Patterns on book covers - what do you think?


Senior Member
Jan 2, 2008
Up the clum
These days most books have pictures on the cover of a scene or character from the book to give you a feel of the contents.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, has patterns:



I think the hardback one is particularly elegant and I like it in the abstract. In conjunction with the title it probably suggests Sorcery.

Just wondered what everyone else thought of patterns?
In these specific examples or in general?

And can anyone think of other patterned book covers?
I especially like the Kindle one.

I think these (and similar ones) can work well at present because they're distinctive, and that's because they're different. But so was the now-cliched "cloaked hooded figure walking towards the viewer" when it was first used. If you're thinking of something similar yourself, you'd have to make a call as to whether everyone will be using patterns in a few months. Personally, I think you'd probably be safe, but who knows.

The partner of a friend said recently that an illustration of character or setting tends to make a book feel more YA, and I think that's true. So a pattern or more abstract cover could work to make a book feel older.
For the hardcover at least, it looks like the sort of decorative motive you would associate with the Regency period - which directly reflects the context of the book.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy immediately come to mind... over the years they have had a number of simple pattern covers as well as a few picture ones -




and a link to some of the original patterns for the books -

Discover J.R.R. Tolkien's Personal Book Cover Designs for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy | Open Culture

Similar threads