Since every novel starts with the cover, we will discuss the best romance book cover designs and their aesthetic interpretation in this article.
Suppose you’d like to discover how to design a cover accordingly to the genre and why it’s essential to have a properly designed book cover; check my article HERE. That article also talks about the Sci-fi Book Covers, so you also explore the best-designed examples from that genre.
What Romance Book Cover Designs Have In Common?
Considering that the primary readers of romantic books are women, the designers usually use color tones popular to these demographics.
The typical elements found on the covers are twirly shaped, which are created with circular lines and are perceived as feminine. The popular feature is the artistic depiction of the love story’s main characters.
This article will focus mainly on the illustrated book covers. Covers designed with illustrations are packed with details and have a more artistic touch applied to them, unlike their photo counterparts.
Furthermore, artists usually make illustrations with vivid color schemes that make them more eye-catching, which increases the probability that a reader will take it from the bookshelf.
Not all illustrative style covers are designed in the same way as you will discover here. Some are created with a watercolor style, and others took a pencil-like approach.
Ok, let’s see which romance book covers you’ll find in this article.
The List Of The Best Romance Book Covers:
- Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
- The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- The DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman
- Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Let’s start with the first one.
1. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
About The Story
The novel is about a love story between Stella Grant and Will Newman, who share the same disease – cystic fibrosis. Because of their condition, they need to stay away from each other to avoid contamination.
If you’re not a reader, you can watch a movie instead with Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse in the leading roles.
The most dominant design element on the cover is a tree-like shape. But in essence is the symbol of the lungs, one of the affected organs of cystic fibrosis patients.
At the end of the branches, you can see different colored flowers representing the hope of a brighter feature and the love between the two charters. The blue shades are connected to the male character and the peachy tones to the female.
The blossoms on the upper half of the lungs look more alive and healthy than the bottom ones. That could demonstrate the breathing problem a person has with the mentioned disease.
The top of the lung shape has many twirls that express the complications and restrictions for the protagonists. Because of their thickness, they also illustrate how little air they can inhale.
I like the shaded technique that was added to all of the elements and makes them alive-looking and, at the same time, fits them in the three-dimensional space.
Artist followed the same style with the typography as well. Because the main characters are young adults, the title looks like someone from that age group would write it. On top of that, handwritten font appearance gives a personal touch to the outlook.
The typography that goes from small to big letters gives the illusion of the third dimension.
Besides that, the increasing font-size displays being five feet apart for a healthy person is not a big deal. Still, this is a HUGE barrier for those two, and if they discarded this rule, it could end fatally.
Design Of The Characters
Artist painted both characters with the full-body form that shows the main characters’ already mentioned adolescent years. In that way, the readers know their age from the start.
Both Stella and Will are holding the word five, the distance that both need to stick with to avoid becoming ill.
The lungs are hugging both of them, which is another indicator of the problem that both have in common. Its pleasing shape indicates that neither of them is alone in this situation.
I can say that this is my favorite book design on the list. It’s made primarily with monochromatic shades, packed with a lot of meaning, and aesthetically done.
2. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Usually, you’d expect to find a book looking like this in a self-help book section of a library or bookstore. It makes you wonder what this book is doing between the romantic ones.
For all people out there who are not keen on reading books, you can watch the motion picture with Charles Melton and Yara Shahidi in the leading role.
About The Novel
The story revolves around a Jamaican girl Natasha Katherine Kingsley who will be departed from the USA. A Korean, Daniel Jae Ho Bae, wants to live outside of the family expectations.
This cover art is really stunning. It was made with string art, as you can see in the video below.
All strings connected from a star-like shape give a visual appearance of a massive energy burst. This is also a characteristic of the sun where the solar flair accrues. The same effect can be seen at the newborn star, where a vast amount of energy is released.
The crossed lines could have another meaning not connected to the title’s words but the story. A reader can find a lot of complex themes, from deportation to going against the family will. The tension that holds the strings tight illustrates these complex issues and questions found in the book.
On top of that, the strings could also express different emotions that are pulling the main book characters in various directions. The result where Natasha or Daniel will end up depends on which emotion they will listen to.
If you look at the nails that the strings are attached to, you can see some are holding more lines than the other. This illustrates that some questions, emotions, and decisions have a more significant impact than the others.
The whole meaning that I’ve just discussed is enhanced with the color selection. The darker the color, the more negative emotion is. On the other hand, brighter colors represent positive emotions.
There is also one design gem that I adore. It’s a nail position on the cover’s backside that is totally disconnected from the others.
This detail displays the feature meeting of Natasha and Daniel. If you take a closer look at the string color attached to that nail, you will see it’s a positive one.
