2019 Covered: Favourite Covers of the Year

As we near the end of the year, and the season of ‘best-of’ lists, ABDA asked its members and those-in-the-know in publishing to reflect on their favourite covers of 2019. Which designs stood out online among the multitude of #coverreveals? Which covers cut through the trends to entice us on the shelf? And which were the covers most designers enviously wished they had designed themselves? Here are our favourite covers of 2019.

Jessica Horrocks • ABDA Committee Member, Designer/Production Coordinator, Text Publishing

The Pillars by Peter Polites. Design by Josh Durham/Design by Committee.

I love this dizzying, tessellated and unsettling take on sunbleached suburbia! I think the type cleverly references the title and the placement creates an intriguing tension between scale and dimension.

#MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement, edited by Miriam Sved, Christie Nieman, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-yu. Design by Debra Billson.

I think this cover is bold and inspiring, just like the movement itself. I like the way the retro aesthetic is suggestive of the eras leading up to #MeToo and how the repeated type represents the multitude of diverse voices involved.

Nat CarrollDesigner, Illustrator and Art Director

Outback by Ken Done. Design by Evi O.

I can’t stop staring at Ken Done’s new book series that are broken up into the four major themes of his defining work, particular the Outback book. The stunning colour palette and expressiveness of the landscape and lettering make me want to book some exploration time in the outback, stat!

Nicole Abadee • Books writer, The Australian Financial Review Magazine and Literary consultant

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. Design by Ali Campbell.

I am a little biased as I loved this book so much, but my favourite cover this year is Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. I love the counterpoint of the vivid colours with the strong, bold typeface for the title as well as the moody, evocative images of strong, proud black women – which is what the book is all about.

Hannah Janzen • ABDA Committee President, Designer

Acrobat Family by Anouck Boisrobert & Louis Rigaud. Designed and illustrated by the authors.

Die-cuts and pop-ups – what’s not to love! This book is a fun mix of bold type, a limited colour palette and uses paper engineering in all the best ways to showcase the topic: acrobats! Each page is alive with movement with its use of pop-ups, colour, shadows and folds. Lots to love!

Siobhan Cantrill • Editor, Simon & Schuster

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood. Design by Sandy Cull.

My standout favourite cover for 2019 is Charlotte Wood’s The Weekend designed by Sandy Cull of gogoGingko. It’s a stunning stylised design: at once deceptively simple and yet perfect for the book. The colour combinations are vivid and the profiles of four faces clearly represent the four friends of the novel. This cover really leaps out at you from the bookstore shelf, so it does everything that you could ask of it and more. Beautiful and clever.

Freda Chiu • Illustrator, Artist and Educator, The University of Technology, Sydney

Hello Light House by Sophie Blackall. Designed and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Sophie Blackall’s emotive watercolour illustrations, carefully integrated text design, and long vertical book format makes me curious about the story behind the lighthouse. The keeper in the lighthouse protected from the tumultuous waves gives a feeling of warmth and safety, which is appealing to children.

Pooja Desai • ABDA Committee Secretary, Design Manager, Hardie Grant Egmont

Baltic by Simon Bajada. Design by Andy Warren.

The simplicity of this cover and the stunning blind emboss! How could you not love.

False Bingo by Jac Jemc. Design by June Park.

Suuuuper clever and engaging design. I stan for this.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. Design by Allison Saltzman.

Very retro, very funny, makes me want to pick it up immediately.

Andy Warren • ABDA Committee Treasurer, Senior Designer, File Mile

I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Design by Philip DiBello & Devin Washburn/No Ideas, illustrated by Lucy Sherston.

I love the simple cut-out food shapes, the background tint and the enormous, unfussy title. It leaps off the shelf and immediately grabbed my attention. I’m not vegan but I will be attempting some of these recipes largely due to the brilliant design.

Emily O’Neill • ABDA Committee Member, Designer

Lucky Ticket by Joey Bui. Design by Jessica Horrocks.

I love this cover for its punch. A seemingly simple concept, beautifully executed.

Big Bang by David Bowman. Design by Jamie Keenan.

Designers dream about getting cover art with a title treatment like this approved. Those layers! That type! Incredibly done.

Step into Paradise by Jenny Kee & Linda Jackson with Georgina Safe. Design by Daniel New.

Holographic foil done right. A gorgeous collage of images from both Kee and Jackson’s archives with that bold rainbow type makes such a stunning package.

The Australian Book Designers Association wishes to thank our contributors for their assistance with this post.