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Recognizable series book cover design: Tips that work

Vasylysa
1 minute read
20.05.2022

Do you know that a beautiful book trilogy can not only embellish a bookshelf but also become your brand mark? Here’s why: Series book cover design is a powerful tool for building your author’s brand and attracting new readers. 

But what should the proper sequel design look like? Today we want to share these peculiarities with you. You will learn 5 most effective ways to brand your series book cover and see examples for each case. Let’s start!  

What makes series book cover design different?

Rachel Seigel said that a good series is one continuous story, divided into several parts that take the reader on a journey. At the same time, it doesn’t matter how many pieces your series includes: twelve or just two. If you have several books related to the same story, you need to put more effort into making visually unified and recognizable book covers. And this creative challenge is an excellent chance to build an outstanding author brand.

And here’s the first difficulty: Unlike authors of independent novels, writers of series should always think in advance. Designers who create book covers for sequels should do that as well. Authors must know how the entire series will end when working on the first book. And designers must imagine what the covers of all sequels will look like when creating the first one. It’s essential to develop great book covers that harmonize and complement each other.

All series book covers should adhere to the same concept to achieve that harmony, so readers will recognize your books at first glance. Let’s see how you can get that.

Why is it essential to adhere to branding when designing book series?

Do you know that the proper series book cover design can boost your author’s career and increase sales? Here’s why:

  • It attracts readers. Book covers often play a crucial role when someone is looking for what to read. The beautiful and thought-provoking design makes people buy that specific book. And in your case, it will be a whole series.
  • It’s a chance to stand out from the crowd. You can show your uniqueness with the original book cover design using specific fonts, colors, and approaches to composition. Even if you haven’t created your logo yet, people will recognize your books by their cover elements.   
  • It hints at the plot of the whole series. A reader can find out what the entire series is about by looking at the cover design. Colorful characters, a mysterious castle, and mythical animals can be the key to understanding the main topic. Also, the book cover tells the reader about the genre, for example, whether it’s a  fantasy book or a romance.        

Okay, but how to make a series book cover design that attracts a million readers? Let’s dig a little deeper.

How to create an author brand with a series book cover design?

Undoubtedly, the number of series book cover ideas is limited only by the imagination of the author and designer. But we want to share 5 most effective ways to brand your book cover for the series and make people recognize you from first sight.

1. Highlight the title

The book’s title is the first thing that catches the reader’s eye. So, it’s essential to make it noticeable. Place the title in the center of the book cover and surround it with beautiful decorative elements. They can include intricate patterns, graceful ornaments, thematic figures, and floral motifs. 

You can use the same decorative elements with little variations or choose entirely different images. The main rule is to adhere to the same composition and idea. You can use different colors to mark other sequels. The same composition and font show that books belong to one book series.

2. Experiment with colors

Bright colors draw readers’ attention. You can experiment a little bit and use completely different colors and hues. The contrast book covers from the same series can make a splash.

Meanwhile, remember that cover elements should harmonize with each other. Also, when choosing this method, it’s essential to keep the same approach to composition. Indeed, you can use different images to decorate the book cover, but they should express the same idea and topic of the story.

Have you noticed that authors like to add the same words in the series titles to describe the main idea of the books? You can highlight such a title by using beautiful typography that remains the same in all sequels.

3. Play with background

The background of the series book covers gives a lot of space for imagination. Using it, you can mark separate books and even open up the door to the story events. Depending on the plot, you can put the main character at the forefront and change backgrounds. Also, you can do the opposite: keep the same background for the whole series and change the heroes or objects on the forefront.

As we said earlier, authors often use similar titles. The great idea is to use a thematic object instead of a letter. For example, a prohibition sign can take the place of the letter ‘O’. It draws attention and adds a mysterious mood to the book cover design.

4. Highlight the main character

Let the main character of the series take center stage on the book cover. Try to make the character bright and catchy. Think over their appearance to the smallest detail, from hairstyles and clothes to gestures and poses. Just look at the example below, where emotions on the character’s face echo the names of different parts of the series. 

Think about what color of the cover sets off the nature of the main hero. You can slightly blur the background to make the character stand out and draw attention. It is better to use one color for the entire series not to scatter readers’ attention. And don’t forget to play with the title.

5. Focus on the atmosphere

Who said that book series covers couldn’t be significantly different? Of course, they can. The main thing is to make sure that everything looks harmonious. Use the same colors and fonts to represent the same series. An interesting decision is to choose two colors that smoothly transition into each other.

If you want to show the characters on the cover, you don’t have to put them in the same poses. It can even be different characters but dressed in the same style. When choosing heroes and their position, try to show the story’s mood. Let each cover from the series continue the previous one.

What should you consider before ordering a series book cover design?

Have you already got inspired to create a series book cover design? Well, we hope so. But before you run to hire a designer for your story, there’re some points to consider. Indeed, it’s essential to understand what comprises the book cover design cost. But to make your cooperation with the designer more effective, you need to do the following:

  • Decide on the number of books. It’s essential to make all books harmoniously combined in the future.
  • Know your target audience. You need to understand what attracts your readers. Perhaps a specific color or ornament?
  • Define the core message of the story. It helps to understand what details to use in the series—for example, mythical images or mysterious places.
  • Decide on a style. Think about what you want to see on the cover: abstraction, main characters, plant motifs, or just a beautifully designed title.

Summing up

You may already have some ideas for future book series covers in your head up to this point. But let’s recap the main tips:

  • Highlight the title by adding beautiful ornaments and patterns.
  • Don’t be afraid of experimenting with colors: use different and contrasting hues for each part of the series.
  • Use the background to show different events in each book.
  • Create a bright and catchy character in the center of the book cover.
  • Focus on typography and make it common for the whole series.
  • Pay attention to the same composition.
  • Emphasize the main word in the title if it repeats in each book.

Have you enjoyed these series book cover ideas? Which one is your favorite?

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Vasylysa In her spare time, Vasylysa likes reading books, writing fiction, gardening, and walking. She hopes to publish her own book and become a famous author one day.
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