Children’s Book Cover Design Ideas: 50 Jolly Examples

by Anastasia
16.12.2020

Children’s Book Cover Design Ideas: 50 Jolly Examples

by Anastasia
16.12.2020

Where does the design of a children’s book cover begin? Lewis Caroll in his “Alice in Wonderland” once said:

What is the use of a book without pictures?

It sums up the main principle in the children’s book cover design: use images and illustrations to draw young readers’ attention. However, you also need to pay attention to market research, colors, and typography to end up with the design that kids will not be able to walk pass. 

In this article, we will explain to you how to master the children’s book cover design and capture childhood magic.

And the fun part is that we’ve also collected outstanding examples of the children’s book cover design ideas to boost your imagination.

Let’s get to it!

Children’s book cover design ideas 

Keep reading to learn how to choose the perfect illustration, fonts, and colors appropriate for your target age group. We guarantee that young readers will become all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

On your marks, get set, go!

Pay attention to your target age group

It’s time to address the elephant in the room and start with the first and most important rule in children’s book cover design. The book cover MUST be appropriate for its age group. That’s the key factor to take into consideration before you even start coming up with design ideas. We’ve put together some tips and tricks for book covers suitable for toddlers, school children, and teenagers. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Children’s book cover design ideas for toddlers

If you’re reading this, most probably, your target audience is children who can not read yet. The purpose of the book is to entertain them through lively images and teach some small lessons. For example, good manners or compassion and forgiveness. Some of these books also cover the school program’s basics, like counting and learning the ABCs. Keep in mind that the book’s interior design should include images and illustrations, and just little text blocks. That takes a bit of the pressure away from the front book cover design too. 

  • It’s a good idea to play it safe and try to win over your little readers’ hearts through familiar images and pleasant color pallets. Speaking about images, it’s best not to include strange characters and actual photographs. Go with the mainstream creature that the kids already know something about—a cat, a rabbit, flowers, or sun. The best idea is to include illustrations with happy and friendly facial expressions. 
  • Depending on the purpose of your book, choose the color palette wisely. If it’s a collection of bedtime stories, go with soft, calming colors. If you’re trying to educate the children, look into a brighter color theme to keep them engaged for as long as possible.
"My awesome alphabet" by Make Believe Ideas as an example of toddler book cover design idea "Bedtime Stories for Kids" by Uncle Amon as an example of book cover design idea for toddlers "Biscuit^ Storybook Collection" by Alyssa Capuolli as an example of toddler book cover design idea "Duck and Goose" by Tad Hills as an example of toddler book cover design idea "Hello Hippo! as an example of toddler book cover design idea "What the Ladybug Heard" by Julia Donaldson as an example of toddler book cover design idea

Children’s book cover design ideas for school kids

Chances are, in this category, the children start picking books in the bookstore on their own. The age might vary from first grade all the way to middle school. If you’re dealing with slightly older kids, your book might not have any additional images inside, which turns your book cover design into the lead attention-grabbing tool. Unless it’s children’s non-fiction like an encyclopedia, steer clear from photo-based design. Illustrations still remain a go-to. 

Though, you might want to make your characters less childish and more cartoonish and real. You can also add some additional details – don’t be afraid of creating a busy book cover design. However, decide what will serve as the eye-catching hook in your cover design. Your main purpose is to intrigue the young readers and turn your book cover into a treasure hunt. 

"Hay Granddude!" by Paul McCartney as an example of schoolkids book cover design idea "The Twelwe Days of Christmas Island!" by Teresa Lagrange as an example of schoolkids book cover design idea "Mr Tiger Goes Wild" by Peter Brown as an example of schoolkids book cover design idea

Besides, you might start dealing with a series book cover design here. Things to keep in mind include:

  • You can stick to the same font style. A great idea is to emphasize the series title, book title, or author’s name depending on what you choose as your branding element.
  • On the other hand, you might want to turn colors into a distinguishing feature of the children’s book series. The same background color can be used to emphasize the connection between the books in the series. Or you can settle for different background colors but use similar hues. 
  • Finally, the most popular tactic in the children’s book cover design is to use images and illustrations as the link between the books in the series. For example, the protagonist and secondary characters can become the centerpiece of your children’s book cover design. Choose different images for the background, depending on the setting and plot details, and you’ll be good to go. 
"Histories 4 Ans" as an example of schoolkids book cover design idea "Histoires 5 Ans" as an example of schoolkids book cover design idea Schoolkids book cover

Children’s book cover design ideas for teenagers

It’s extremely important to analyze and research current market trends, needs, and expectations to create a fantastic children’s book cover to hook teenagers. Think about it: your book will probably cover a bit more complex topics, such as first love, friendship, peer pressure, family conflicts, fashion, etc. Check what’s being done around you and what are the “hot” and “cool” trends in the market niche.  

