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    8 Great Examples of Fantasy Book Cover Design Ideas with Tips

    logopoppin Updated: January 19, 2024 17 min read
    fantasy book cover ideas

    Discover Some of the Best Fantasy Book Cover Ideas and Learn How to Emulate Them

    Fantasy books are part of the most popular genre in books today. With fantasy ranging from the serious, highly dynamic area of adult fantasy, to the lighthearted fantasy books for preteens and younger children, the genre encompasses a huge variety, and potential for design.

    But how can we quantify and measure the quality of the great fantasy book cover design ideas? What are the elements that make them stand out from their less visually stunning counterparts, catching the eye of the prospective reader? And considering that its often said that the beauty of art lies in the eyes of the beholder, is there any way for us to judge whether a cover art is good or not?

    Let’s read on to discover the formula to create an amazing fantasy book cover, no matter its niche, and discover some great cover art by professional eBook design services for inspiration for your own design.

    The Three Important Elements of Fantasy Book Cover Design

    Before we get on with breaking down and evaluating some of the popular fantasy book cover design ideas and examples, first we need to understand the basis on which fantasy book covers are based on.

    There are three main elements to any good cover art, regardless of its genre. Focusing on these three elements will help you understand how successful your book cover design is. Those three elements are:

    • Typography of the book cover (Including title and subtitles)
    • Color combinations or palette and related effects
    • Choice of imagery on the cover art

    These three elements, when properly tweaked, can be used to make amazing book cover designs for nearly every genre of book, from fiction to non-fiction. In the context of fantasy book cover ideas, the typography needs to have some sort of serif fonts with elegant curves and edges. Similarly, the color scheme should be mysterious and alluring, while the imagery needs to highlight the fantasy element of the story.

    Let’s take a look at them in greater detail.

    Typography for the Title and Other Text

    American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    Your choice of fonts plays an important role in the design of your fantasy book covers. Imagine you see a book with a title written in sharp, thorny typography. What would be you response, besides a sense of foreboding mystery?

    It’s the same for fantasy books too. Fonts like Gothic, Baskerville, Trajan, and others like them are timeless classic when it comes to the fantasy genre. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot use other fonts if they are suitable for that purpose. Moreover, design planning such as using all uppercase, or a mix of upper and lowercase letter would impact your design.

    Let’s take a look at some of the design elements that can affect the impact of your book cover ideas.

    Color Scheme Used

    Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

    Your choice of color palette is also important, as it allows your book to elicit the desired emotions. In color psychology, it is sais that different shades embody different color meanings. When planned properly, this phenomenon can be used to enhance the impact of your design, thus improving the reading experience for your users.

    Imagery of the Cover

    Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

    On its own, the imagery in your cover art can be quite effective. However, when combined with a properly planned color palette, and a great title font, then the visual impact of your book cover can be enhanced further. Incidentally, this style of cover art is also quite prevalent in many popular art book cover ideas too.

     Depending on your fantasy book’s niche, you can play around with the imagery of your cover art, adding design elements to add meaning to it, or just playing with colors and gradients. In the end, the purpose is to ensure that the resulting book cover has the desired impact.

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    Adult Fantasy Book Cover Design Ideas

    Unlike genres like children fantasy or even you adult or YA fantasy, adult fantasy often deals with deeper storylines, complex plots, and subtle nuances that make it well-suited to a more mature mind. As such, the fantasy book covers for this genre should be designed well enough to portray the fact that these are not the book you read to your children at bedtime.

    Moreover, as these books are targeting a more mature mindset, the design would be a little more complex, unlike the often straightforward designs seen in children book covers. The colors scheme for these books are often dark, with sinister highlights and contrasts such as blood red or supernatural green to lend an adult theme to the design.

    Similarly, the fonts used are also more authoritative, often using an aged aesthetic in their design to give their impact a greater weight. Based on the theme of that adult fantasy book, the style of font used can be an indicator of that book’s theme, whether it deals with a modern setting or an older one. Moreover, suitable imagery that often takes the form of a central symbol or the setting of the book rounds off the whole design.

    Let’s take a look at the fantasy book cover design ideas from the adult fantasy genre.

    Raven Song – By I.A. Ashcroft

    Raven Song book cover

    The first book cover on our list is of Raven Song, a book by I.A. Ashcroft, and the first entry in the Inoki’s Game series. Representing a dystopian wasteland of the world, specifically New York, after a nuclear fallout, the dark and ruined horizon featuring famous NY landmarks allows for a proper scenic setting for the story.

    Moreover, the background of the scene is colored a drab and distressing grey and white, with a design that is meant to mimic snow falling and swirling through the air. And to round off the cover art, a dark close up of a raven swooping down is superimposed over the design, making it stand out magnificently. In the end, the thin yet stylish typography of the title and author, colored red to make it stand out, fits in perfectly with the vibe.

