Are Book Covers Art?

Good Morning!

So…I was reading an article the other day that was talking about the “new-age artist” (I’ll try to find the article again and post it…) Basically it said that as a whole, our society doesn’t appreciate art they way it used to. (#1. I think that is bullshit, I could spend HOURS in the MET and not bat an eye.) Anyways, Mr. McNegativity then went on to criticize what he thought was a horrible trend in modern day art.

Book Covers.

Long story short he said that artists that could really “make” something out of themselves are wasting their time designing emotionless slub for the masses instead of putting their ideas down on a canvas where it should be.

Dear Sir… You are an idiot.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could spend hours doing nothing but looking at book covers, AND as a person who has designed book covers, I love having my work out their for a WIDE audience…not just they 100 or so tourist that decide to visit a SOHO hot-spot.

So…to the man who very clearly has his head stuck up his (((censored))) I pose this question:


How in the HELL can these not be considered art?

 Click images to get a better look


How about you…

Do you think book covers are art?

About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.

14 thoughts on “Are Book Covers Art?

  1. Agree with you 100%! I like museums, but I’d rather drool over book covers.

    I love that you feature my friend, Jack Wallen, as one of the cover artists (My Zombie My). He’s brilliant.

  2. Yes of course book covers are works of art! I love book covers as the only art I enjoy looking at and creating. That guy who dissed book covers is a complete idiot. And those book covers you put up are amazing!

  3. Of course book covers are art. They may not always be the kind of high fancy art that ends up in a gallery, but they’re art. They’re a creative visual representation of an idea or a theme or a subject. Ten to one this person thinks that art is judged only by whether or not something is in a heavy frame, hung in a building that charges admission. Art goes far beyond that. Far FAR beyond that!

    Ironically, this strikes me as a person who can’t recognize and appreciate art when he sees it. Art is a fluid thing. It changes with the ages. Book covers are just one form of art in an evolving society.

  4. Good book covers are art. Sometimes a publisher will decide to re-release a book but change the book cover art. Most of the times it is a bad choice.

    At a lecture I heard Neil Gaiman talk about the joy, fascination and high esteem he had when working with illustrators. Good book covers (hard copy or digital) leads the reader to the magic within.

  5. Book covers are art, no question. An enormous amount of creative input goes into them. There are some amazingly talented cover artists out there. I live in France where there is a definite tendency towards the quirky and original in artwork and covers for books. I can happily spend hours admiring them all in a librarie.

  6. Of course covers are art.

    I like to play with cover art images. Though I’ve never ‘sold’ a cover, I have created them for a couple of co-author friends.

    Some covers are just completely beautiful!

  7. Somebody’s going to put out a 99 cent kindle book of nothing but brilliant book covers and make a fortune. Imagine how much easier it would be for a budding artist to get exposure to the masses by releasing book cover art that way…

  8. I have to agree with you. When I look at some of the book covers today, I can’t help but be fascinated with them- especially some of the YA books out there with the brilliant colors and divine textures. Even with the books I’ve had published, my Iron Sights series and my YA book, Wavering, I spent days brainstorming how exactly I wanted it to look. The final copy, I can’t describe as anything but art. I’m from Chicago, and I used to spend much of my free time after my ballet lessons at the Art Museum downtown, and if the older generations can consider a blackboard art, well, it would be wrong not to consider book covers art. It’s downright insulting. If anything, authors need to start showing up at more art walks.

  9. How is someone who has a self-professed “unhealthy obsession” with an electronic reading device able to weigh in on whether books and their jacket designs are art objects? If we all start reading on Kindles, will there even be jacket art anymore? I mean, the Kindle is an entirely artless medium for reading text – how is jacket art a factor in your reading habits anymore? I don’t get it. Are you even listening to yourself?

    Well, clearly you’re getting a cut from Jeff Bezos here, so I guess I’m just being naive. Carry on.

    1. Wait….so you are assuming that just because I read MOST (not all) of my books on a Kindle that I’m not allowed to comment on the beauty of cover art? That is, well…in the most polite of terms…completely ludicrous!

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but do people not LOOK at book covers while they are picking out books for their Kindle? Are these covers not also displayed at the forefront of these books ON my Kindle? Isn’t the Kindle Fire a FULL COLOR device that allows the reader to enjoy the beauty of the cover art in all of its glory?

      Just because I “prefer” to read in a digital format doesn’t mean that I have to discount the non-digital.

      So yes…I’m going to say you are naive, and for all intents and purposes ignorant when it comes to ebooks.

      ***And for the record (just so we are clear) I do NOT get a cut from Bezos. As a matter of fact…Amazon was very unhappy with the title of my page and refused to pay me associate money if I didn’t change it. (which obviously I did not)***

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