• Zachary Petit

30 of the Best Book Covers of the Year (So Far)

In 2020, that most decidedly damned of years, art and design were a poultice for many … or at least a worthy distraction from the goings-on of a global pandemic.


In 2021, as the world begins to rebound and bask in the hope offered by vaccines and new leadership, visual culture has served to uplift, energize and surprise.


That is readily apparent in a trip to the bookstore (virtual or otherwise). Regardless of whether there’s an optimism and energy packed into some of these jackets or it’s simply the byproduct of emerging into the first spring following a beleaguered year, we’re elated by the design that has been dancing across shelves of late.


Here are 30 of our favorites.


Rodrigo Corral Studio, featuring the artwork of Andrew Kuo

(Read about how Corral sees the world here.)


Tom Etherington

Zoe Norvell (featuring a 1909 print by Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita)

Na Kim

(Read much more about this cover, and Na Kim, here.)



Dominique Jones (photo: Micaiah Carter)

Jon Gray

Matt Broughton

Janet Hansen

Arsh Raziuddin with Oliver Munday

Jenny Volvovski (as she detailed on Instagram, "This one falls squarely between my designed published covers and redesigned unpublished ones. On Tuesday, I was given approximately 20 minutes to create a placeholder cover for Amanda Gorman's forthcoming book of poetry 'The Hill We Climb.' Just in case there was interest after she performed her inaugural poem."

Rodrigo Corral Studio

Sarah May Wilkinson

Tom Etherington

(Read more about the Penguin Green Ideas series here.)


Peter Mendelsund

(Read about Mendelsund’s approach to book cover design here.)



Chelsea Hunter (illo: Jane Newland)

Arsh Raziuddin with Oliver Munday

Sarah Whittaker

John Gall

Na Kim

Holly Ovenden

Janet Hansen

Holly Ovenden

Rodrigo Corral Studio

Grace Han (AD: Alison Forner)

Casa Rex

Anna Morrison

(See more of Morrison’s work here.)



Holly Ovenden

Jon Gray

Anna Morrison

Jaya Miceli

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