  • Make sure that your imagery is up-to-date. As simple as it is, toss in modern technology, iPhones, current hair-cut trends, and clothing style. This way, you have higher chances of attracting teenagers to your design style since they’re often looking for something groovy and stylish. 
  • When it comes to colors, you might want to follow the rule: The brighter, the better—intense reds, bright greens, strong pinks, bold purples, you name it. 
  • Depending on a sub-genre, designers use eye-catching typography, sometimes borrowed from fantasy and chick-lit genres. However, once again, if you’re writing non-fiction for children, it’s best to settle for bald and classy fonts not to confuse and overwhelm young readers.

"The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise" by Dan Geimenheart as an example of book cover design idea for teenagers "Stargazing" by Jen Wang as an example of book cover design idea for teenagers "From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess" by Meg Cabot as an example of book cover design idea for teenagers "The Boy at the Back of the Class" by Onjali Q Rauf as an example of book cover design idea for teenagers

Now that you have a better idea of which design layout will be best for your age group, let’s talk more about all the cheerful colors, fonts, and illustrations in children’s book cover design.

Lively and merry fonts

An excellent idea for children’s book cover design is to toss in some lively and jolly letters and fonts to tell the readers what a fun adventure they are about to start.

Here are a few ideas for the fonts for your children’s book cover design:

  • Caroni
  • Comfortaa
  • Helsinki
  • Lilly
  • Mouse Memoirs
  • Henny Penny
  • Gosmick Sans
  • Advert
  • Palentino
  • Crayonista

 Jess Redman's "The Miraculous" an example of a nice children book cover font "Tales of the Arabian Nights" an example of a nice children book cover font Jamilla Francis's "The Book of Unseen World" an example of a nice children book cover font

"Tracey Baptiste's "The Jumbles" an example of a nice children book cover font Stephie McCumbee's "The Garden in My Mind" an example of a nice children book cover font M.P Kozlowsky's "Juniper Berry" an example of a nice children book cover font

Margaret Finnegan's "We Could Be Heroes" as an example of a nice children book cover font Chris Mould's "Soemthing Wickedly Weird" as an example of a nice children book cover font Ginny Tilby's "You Should, You Should!" as an example of a nice children book cover font

Vivid and dazzling colors

Use vivid and dazzling colors that attract children and their parents, and make your cover design impossible to miss. Young readers who just started discovering the world are more likely to associate their learning objects (including books) with everyday life. That’s why many book cover designers try to turn the cover itself into a so-called learning block.

However, make sure you do proper research, if you’re covering a niche topic, to avoid sending the wrong message.

According to color theory and psychology, these color combinations are best for the children’s book cover design.

  • Green is great for concentration and improves productivity and focus.

Lorena Alvarez's "Jack and the Beanstalk" as an example of a green color usage in children book cover design Roald Dahl's "The Enormous Crocodile" as an example of a green color usage in children book cover design J.RR Tokien's "The Hobbit" Lorena Alvarez's "Jack and the Beanstalk" as an example of a green color usage in children book cover design Neol Lanley's "The Land of Green Ginger"Lorena Alvarez's "Jack and the Beanstalk" as an example of a green color usage in children book cover design

  • Orange tends to lift the mood and generates excitement. Depending on the shade, it can either boost the energy level (bright) or create a sense of relaxation (pale).

David Baddiel's "Head Kid" as an example of a Orange color usage in children book cover design Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hears a Who!" as an example of a orange color usage in children book cover design "Pinocchio" illustrated by Mauro Evangellisto as an example of a orange color usage in children book cover design Nasir Jones's "I Know I Can" as an example of a orange color usage in children book cover design

  • Blue stimulates mental activity, and lighter shades of blue create a pleasant, welcoming feeling.

Marcus Pfister's "The Rainbow Fish" as an example of a blue color usage in children book cover design Ann Patchett's "Lambslide" as an example of a blue color usage in children book cover design Udayana Lugo's "My Quiet Imagination" as an example of a blue color usage in children book cover design Nicole Panteleakos's "Planet Earth is Blue" as an example of a blue color usage in children book cover design

 

Attention-grabbing images and illustrations

Based on your age group research, find out what types of images, illustrations, and ornaments, your readers will not walk past. Use that knowledge to turn pictures into an attention-grabbing and appealing visual element of your design. In the children’s book cover design, most of the time, the win-win situation would be to turn the image into your central design element.

Astrid Lindgren's "Pippi Longstocking" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration Rachel Bright and Jim Filed's "The Squirrels Who Sqabbled" Astrid Lindgren's "Pippi Longstocking" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration John Stevens's "The Adventure of Bill & Sparkle" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration

Catherine M. Valente's "the Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration" Elsa Schiaparelli's "Bloom"as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration "The Hourney of Dreams" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration

Matthew Forsythe's "Pokko and the Drum" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration Edith Pattou's "North Child" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration Rukhsama Khan's "Big Red Lollipop" as an example of a children book cover with an attention-rabbing illustration

To sum up

Hope we managed to steer some light on the children’s book cover design ideas. All you have to do is hint that your book cover will open the door to the adventures of a lifetime.

Which children’s book cover design did you like the most?

Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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