ABDA Members’ Favourite Covers of 2017

It’s the festive season and with 2017 nearing its end, we asked ABDA members what their favourite covers of the year were and why.

Regine Abos, Designer and Lecturer

IGNI by Aaron Turner, design by Vaughan Mossop, photography by Julian Kingma

In a market that’s filled with covers of celebrity chefs, sexy food shots, cute illustrations and photos of exotic destinations, this graphic, masculine cover makes a bold statement. The photo doesn’t really do it justice – the physicality of this book is top-notch.

Duncan Blachford, Designer at Tempo Haus

All-Monster Action! by Cody Goodfellow, design by Matthew Revert

Each time I lay eyes on this rough-and-ready piece of genius, I’m at first confused – then impressed and amused. Matthew Revert, the Melbourne designer and noisenik, taps a mainline into the lost world of ‘80s home-taping: chance encounters with obscure midnight video-nasties. All-Monster Action! has been described as ‘Lovecraft on acid’, and this cover reeks of that grimy, subcultural fiction: hard to locate treasure buried in a dusty cardboard box – in direct opposition to all the shiny packaging on shelf.

Allison Colpoys, Book Designer and Illustrator

Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina, design by Tom Etherington

An incredibly strong and unique concept, perfectly executed!

Sandy Cull, Book Designer, gogoGingko

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein, design by W. H. Chong

Such a simple and clever cover. It’s stark and surprising and immediately communicates the content of the book.

Josh Durham, Design by Committee

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco, design by Jarrod Taylor, photograph by Peter Souza

I just found the cover image so compelling – so REAL – so reflective and candid and lacking the gravitas one might expect having the most powerful person in the world in it. It says everything about the working relationship between two people: a moment of reflection, a peek into their world. The type compositions are secondary, as they should be, when you hit the jackpot with such an arresting image.

Luke Harris, Director at Working Type

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna

With two young daughters, my reading material is usually their reading material. I always enjoy the illustrations of the brilliant Beatrice Alemagna – particularly on the cover of her book On a Magical Do-Nothing Day. The cover jpg does not do justice to the fluorescently bright rain jacket of the protagonist.

Nina Heryanto, Designer

The Gulf by Anna Spargo-Ryan, design by Emily O’Neill

When I saw this book on the bookshelf at Readings, I have to admit that I picked it up with a mixture of awe and design envy. Such a clever, thoughtful concept, beautifully executed!

Adam Laszczuk, Executive Designer at Penguin Books Australia

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, design by Design by Committee

A great cover. Simple (but clever) and striking. What more could you ask for.


Kim Lock, Designer at MidnightSun Publishing

Taboo by Kim Scott, design by Sandy Cull, gogoGingko

I’m always so impressed by designers who can also do beautiful things with photographs. The collection of natural materials forming the letters of the title, combined with the almost warm colouring of the background, and then the skull! It’s really striking.

Peter Long, Book Designer

The Town by Shaun Prescott, design by Brett Weekes

This is a cover most publishers would run a mile from, because it is so un-illustrative, yet that is what makes it so great – it is compelling because it is mysterious, and pure, and different.

Gayna Murphy, Freelance Designer/Art Director

Aussie Legends Alphabet by Beck Feiner, design by Hazel Lam

My stand out designer for this year is Hazel Lam, one of my favourites is the Aussie Legends Alphabet – such an awesome book, so much fun, and Hazel’s cover treatment so well crafted. High five ladies.

Evi O, Freelance Designer

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag, designed by Luke Bird

Luke Bird’s brave design for Ghachar Ghochar is definitely a standout. The use of colours to signify the subject matter, Indian writing, is clever. The abstract composition and typography is a perfect combo. One of those that you’d like to know how the designer got to the final cover.

Miriam Rosenbloom, Art Director, Scribe & Commissioning Editor, Scribble

Wednesdays with Bob by Bob Hawke and Derek Rielly, design by Daniel New, photograph by Richard Freeman

I really, really love this cover. Perfection. Perfect image, perfect typography. Much better than it needs to be for this section of the market, always the sign of excellent design.

Laura Thomas, Senior Designer at Scribe

Border Districts by Gerald Murnane, design by Harry Williamson

Strange and beautiful and wildly different, this stunning cover caught my attention immediately.


Grace West, Freelance Designer

Australia Day by Melanie Cheng, design by Sandy Cull, gogoGinkgo

This cover really caught my eye. For a book about belonging, identity and the idea of home, I think the symbolism of the nest is so clever. The design features an intricate and sincerely considered illustration, whereupon close examination, the attention to detail of the line strokes is so beautiful. A fitting centrepiece and a nicely balanced composition … Simply stunning.