What are your cover art preferences?

  • Member

    Hello all, I am curious: What are your preferred type of of cover art? Do you prefer an elaborate illustration, with multiple things happening in the background or do you prefer a much simpler cover with just a character and the title?

    Personally I have fallen in love recently with the cover illustration for Deathbound Duke's Daughter. The color pallet, the framing, the character design, oh! I just adore it!

  • Premium Member

    I like when the volume cover has a theme of some kind. The Realist Hero covers can be pretty good as all the little nick-knacks illustrated around tend to actually show up in the volume.

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    The Lazy Dungeon Master covers are pretty stylistically consistent too. They're pretty much always a character on a dice/cube rotated at an angle. Often the cube is transparent with some content relevant to the volume.

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    One of my favorite covers is the first volume so 86. It's such a damn well done cover that's striking and meaningful. You have the two main characters reaching out as if for each other yet just missing each other. The male protagonist holds his grip as if holding a gun while the female protagonist has palm up open hand as to offer her help. On the right side is the clean white architecture and coloring to signify the safe districts while the left is a broken dirty brown to represent the slums of the 86th district. Male protagonist keeps a resolute face while the female has a single tear pouring down her cheek. It's such a strong well designed cover for the series.

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    My favorites are Overlord and Katanagatari.

    They both showcase their unique art and I just can't get enough of them.

    I also like the much simpler covers of the Haruhi Suzumiya paperbacks and the Crest of the Stars special edition.

    So many novels just have art of one of the girls on the cover. I like the art and characters if I like the books, so they aren't bad, but they just don't stand out to me.

    Despite all that, I actually think how the spines look is more important than the cover art. The books spend more time on my shelves than in my hands, after all. I like most spines as long as they keep a consistent major color. The big one that stands out to me here is Danmachi. I love the series, but the paperbacks (the English ones, at least) look horrible next to each other. The black bar with the volume numbers doesn't line up, the small pictures are different sizes, the logo doesn't always fit on the spine, and even the book height varies. I get a little upset about these because I want to buy them but I just think they look so bad. Check out this thread to see some more spines.

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    I prefer cover art that contains a story within. As the result, they also tend to be highly detailed. Stuff like If it's for my Daughter... or some Mushoku Tensei covers.

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    @FalseAim said in What are your cover art preferences?:

    Crest of the Stars special edition.

    Yes, this is my style, exactly. :Pascha: I much prefer minimalistic, symbolic, and/or understated over character art. I would love for "library editions" to exist that are more akin to this in hardback or slipcovers (with normal character art underneath). I usually read digitally so I pick beauty above all else for my shelves for display.

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    When it comes to individual volume, I don't really have much of a preference, I love some minimalist cover like Grimgar vol7 or 11

    where there just characters on a white background, but I also share the taste of other in that thread for Overlord intricate cover, same thing when it comes to the cover telling a small story or just showing some of the important things from that vol. And there are many other criteria like the art style, the fan service, the clarity, ... Overall I can't really pinpoint what's important for one vol's cover.

    That why I found the coherence of the whole series to be more important than how good each is. For example, I think Overlord covers are great not just because each volume looks cool, in fact, some covers really don't look that good (vol 2 and 6) but when I look at the whole it really feels like watching a series of paintings made by an empire to show their great history and rises to power. Which is really cool and completely fits the series.

    Whereas on the other hand, as much as I love Grimgar and even if I prefer some of its covers over all of Overlord's, the series as a whole really lacks a coherence beyond focusing on characters (except for vol 1 and 2 which are way too similar). So unlike Overlord when I look at the whole series the only thing I take out of it is that Haru really needs to take a break.
    And Grimgar is far from being the worst, "The empty box and zeroth Maria"'s cover all show kind of the same thing but have a strange shift in art style and color palette which make the whole series look weird but not in a good way.

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    I think I like somewhat simple cute covers the most.

    Case in point, I really like the cover for Altina's last latest volume.

    No idea about how the orange fits in on this series, or the sandwich for that matter, or the cat. Well, I could see Altina petting a cat. Nonetheless, it's cute.

    Houseki Haki no Onna no Ko (For My Daughter's illustrator) also has really great covers. I really liked the last few covers For My Daughter as well.

    And Vertical has done very well with Monogatari covers too.

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    @Lily-Garden Although I think the art style could have been better, I fully agree with you. The cover palette and the illustration as a whole are awesome!!! Covers with multiple things happening in the background are also much more exiting in my eyes.

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    I absolutely adore covers like the ones so-bin made for Overlord (which has nothing to do that I like the series).

    Rest I prefer even more minimalitsitc approaches, although not especially only a title. To give an example (although not LN) I like the minimalistic look of the Berserk edition from Dark Horse or the cover from the german Deluxe edition of Attack on Titan from Carlsen comics. Another good example would be the silhouette cover for Battle Royale.

    Also the centenary editions from Gollancz are nice with only a silver picture and text on the spine.

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    @saskir said in What are your cover art preferences?:


    you mean like this ?

    yes those leatherette editions are nice

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    @Jon-Mitchell Yep, for example this one. They don't have many books that are this way (Necronomicon, Eldritch Tales, Conan, Tarzan, Lyoness and Dune)

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    For me, I like the more vibrant cover art and illustrations. I think that they do a better job of bringing the story to life and setting the expectations of the story. The dark cover art and illustrations are the ones I generally dont like. A good example of those would be "Record of Wortenai War". Its all dark and bleak, which works with the story but does little to stimulate the imagination.

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    yea, I'm torn
    for physicals - I've restricted my purchases to what I'm going to have as part of my 'permanent' collection, and there's only so much space (and $$) I have one collection of books in my living room, most leather bound (or have the look of leather bound) a lot of classic sci fi/fantasy, some limited editions, signed by author etc. A second collection is in my office (and is about to get purged) hardcover book club editions, mass market paperbacks etc. I have about 2x what I want to keep. (and that will give me space to add more LN physicals of which I only have a few)

    That being said - I like the cover art to invoke the 'spirit' of the story dark/somber or light/humorous - I especially like when a series has cover art that themselves have a theme over the series of volumes (introductions of characters, or featured character on each volume doing something that relates to previous/next-- like the art has its own arc)- Shomin Sample, does this well as does Rokojouma. I'm not such a purist that cover art...needs to be on the cover, I'd buy leather(ette) bound Bookworm editions that had minimalist cover/spine art (like just Rozemynes crest) as long as all the art was inside