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The 30 Most Stylish Book Covers

The 30 Most Stylish Book Covers

The 30 Most Stylish Book Covers
Danielle de Wolfe
03 November 2014

The book cover is a wonderful canvas: they can be vivid, hard-hitting, subtle, or abstract - or a combination of all of these. But some stand out from the crowd for having that certain je nais se quoi; that sense of style that sets it apart from the rest.

We've dug deep to find the 30 most stylish book covers ever: treat your eyes to a touch of class by viewing all of them; click above to get started.


Author: George Orwell

There's been such an array of fantastic designs for this classic dystopian tale; some clever, some satirical - but the most stylish is this Swedish cover, designed by Ollie Sksell. It's not just IKEA over there you know.

A Clockwork Orange

Author: Antony Burgess

A design classic, this takes 'iconic' to a whole new level with David Pelham's 'cog-eyed droog' being instantly recognisable as the face of A Clockwork Orange. It's also extremely stylish - big, bold colours and shapes make it minimal and playful.

Anna Karenina

Author: Leo Tolstoy

Muted tones, a delicate feel and a beautiful choice of typography add up to an extremely stylish cover for Tolstoy's classic.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Author: Truman Capote

Designed by Megan Wilson, this oozes style, with the delicate, manicured, adorned hand of Holly Golightly taking centre stage for the cover of Capote's acclaimed novella.

Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë

Designer Megan Wilson is again on hand for this Vintage Classics cover; simplicity is the key word with a simple silhouette and appropriately classic typography.

Invisible Man

Author: Ralph Ellison

A 1952 first edition cover designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer, this is a stylish avant-garde classic. 150 of these were also produced as posters for the London Underground, which must have been brilliantly discomforting for the commuters of the day.

The Bell Jar

Author: Sylvia Plath

Always a delicate book to design for, given its power and intensity, this choice gets it just right; a film noir-esque feel and black, white and red palette working perfectly.

Everything You Know

Author: Zoë Heller

This is both clever and stylish - designed by Barbara DeWilde, it features a casually rolled back page, inviting the reader in to sample the wares that lie beneath. Can book covers be seductive? It looks like it. 

L.A. Confidential

Author: James Ellroy

Appropriately for such a stylish, evocative book, this has a cover to match, with a monochrome, silhouetted, palm-tree and city skyline background housing a singular dripping, bloody leaf.

Moby Dick

Author: Herman Melville

A book with a huge array of great covers over the years, this is our pick as most stylish; a beautifully stark, almost abstract illustration of the great whale in full flight.


Author: Samuel R. Delany

Evan Gaffney's design is a long way from some of the naff science-fiction covers of yesteryear - a flash of multi-coloured light - a portal to the future perhaps - overlayed with simple, clean text. Very 'graphic design', and very stylish.

The Letters of Noël Coward

Author: Noël Coward

Really, it would be fairly ridiculous to not have a Noël Coward book in a 'most-stylish' selection. It simply doesn't get much better than a dapper gentlemen reclining with a well-earned cigarette before, no doubt, reading a book just like this.

The Last Tycoon

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, this is one of a series of art deco-inspired metallic covers, fitting the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing perfectly.

The Godfather

Author: Mario Puzo

Created by the, ahem, godfather of graphic design S. Neil Fujita, this remains as iconic now as it ever was, with an utterly distinctive style fitting the novel as snug as a horse's head in a bed.

Sherlock Holmes

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle

A classic character like Sherlock Holmes deserves a luxuriously elegant cover - and he received one with this 2009 complete collection effort; the famous sleuth's pipe-smoking silhouette resplendent in red velvet.

The Son

Author: Jo Nesbø

A crisp, modern design for Nesbø's novel, released in 2014. A menacing faceless hoodie-wearing character overlaid with chunky text does the job very nicely (or rather, not nicely).

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Author: David Sedaris

There can be few more stylish things than a skeleton smoking a cigarette. We've looked around, and we haven't found anything. So this brilliant painting fully deserves its place in the cover parade.

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Author: Laurence Sterne

A beautifully stylish cover, which also houses some stunning graphic design within its pages, as Sterne - an 18th Century visual writer - sees his book given a crazy makeover. Head here for a full description of the treats in store.

The Invisible Man

Author: H. G. Wells

A brilliantly retro cover of Wells' classic novel, this looks like it could be the opening shot of a 70s detective series title sequence. And you'd probably be a pretty good detective, if you were invisible.

Lunar Park

Author: Bret Easton Ellis

A stylish and simple design for Ellis' 2005 mock memoir, with the uncluttered typography being overlaid with the slither of a red moon.

No Country For Old Men

Author: Cormac McCarthy

Once again, simple and very stylish, you can almost feel the heat of the Texas desert rising from the page, with a blood-red sky deeply evocative of the plans gone awry contained in the book.

South of the Border, West of the Sun

Author: Haruki Murakami

Designer John Gall's cut and paste design is a pleasingly strange and unsettling cover for Murakami's book, one of many fantastic designs to come from him.

The Trial

Author: Franz Kafka

The cover of the 1969 edition chimes perfectly with the book and, above all, has an absurdist, angular style which leaps off the page. An unignorable cover design.

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is a fan-made effort, by London-based designer Aled Lewis, but how we wish this really was the cover for Fitzgerald's masterpiece. Incredibly stylish and period-perfect.

Revolutionary Road

Author: Richard Yates

A 50s-inspired cover for the novel set in the same era, this is effortlessly stylish, with a sheen that matches the book; whilst the distance between the characters here echoes that which is found within its pages.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle

This is, frankly, a work of art - and a stunning, stylish companion to Conan Doyle's classic Holmes tale.

Farenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Joe Mugnaini's first edition cover is an all-time design classic; the weeping, burning newspaper man providing a striking image. Still an iconic cover after all this time.


Author: Vladimir Nabokov

Trust the Italians to get it right - this 60s cover of Nabokov's controversial 1955 work is almost too stylish for us to handle.

The Handmaid's Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

This clever, thought-provoking cover for Atwood's dystopian classic is beautifully lit and shot: simple and devastating.

F: Poems

Author: Franz Wright

Designed by Carol Carson, the acclaimed cover for this 2013 book is minimal and brilliant. The juxtaposition of the bold colours and modernist interlocking 'Fs' with a flowing and classical font is eye-catching and truly memorable.