Trending Book Art: 9 Beautiful Watercolor Designs
In search of a new read, I set out on my regular search protocols. I sifted through some lists of book recommendations. I checked the bookshelves in my personal library. And then, a pattern revealed itself: watercolor book covers. Books are beautiful. And while there’s always been careful consideration of a book’s cover, in the last thirty years or so designer and publishers have really begun to embrace book covers as the art form they are.
Watercolor has always been popular, but its popularity has enjoyed a boost as of late. It’s all over Pinterest, from jaw-dropping wedding invites to adorable home décor DIY projects. It was inevitable that it would find its way into book art and create a stronghold.
Light and Airy Designs
I’ve always been drawn to watercolors. It’s transparent and fluid and just strikingly beautiful. Watercolor has a lot of movement because of its nature (pigment floating in water), which lends itself to fun, upbeat typography. But it’s also elegant and a tad restrained.
Courtney Maum, Touch
How apropos that a book about a trends forecasting hit the mark on a trendy cover?
Jay McInerney, A Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine
Okay, so wine ring stains are not quite watercolor, but it’s pretty close.
Jessica J. Lee, Turning: A Year in the Water
Ominous and Foreboding Book Covers
It’s a little funny to me that part of its popularity in the mainstream DIY market is largely due to its fun and light nature. But often the cover illustrators and designers leverage a more ominous and foreboding tone through color choice and puddling, layering, and blooming, embracing the unruly bit of chaos inherent in watercolor as a medium.
Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You
Wendy Pearlman, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Stories from Syria
The dark, rich rainbow of this book cover’s typography alludes to the tapestry of stories and lives tucked into its pages.
Sarah Schmidt, See What I Have Done
I love how this designer combined a crisp photograph with the messy blue drippings at the neck.
Classic Stories with Reimagined Covers
As a marketer in my 9-5 life, I find this trend fascinating, but I always find new covers interesting. There’s always an effort to help these classics remain relevant and popular as they age. Stories are timeless. Covers aren’t. Tapping into the zeitgeist is a smart move.