Many of the most striking book covers you’ll spot on the shelf these days use a tried-and-tested formula—aerial photograph + minimal typography = a 3D design that looks incredible, with little effort involved.
This cover look is so easy to recreate in InDesign and you can get really creative with choosing pairings of striking photos and gorgeous fonts.
1. Healing Meals by Kyra de Vreeze
Cookbooks were some of the first to use aerial photos on covers, to showcase beautiful plates of food and colourful ingredients. Here, illustrator Anna Denise embellishes the author’s dramatic food photography with whimsical touch line art and hand-drawn typography.
Design: Anna Denise
2. Catch and Release by Mark Kingwell
Helen Yentus’ cover design for Catch and Release elevates a photo with an everyday feel and makes it feel special and personal to the viewer. Classic typography (try New Century Schoolbook to imitate the look of the text) that slots perfectly into the white space provided by the photo gives that finishing touch.
Design: Helen Yentus
3. Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss
Anna Green’s cover design for Icelandic study Names for the Sea makes a wonderful job of integrating an aerial photograph with the typography, with the human figure swimming over some of the letters that make up the title.
Try separating sections of your images into layers using Photoshop and place the images and text on separate Layers in InDesign to imitate this interactive design.
Design: Anna Green of Siulen Design
4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Early Years by Ilan Stavans
This truly stunning cover design by Art Director Jason Ramirez demonstrates how aerial photography and simple type can make such a good pairing for a cover design.
Discover the typeface used to create this design by checking out our recommendations for book cover fonts.
Design: Jason Ramirez
5. Mighty Spice by John Gregory-Smith
Another cookbook makes our list, and it’s no surprise when its cover looks this good. The photo extends all the way across the layout and leaves plenty of ‘white space’ for creating a bold slab serif heading at the top. Adding some generous Tracking to the type gives the design a clean, minimal look.
Design: Duncan Baird Publishers
6. Best Friends by Thomas Berger
Another example that demonstrates how type and photo can interact, and feel more like a unified whole. Designer John Fulbrook III personalises the photo with a note reading ‘A Novel’; making the design instantly attention-grabbing and quirky.
Design: John Fulbrook III
7. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy
This cover design is so simple, using one strong image set on a bright background, and teaming it with super-minimal type. But it’s also incredibly effective, and surely the final proof that aerial photo + minimal typography = a winning book cover combination!
Design: Ben Wiseman
Looking for more book design inspiration? Discover our edit of covers that use fantastic fonts.
Have a great cover idea but not sure how to start creating it? Check out our selection of helpful InDesign tips and tutorials to get you started.
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