The Best Book Covers of 2012, As Chosen by Our Favorite Book Cover Designers

2012 was a great year for books — and maybe even a better one for book covers. We were so overwhelmed by the number of great ones that we couldn’t rally our thoughts to any kind of end-of-year list — so we figured we’d go to the experts (book jacket designers, of course) and ask what they thought. After the jump, feast your eyes on the favorite book cover designs of the year from a few rock star book cover designers, and let us know which ones are your favorites in the comments.

Coralie Bickford-Smith

During this year I found that these covers were never far from my thoughts when working on my own concepts, having burned themselves into my mind’s eye with their inventive use of imagery.

The Yellow World, designed by Gray 318

The Yellow World defies cover logic by removing the information we rely on to choose a book. This could be seen as just a gimmick but its brave approach is a reflection of its author’s attitude to his decade-long battle with cancer.

The Ralph Ellison series, designed by Cardon Webb

This Ralph Ellison series is just a perfect use of form, colour and typography. It looks so easy but it takes an expert eye to make it work and I still aspire to handle white space in such a confident manner.

The Flame Alphabet, designed by Peter Mendelsund

The three dimensional quality of the The Flame Alphabet‘s cover is just a brilliant realisation of craft that is rare and beautifully executed.

Smut, designed by Henry Sene Yee

Lastly, Smut just makes me laugh, and the humorous use of inanimate objects is probably the best way to get me to pick up a book!