The Sun Is Also a Star is an excellent example of out of the box thinking design. Even though someone might think that those are just a bunch of strings, there is a lot of meaning connected to them. Another representation of the colorful lines is that everything in the universe is connected – from the stars to human faith.
3. The DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman
Before we dive into this cover’s aesthetic interpretation, let’s first discover what this novel talks about.
About The Book
The book talks about the young graduate Emily Apell who stars working in a lab. She puts all her effort into finding the so-called pathfinder gene that creates the sense of smell in the brain.
Despite working in a toxic environment, she falls in love with coworker Aeden, who is also working in the same field.
Ok, I don’t want to spoil the story too much, so if you like the novels from romantic space and want to find out how this story unfolds, be sure to pick up this book.
The most prominent element on the cover is a male and female shape designed with dots. Those dots symbolize different molecules that the scientist are researching.
Besides that, they can also represent the smells particles that enter the nostrils. The top part of the facial shape disintegrates and looks like someone inhaled the particles in. Also, the bubbles could symbolize different feelings, especially the bubbling feeling when we fall in love.
Different colors and dot sizes represent various molecules that everything in the universe is made of. Different colors illustrate specific emotions, such as sadness or happiness. If you zoom in on a single dot, it could also symbolize one of the most common lab tools – a petri dish.
You can see the lab with all the other equipment in the background, the place where the story unfolds. All the items are outlined so that they don’t overpower the graphic of the two protagonists. Furthermore, the analog color fusion between the background and lab instruments boosts the subtle appearance.
The designer used a combination of hand lettering and sans serif fonts. Both types are central alignment between the two protagonists. The color combination of the background makes the title really visible.
Another interesting typography feature on the cover is the word “Novel.” It’s in the same color shade as the lab items, and it puts it visually in the background because it’s not as important as the book title.
4. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
About The Novel
The story follows Princess Jaya Rao seeking revenge for her younger sister Isha. The latter found herself in a family feud lasting for generations between the Emersons and Raos families over the stolen rose-shaped ruby.
Let’s see how the story reflects the book cover.
My favorite design element and the most prominent one is the book title, so let’s start here.
The designer used the decorative serif font for the heading. Its stylistic group of letters portrays the set of plot twists.
The title is enriched with the hard long shadow effect that makes it elevated from the background. Like in the previous book example, the conjunction with the preposition is tucked under the words Courses and Kisses.
In that way, they don’t occupy as much of a space as if they were the same size. On the contrary, if they were the same size, the whole dynamic outlook would be ruined, and the title won’t be as visible and attractive as it is.
A small design element is placed on the letters, which is vital for the story – rose flower. I would say that it holds two symbolic purposes. The first one is a direct representation of the rose pendant that Jaya possesses and is the family conflict object.
Additionally, the rose is an illustration of love, and those emotions start to awaken in Jaya to her nemesis.
I would say that the decorative element would be enough as a sole element on the cover. But the designer or writer wanted to represent how the main charters look like – Jaya as the decedent of the Indian family and Grey as British.
Jaya is placed on the top of the cover and looks down on the Grey, which suggests that she is more important. However, with the letter twirls’ help, she can slowly climb down and be on the same level as her nemesis.
5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I’m a fan of minimalist design because it’s tough to make it in a way that doesn’t look sterile. When something is designed in that way, it will definitely catch my eye, and this book definitely did.
But before we jump into the aesthetic interpretation of the element, let’s see what the story talks about.
About The Story
The story follows a 16-year-old girl Eleanor with red hair, and Park, a half-Korean, 16-year-old boy. Both bond over a shared love of comics and 80s mixtapes.
Like all the other elements on the cover, the main characters are vertical and horizontally centered, with the immense white space around them.
The general appearance looks like someone would doodle it out of boredom during the school class. My favorite design element is the headphone cable connecting Eleanor and Park, who like to listen to the same kind of music.
We all know how headphone cable likes to tangle and become all messy. In this case, it weaves in the perfect shape of &, which is an excellently executed design element.
The novel cover follows the same style of typography that the overall illustration, which is pencil-like made. The different letters and irregular shapes make the font unique and handwritten looking.
The color combination of the red and blue font represents the gender of the characters. Simultaneously, it also matches the hair color of Eleanor.
The chat bubble’s quirky element lets the reader know that this book is a novel and not a comic book.
Final Thoughts: Romance Book Covers
Like in other booking categories, the designer who creates art for romantic book covers needs to be mindful of the visual style guidelines connected to the genre.
The book cover introduced on this list went with the illustrative design style prevalent among romance novels. However, using the illustration for that book type is not set in stone. Some designers took their creativity to the next level, as you have seen in The Sun Is Also a Star design.
In the end, the goal of every book design is to quicken someone’s curiosity, so he or she opens it up and starts reading.