Our Favourite Covers of 2010

Anis Shivani of the Huffington Post has recently compiled a list of the 21 Coolest Book Covers of 2010 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anis-shivani/coolest-book-covers-2010_b_775990.html).  This has gotten the vicbooks team thinking about our favourites.  While many are books we have yet to read (though some, like the new edition of the Alice B. Toklas cookbook, are waiting patiently on shelves at home), these are the covers that have attracted us most this year:

Emulating Woodcuts and Stencils:

The limited colour palette of these covers, when combined with the woodcut-like style draws the eye with a deceptive simplicity.  All three include water as an element.

Cornucopia of Images:

Unlike the collages we made as children, randomly clipped magazines drenched in paste, these covers overlap and combine images in a compelling fashion. Though similar, the leftmost suggests that more is contained than revealed by the clam’s shell while that on the right is a fully riotous explosion.

Utilizing Font and Colour to Emulate Another Decade:

Although all three do so in different ways, these covers seem to prepare the reader for a certain time in history before the pages have been opened.

Exceptional Use of Colour:

There is something to be said for bright colours on book covers.  In a year where blacks, whites, reds, and creams have abounded, these three stand out.

All-out Beauty:

The cover of Lloyd Jones’ new work successfully combines all elements (colour, texture, and font) in a way that is earthy, primal, and mysterious.

This is perhaps the first book cover that has ever utterly compelled me to buy a book.  The beauty and vulnerability depicted in the bear’s embrace just stunned me.  When I opened the flap and discovered that this art was the work of Shaun Tan (The Arrival, The Lost Thing, Tales from Outer Suburbia), I immediately understood its appeal.

There is no doubt that the right cover can make the difference in a new book’s (and especially a new author’s) success.  But with the volume of new titles that come out each year, they can also make the difference between boredom and enthralment for the bookseller, as well as the avid browser.  Our thanks go out to the above artists for keeping us captivated in 2010.

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