    Warrior of Light – By William Heinzen

    Warrior of Light book cover

    The next book on our list is Warrior of Light, by William Heinzen. Unlike the previous book cover which represents a book about a dystopian future, this book combines elements from both mystery and historical settings to create an awesome fantasy story.

    And the best part is that the book cover embodies that essence perfectly. The first thing anyone would notice when looking at that book cover is that the entire design has a greenish hue to it, which is emanating from a hand-and-a-half sword. That sword is alight with a green, mystical glow, which is designed to look as if it lightened the entire dark scene. The glowing sword, combined with a backdrop that shows signs of a medieval tower and castle, portrays the book’s setting quite well.

    Moreover, the metallic color scheme of the typography on the book, as well as the old, blocky with sharp edged font style of decades past, makes this one of the best fantasy book cover ideas on this list.

    Urban Fantasy Book Cover Ideas

    While urban fantasy may be an easier genre for writers as they do not need to create an entire fantasy universe, their cover art is one of the more challenging ones on this list. Mixing the contemporary settings with the fantasy elements from YA, romance, or even supernatural elements can be a difficult prospect, especially without going overboard.  

    For the color schemes for this genre of book covers, strong contrasts are often used. They represent the dichotomy of the real world elements and the fantasy elements, which is something characteristic of the urban fantasy genre. The fonts used here often serve as a foil to the color scheme. So if the colors are contrasting sharply, then it’s the typography that ties everything together.

    As for the imagery to be used in the cover art, that is up to the designer. However, be careful when choosing an image representing the story, as it should pique the reader’s interest, not tell the entire plot instantly.

    Let’s take a look at a couple of amazing urban fantasy book cover design ideas.

    Genie and Other Weird Tales – By Alan Killip

    Genie and Other Weird Tales book cover

    Genie, by Alan Killip, is a collection of short stories rather than a full-sized novel. However, each of the stories in it is designed to keep you holding on to your seat in anticipation. The book features a number of short stories, from the emotional “Sarah’s Dar” to the eponymous farm for which this book is named.

    An urban mystery set within the real world, the book takes a unique and intense approach when it came to creating the book’s cover art. Taking a psychedelic approach to the design, the book features the image of an alluring woman. The cover art has a light blue background that contrasts well with the imagery of the woman. Moreover, all throughout the design, there are pops and gradients of contrasting colors like blue, red, purple, and more.

    Overall, the impact is one of surreal fantasy that lends well to this book’s genre, and makes it one of the best fantasy book cover design ideas. 

    Angels at Last Light – By Jameson S. Pabes

    Angels at Last Light

    Now this urban fantasy book takes a different approach to the previous one for its book cover design. While Genie took an innovative approach to ensure that the design embodied a surreal aspect, the cover art for Angels at Last Light takes a somewhat straightforward approach.

    Showing the juxtaposition of real-life against the fantasy element successfully, the book cover has a clear distinction between the two aspects. The cover is divided into two section horizontally, with the lower section showing the dark and gritty real world, with a city skyline showing a setting sun. At the top, the imagery shows ether-like dispersion of vivid crimson, hiding a pair of angel wings and a halo.

    Interestingly, if you take a look at the complete picture, you see that it perfectly represents the title of the book, enhancing the overall impact of the book cover.

    Science Fiction Fantasy Book Cover Design Ideas

    The science-fiction genre, more commonly known as sci-fi, offers virtually endless opportunities when it comes to creating impactful cover art. The only limit – your creativity. One mistake often made budding eBook designers is that they end up making the cover art too complicated for the readers to understand. Now, we know that there is a fine line between an amazing sci-fi book cover and one that is too complicated to make heads or tails of.

    Good fantasy book cover design ideas in the science-fiction genre tend towards a dark and metallic color scheme. That darkness is often contrasted flashes of bright laser-like light, or via molten sparks. The purpose, unlike most other genres, is just to hint at the prospect of science fiction. Therefore, most iconic book covers from this genre are often simpler.

    The typography is often done using some sort of futuristic fonts, to make it more suited to its genre. As for imagery, you can let your imagination run wild, but beware – don’t make it so complicated that people are left scratching their heads trying to understand what they are looking at. Let’s take a look at some great examples of book covers from this genre.

    From the Ash – By Dave Heron

    From the Ash book cover

    The first entry in our science fiction fantasy book list is called From the Ash, written by Dave Heron as book 1 of the Phoenix Series. It tells the story of a dystopian future, where the world has turn to a burning, barren wasteland. The remaining vestiges of humankind are scrabbling to find some semblance of normalcy in the chaos that reigns around them, slowly losing their humanity little by little.

    Enters our protagonist called Phoenix, who survived this catastrophe, and has climbed through the rubble to witness a world they can hardly recognize. A story of rebirth, the name of the book, protagonist, and even the cover art combines perfectly.

