A while back, I shared one of my favorite librarian hobbies – spotting copycat book covers. Since then, I’ve kept an eagle eye out for more, and I’ve discovered a surprising and strangely specific trend in 2017 and 2018 cover art: the shiny bug.
This past publishing year has produced a handful of gorgeous covers featuring intricate, stylized, metallic insects. It’s an unlikely trend, but a beautiful one.
DREADFUL YOUNG LADIES: AND OTHER STORIES
By Kelly Barnhill
STRANGE THE DREAMER
By Laini Taylor
By Zoraida Cordova
THE MOTH PRESENTS ALL THESE WONDERS
By Catherine Burns
Like just about everything, book cover art follows trends (we’re capitalists, y’all). In the 80s and 90s, chick lit, with its pastel illustrations, dominated YA. During my teen years in the early 2000s, it was all about bright, solid colors, à la THE PRINCESS DIARIES and SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS (tangent, but Rachel Hawkins recent book ROYALS seems to harken back to that style). More recently, books like THE LUXE and THE SELECTION spawned a seemingly endless parade of ball gown-centric cover art.
So where’d all these glittery bugs come from? I see it as part of a larger trend that I’m pretty jazzed about: a move away from depicting characters and towards gorgeous lettering. I’ve written about a few of my favorite covers in this style before, and I plan to share more soon.
So, what are some of your favorite book covers? Have you noticed any recent trends in cover art?