüssler


Clare Skeats

A Year of Marvellous Ways design by Amy Smithson

Ami Smithson / Cabin

flamethrowers design Charlotte Strick

Charlotte Strick

Toronto Cooks design Jess Sullivan

Jess Sullivan

Longitude design Jo Walker

Jo Walker


Abby Weintraub

Living on Paper design by Amanda Weiss

Amanda Weiss

Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes; design by Rachel Willey (Riverhead / August 2015)

Rachel Willey


Gabriele Wilson

Design Megan Wilson, photograph Saul Leiter

Megan Wilson

All the Birds design by Joan Wong

Joan Wong

Summerlong design Sara Wood

Sara Wood


Helen Yentus

  1. Justine Anweiler
  2. Coralie Bickford-Smith
  3. Kelly Blair
  4. Gabrielle Bordwin
  5. Lizzy Bromley
  6. Lynn Buckley
  7. Nicole Caputo
  8. Jennifer Carrow
  9. Carol Devine Carson
  10. Catherine Casalino
  11. Allison Colpoys
  12. Eleanor Crow
  13. Lucy Ruth Cummins
  14. Suzanne Dean
  15. Barbara deWilde
  16. Sinem Erkas
  17. Erin Fitzsimmons
  18. Alison Forner
  19. Elena Giavaldi
  20. Kimberly Glyder
  21. Carin Goldberg
  22. Jenny Grigg
  23. Janet Hansen
  24. Jennifer Heuer
  25. Karen Horton
  26. Linda Huang
  27. Anne Jordan
  28. Chin-Yee Lai
  29. Yeti Lambregts
  30. Emily Mahon
  31. Jaya Miceli
  32. Terri Nimmo
  33. Zoe Norvell
  34. Natalie Olsen
  35. Lauren Panepinto
  36. Ingrid Paulson
  37. Isabel Urbina Peña
  38. Rafi Romaya
  39. Allison Saltzman
  40. Heike Schüssler
  41. Clare Skeats
  42. Ami Smithson
  43. Charlotte Strick
  44. Jess Sullivan
  45. Jo Walker
  46. Abby Weintraub
  47. Rachel Willey
  48. Gabriele Wilson
  49. Megan Wilson
  50. Joan Wong
  51. Sara Wood
  52. Helen Yentus

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  1. Thanks for this great list Dan. So much inspiring work.

  2. Great suggestion, Dan K! Thank you ~ Dan W #LeagueofDans

  3. So inspiring! Thanks for including me <3

  4. Very nice list, Dan. One additional suggestion: Andrea Guinn. Her site ( is a bit sparse, but she’s phenomenal. One of my favorite designers to work with.

  5. Thanks Andy — great stuff! :-)

  6. Fantastic list! I’d also love to nominate Laura Palese for a future list. Her handwritten cookbook covers (and interiors) are lovely. (

  7. Hi Dan! Thanks for all that you do to support and celebrate women of graphic design. Your blog has been a great source for the website Women of Graphic Design ( We’ve found many gems thanks to you. We also wanted to mention that we’ve added this list to our Resources page and will definitely be featuring some of the designers you’ve selected here. We thank you for all you’ve done and all you continue to do to support designers of all stripes, sizes, and persuasions.

  8. Thanks for this list, Dan. I’ll add myself to it (or the comments, at least). :)

  9. Thanks Kathleen + Tori — I really appreciate it.

  10. Ha! Perfect! Thanks Anna! :-)

  11. You forgot Louise Fili who I’d glaringly not in the list.

  12. Incredible list! Congrats to all the amazing and talented women. Thanks Dan.

  13. I really love ‘A Madness So Discrete’ the best. it’s eery and beautiful. I just love the darker colors and the model’s pose.

  14. As a cover designer for non-fiction books mostly in the homeschooling and Christian corner of the world, my covers are on the other end of the spectrum than these book covers. My clients’ target audiences usually require a nice “safe” cover. I love art, and these covers are art–many of them raw and unsafe art, art that whispers to your soul, striking a dissonant chord, compelling you to pick. up. that. book.

    I love “Middle C”. It’s clever, simple, and I play piano.

  15. Hi Leslie. I have to confess — I didn’t forget Louise Fili (I actually mentioned her in a #celebratewomen tweet), I left her out intentionally. Even though I like her work a lot, and she was art director at Pantheon, I felt that she was better known for things other than cover design these days. If the list was longer, she would surely have been on it. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to not include her in the first place.

  16. Pingback: Femme Friday – Cover Artists and Designers – Feminism in Cold Storage

  17. This is a fabulous list! As a woman designer, it’s highly inspiring. Thank you!

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