    The cover art features the image of a red-headed girl holding a sharp sai in her hand, with flashes of bright yellow-orange light behind her, and her left side illuminated by glowing embers and sparks. The entire cover has a warm yellow-orange tone, which sets the perfect scene for a world that is burning. Moreover, like the mythical phoenix bird, known for its fiery plumage, the protagonist also features a mane of fiery red-orange hair.

    Overall, its little things like these that make it one of the top fantasy book cover ideas on this list. 

    Red Right Hand – By Chris Tullbane

    Red Right Hand book cover

    Red Right Hand is the second book in The Murder of Crows trilogy by author Chris Tullbane. It tells the story of a Crow, or necromancer, who joins the superhero academy in a post-apocalyptic world in order to ward off the madness that is the legacy of all necromancers, including his father.

    Damian, our protagonist, tries to be a hero, despite the hatred of his fellow students and instructors. But what can one man do when he has the world aligned against him? The cover art of the book perfectly embodies the essence of a world that has gone to the dogs, with the entire design colored in a fiery red-orange-yellow color scheme. Overall, it adds a great sci-fi vibe to the cover art, without actually showing anything considered classically sci-fi, a design style also popularized within many adult graphic novel/ comic book cover ideas.

    Romance Fantasy Book Cover Ideas

    Ah, now we come to a category that most people avoid categorizing into the fantasy genre. Romance fantasy is a popular genre that has been popular for a long time. In fact, there have even been publishing houses that dealt primarily in the romance fantasy genre, such as Mills & Boon.

    Now, you might be thinking; how hard can it be design a romance fantasy book cover? However, there is a lot of creativity that goes into it. The key to good cover art for this genre is simple – suggestiveness. That means that you cannot just get by slapping a well-muscled shirtless guy, or a skimpily-clad woman on the cover and call it a day. Instead of direct sex appeal, your cover art needs to just hint at it.

    The color schemes for these book covers often use shades that are associated with lust and passion. That means that reds, purples, and such darker shades are the way to go. The fonts however, can be used to hint at a secondary aspect of the book, such as a supernatural twist, tying it together with the visuals and imagery of the cover.

    Let’s see how some great romance fantasy book cover design ideas represent these ideas.

    Vassal – By Alice Shieh

    Vassal book cover

    The book cover for this book called Vassal, written by Alice Shieh, is an interesting one to start with. This cover art perfectly represents what we discussed earlier about suggestive rather than overt romance. This book is the first entry in a new vampire romance series, and as such, perfectly combines the fantasy element with romance.

    At first glance, all you might see is a scattering of crumpled white flowers surrounding an ornate yet delicate crown, set against a jet-black background. However, a more careful look shows bright red drops of blood on those white blossoms, hinting at the sexual undertones of this romantic vampire fantasy.

    Overall, the design is subtle, elegant, yet highly expressive, making it one of the more expertly designed romance fantasy book cover ideas you will see.

    Lightness Falling – By Stacey Marie Brown

    Lightness Falling book cover

    Coming to the last book on our list, the cover art for Lightness Falling may seem like its gone for upfront sex appeal rather than just alluding to it, but there is a valid reason for this design. One of the central themes of this book is the sexual intrigue around the protagonist, which plays into a lot of the plot lines.

    Therefore, the addition of the seemingly clichéd shirtless muscle man on the cover turns out to be an important design element that drives home the essence of this book’s genre. Moreover, to add to the element of fantasy in this cover art, the dark mysterious tone of the design, contrasted by a lone black feather in flames, adds a certain level of mystique and allure to this design. And it shows a masterful manipulation of the design elements to create an amazing fantasy book cover.

    Conclusion

    To sum it up, there are a lot of different fantasy book cover design ideas that can be used in this genre. However, depending on your niche, there will be some specific styling cues that you will need to incorporate in your cover art in order to make it a success. However, what are you to do if your book’s theme spans across multiple fantasy genres? What will your design look like then?

    Well, in that case, you will need to identify the core theme of your book, and choose the genre that matches it as close as possible. There are multiple examples of this in real life, such as the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher that has an adult, supernatural urban fantasy/detective theme to it. if you look at its covers, the books generally favor the supernatural fantasy element more than any other theme, due to the series primarily supernatural/magical theme.

    So, if you want to create great fantasy book covers, then you need two things – a thoroughly researched primary fantasy niche for design, and an evaluation of popular book covers in that niche.

    FAQs

    What are some quick elements that can make your fantasy book covers pop?
    In order to make your fantasy book cover design stand out, you need: An elaborate and elegant font that adds a certain mystery to your design. A visually captivating color scheme incorporating contrasts and gradients. Intense imagery that catches the reader’s eye and hints at the book’s theme
    What are some great fonts for a fantasy book cover?
    Depending on your specific fantasy theme, some great fonts to use for its typography include:
    Garamond
    Baskerville
    Trajan
    Gothic

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