Cover-Double Cross

Cover Trend: Damaged Paper

I’ve always loved book covers and am amazed by their incredible variety. From the antique foiled masterpieces of Art Deco to the classic Penguin paperbacks to the huge screaming typefaces of modern works, covers are true art as well as marketing. The more I look at book covers, however, the more I see the trends, the fads, and the fashions. One cover can set off a frenzy of lookalike styles, and that is amusing when you see them all together. That is my goal: to amuse myself and you.

There are some outstanding book covers out there, and most of them were designed and created by talented artists. I would love to give credit to the amazing designers who work in this industry, but it’s not easy to find them. Many books don’t mention the cover artist at all, I assume because those artists are employed by large publishing companies that don’t give individuals a tagline. When I am able, I will always credit the designer.

Damaged Paper is a really fun style. The reveal of what’s underneath, the ripping sound you can imagine, and the clever multi-dimensional aspects of these covers are all satisfying enticements.

Cover-Double Cross

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre; cover design by Christopher Brand, Broadway Books (2012)

Cover-The Weight of Lies

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter, cover design by Rex Bonomelli, Lake Union Publishing (2017)

Cover-The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, first edition from Little, Brown and Company (2013)


Pragmatism: A Reader by Louis Menand, paperback from Vintage (1997)

Cover-Find Her

Find Her by Lisa Gardner, Kindle ebook, Dutton (2016)

Cover-The Fact of the Body

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich; hardcover from Flatiron Books (2017)

Cover-The Watcher in the Wall

The Watcher in the Wall by Owen Laukkanen; G.P. Putnam’s Sons (2016)

Cover-The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins; cover design by Chris Brand. It’s burned instead of torn in this case, but just as effective. Paperback, Broadway Books (2016)

Cover-The Truth and Other Lies

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango. Okay, this isn’t technically paper, but it’s close. It’s wallboard, but the idea is the same. First hardcover by Atria Books (2015).

Cover-The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, from Celadon Books (2019). Yeah, this isn’t exactly paper, either—it’s a canvas—but it’s the same idea!

Next time: The Lady in the Water

©2019 Jan McClintock
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