When thinking of iconic book covers what comes most readily to mind, at least for me, is a great image. Be the colors subtle or bright, the design bold or demure… When you think book covers, you think of a picture. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby, J. D. Salinger‘s Catcher in the Rye, or –for better or worse —Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight saga.
Seldom do we take note of the truly remarkable effect of a plain text cover. However there are many excellent examples of how striking they can be! Take Robert Bloch‘s Psycho, or The Last Days of Publishing, by Tom Engelhardt.
So now I must encourage you to go out and judge books by their covers –but not just on merit of having pretty pictures, or spot gloss, or the author’s name getting the gold foil treatment. But on good design! A book you’d be happy to be caught reading. Give books with bold, typographic cover a chance, and diversify your book shelf.