COVER STORY – Graphic/Iconic Covers

Much has been written about YA covers and the ubiquitous “white girl/impractical dress/floaty hair” theme. I’ve personally taken umbrage at the “dead girl” (with or without impractical dress/floaty hair. Although, if you’re dead a dress can’t really be impractical can it? But I digress). Quite apart from the racial discussion (which is no small thing. I’m starting to get the feeling that this post will involve a lot of parentheticals. Are you?), and the “passivity” discussion I’m very bored with these covers and frankly, I’m starting to feel like I might be embarrassed to be seen with one.

So I have a book coming out next year. It’s YA, and girl oriented. The plot even involves a pretty dress (not a gown though, thank god). I know I might not have much say in the cover but I can dream right? I can notice covers that I covet and wish for something similar. And right now the style of cover that is working for me is what I’m going to call “graphic/iconic” Graphic iconic covers take a minimalist approach, use bold clean colors and simple fonts and often include almost a logo-ish graphic to represent the story. A perfect example is STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli. Check it out. STARGIRL doesn’t even include the title! It just has an iconic graphical star and an iconic graphical girl. The colors, the contrast, the scale and proportions are perfect. It’s absolute genius.

There are quite a few of these covers around lately and I can’t seem to get enough of them. Here are a few other examples that caught my eye:

Then I came across the cover from  Hannah Moskowitz upcoming book TEETH and I nearly wept for joy. The heart made of fish-hooks, the fish scale background, the fact that it’s a photograph takes the graphic/iconic cover to new levels of awesome.  That said, the heart collage/found art made of objects cover is starting to be a bit ubiquitous in its own right. But TEETH is the best I’ve ever seen it done. Check the gallery above for TEETH and other heart-art covers.

I’ve no idea what Orca have in mind for AUDACIOUS. I don’t know if they’ll ask me. Lorimer asked for my input on WICKET SEASON and I gave it. I was very pleased with the result so hopefully my experience with Orca will be similarly happy. Now I just have to wait, and covet other people’s covers.

4 thoughts on “COVER STORY – Graphic/Iconic Covers

  1. Whoa. I LOVE the cover of Teeth. That certainly makes you look twice.

    I like that sort of cover a lot as well, especially for contemporary YA, where the covers often talk too far on the side of trendy and they look outdated so quickly, but the stories inside are current. :-/

  2. Orca seems to use a lot of stock photos, but at least they are not BAD covers. I do like the covers you listed because they age very well. Just hope you don’t get a badly drawn picture, like Holiday House likes to use.

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