We’ve talked about book cover designs — both new and old — quite a lot this year, and it’s no surprise. Being completely obsessed with pop culture as we are, we’re more than a little bit fascinated by covers, since they manage to combine two of our favorite things: literature and design. We’ve been tracking our favorite covers all year, but to get an expert opinion on the topic, we asked illustrator and graphic designer Andrew Henderson, who runs one of our favorite Tumblrs, Lovely Book Covers (tagline: yes, you should judge a book by its cover), to curate this list of the best book covers of 2011. Since he’s based in Scotland, several of Henderson’s choices are from UK or other foreign editions, which we think makes the list all the more interesting. Click through to see his picks for the most evocative, beautiful, and well-designed book covers of the year, and let us know if you agree with his assessments in the comments!
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
There have been few book covers more talked about this year than Chip Kidd’s already iconic design for 1Q84. The hardback makes fantastic use of the medium to create a layered design with the girl’s face printed on the cover below the transparent dust jacket. Kidd, the patron saint of book covers, had this to say about his design: “logistically the title is a book designer’s dream, because its unique four characters so easily adapt it to a very strong, iconic treatment.”