Cover story

Vintage designers pick their favourite book jackets of 2016

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

I love Vladimir Zimokov’s illustration. The way he combined the delicate features of Shostakovich's face with the raw and iconic Soviet imagery. Those who know Shostakovich, will recognize him, the rest will see a confused or scared intellectual, which perfectly fits the novel.

Chosen by Suzanne Dean

Cockfosters by Helen Simpson

The design incorporates interwoven paper on the front, representing the collection of short stories that all deal with the common themes of ageing, ambition and friendships. The colourful lines used correspond to the different tube lines, such as the blue for Cockfosters on the Piccadilly line. The font used is Johnston which was commissioned in 1913  for use on the underground.

Chosen by Rosie Palmer

The Start of Something by Stuart Dybek

I love the unique character of every pencil in Marion de Man's collage, and you can just imagine the author scrawling his short stories down frantically until nothing but a stub of pencil is left. I find it such a beautiful and confident cover.

Chosen by Sophie Harris

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

One of my favourite cover designs this year is Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, the bold botanical drawing evokes the springtime setting of Baltimore and I like the contempory twist of the large san serif type and striking blue background.

Chosen by Kris Potter

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

Of all the books I’ve designed this year, I think the jacket for Rose Tremain’s wonderful novel, The Gustav Sonata most succinctly and beautifully evokes the period and poignancy of its contents. I wanted it to have the feel of 1940s sheet music covers, to hint at the musical tone of the book, and commissioned Bobby Evans at Telegramme to create the evocative illustration of Gustav and Anton ice skating.

Chosen by Stephen Parker

The Girls by Emma Cline

'I really like the whole composition of the image - the blurriness, lens flare, and warm yet muted colours all work together to perfectly capture the hazy 1970s summer mood commonly found in the work of photographer Neil Krug. The pensive expressions on the girls faces combined with the other elements also give a slight nod to the dark undertone of the book.'

Chosen by Rosalynne Otoo

The Iliad by Homer, translated by Caroline Alexander

I like the way the nineteenth-century engraving of fighting lions captures the violence, vigour and passion of Homer’s epic poem about the fall of Troy.

Chosen by Lily Richards

The Low Voices by Manuel Rivas

'This was a lovely cover to work on and involved trying to capture the Galician feeling of ‘morriña’; a longing for homeland. Using bold typography as a base, I overlaid snippets of the author’s family photos, writing and textures. I then experimented with various colour palettes until I hit on this one which I think really captures the book’s nostalgic feel.’

Chosen by Julia Connoly

The Roth series by Philip Roth

Not one book, but a series of 31. Philip Roth is a difficult author to jacket, so I reduced each title to the simplest of typographical forms – bold with vibrant colours. Ulla Puggaard supplied the handwritten lettering.

Chosen by Matthew Broughton

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

I like the satisfaction of being able to use the typography as a device to draw the viewer's eye to the centre of the drama – not many titles allow you to do this.

Chosen by Rachel Ludbrook

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