The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Book Covers of Note January 2018


I was sure that 2018 would be different from 2017, and yet here we are… Happy New Year! 

The Age of Caesar by Plutarch; translation by Pamela Mensch; design by Catherine Casalino (W.W. Norton / January 2018)

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch; design by Rafi Romaya; illustration by Florian Schommer (Canongate / January 2018)

Bloody January by Alan Parks; design by Chris Gale (Canongate / December 2017)

(I’m including this partly because I spend a lot of my professional life trying to explain the difference between the cover needs of Canada/US and the UK. This is a rare genre cover that — it seems to me at least — does a decent job for both sides of the Atlantic) 

Getting Off by Erica Garza; design by Zoe Norvell (Simon & Schuster / January 2018)

The Gist of Reading by Andrew Elfenbein; design by  Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein (Stanford University Press / January 2018)

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen; design by June Park (Random House / January 2018)

Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur; design by Sara Wood (Ecco / January 2018)

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan; design by Rachel Vale (Pan Macmillan / January 2018)

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin; design and illustration by Sandra Chiu (G.P. Putnam’s Sons / January 2018)

This cover seems rather on trend to me. It is very nicely done all the same. 

(Something about the shape and colour of the leaves on black background also reminds me of the illustrations in Jon Klassen’s picture book This Is Not My Hat). 

The Job of the Wasp by Colin Winnette; design by Michael Salu (Soft Skull Press / January 2018)

The Ministry of Nostalgia by Owen Hatherley; design by Keith Dodds (Verso / January 2017)

OK. So I’m a year late on this cover. But I saw it recently on Twitter. The cover of the hardcover edition of The Ministry of Nostalgia designed by Andy Pressman was included in my January 2016 post and my annual round-up of notable covers that year.   

Interestingly, the new cover for The Ministry of Nostalgia reminds me of Matthew Young‘s refresh of Pelican Books.

Being Ecological by Timothy Morton (Pelican / January 2018) is a recent example: 

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce; design by Kimberly Glyder (Random House / January 2018)

Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby; design by Strick&Williams; photography by Marc Yankus (Catapult / January 2018)

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke; art and lettering by Colin Mercer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / January 2018)

Peach by Emma Glass; design by David Mann (Bloomsbury / January 2018)

David’s cover was adapted for the US edition by Patti Ratchford:

A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin; design by Dan Mogford (Serpent’s Tail / 2018)

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn; design by Elsie Lyons (William Morrow / January 2018)

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  1. I would love to read a post about the main differences and demands between UK and US/Canadian covers, if you have the time and want :)

  2. Thanks Malene. The difference between covers in the UK and Canada/US is something I talk a lot about in my professional life so I have been thinking about a post along the same lines. But I would like to have some input from designers as well, so I’m also thinking about who I could ask for comment! :-)

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