The Best Book Covers of 2014

Haruki Murakami, Italo Calvino, Jeff Vandermeer and Lydia Davis in the selection of the best book covers of 2014 chosen by The New York Times

The New York Times published the selection of best book covers of 2014, as chosen by the art-director of The New York Times Book Review, Nicholas Blechman.

Nicholas Blechman, illustrator, designer, art-director:
What is the value of a book cover if fewer and fewer people shop at bookstores? I used to browse St. Mark’s Bookshop looking for covers that caught my eye. It was an exciting way to discover new authors, and design played a huge role. Now, one increasingly encounters books through social media or online recommendations, and the role of the designer might, at first glance, seem diminished.

As I look at the inspired creativity on display among the books published in 2014, however, design feels as relevant as ever. I love the fusion of type and illustration for Jeff ­VanderMeer’s Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy; the playfulness of Mariner Books’ Italo Calvino series; the emotional rawness of Dinaw Mengestu’s All Our Names; the mysterious polygon for Your Face in Mine by Jess Row; the vandalized cover of John Beckman’s American Fun; and the nearly complete short-short story on Lydia Davis’s Can’t and Won’t, to mention a few. All these show that book design remains vibrant and essential.

The Third Plate — Field Notes on The Future of Food

AUTHOR: Dan Barber
DESIGN: Gabriele Wilson

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_01.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 01”, “text”: “”}

Your Face in Mine

AUTHOR: Jess Row
DESIGN: Oliver Munday

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_02.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 02”, “text”: “”}

Silence Once Begun

AUTHOR: Jesse Ball
DESIGN: Peter Mendelsund

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_03.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 03”, “text”: “”}

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

AUTHOR: Haruki Murakami
DESIGN: Chip Kidd

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_04.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 04”, “text”: “”}

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

AUTHOR: Eimear McBride
DESIGN: W. H. Chong

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_05.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 05”, “text”: “”}

Into the War

AUTHOR: Italo Calvino
DESIGN: Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_06.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 06”, “text”: “”}

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance

AUTHOR: Jeff Vandermeer
DESIGN: Rodrigo Corral and Tyler Comrie

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_07.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 07”, “text”: “”}

All Our Names

AUTHOR: Dinaw Mengestu
DESIGN: Isabel Urbina Peña

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_08.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 08”, “text”: “”}

The Silent History

AUTHOR: Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett
DESIGN: Oliver Munday

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_09.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 09”, “text”: “”}

Can’t and Won’t

AUTHOR: Lydia Davis
DESIGN: Charlotte Strick

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_10.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 10”, “text”: “”}

American Fun

AUTHOR: John Beckman
DESIGN: Pablo Delcan

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_11.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 11”, “text”: “”}

Never Love a Gambler

AUTHOR: Keith Ridgway
DESIGN: Rachel Adam

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/book_12.jpg”, “alt”: “Book Covers of the Year 12”, “text”: “”}

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