We welcome you to another in our ongoing feature in which notable book cover designer Jordan Wannemacher periodically highlights a selection of recent university press cover designs. Please enjoy this celebration of amazing work.
This list is in no particular order. Credits are listed below.
If you are a book cover creative and want your work or the work of your department reviewed by Jordan be sure to get in touch with us!
As with any cover design we feature in our publications, we encourage you to head to your local library and/or bookstore to view the work in its full splendor when possible.
Stanford University Press
AD: Rob Ehle
Designer: Michel Vrana
This cover is so incredible. I am loving the trend toward retro 60's and 70's covers lately, and not only is this design on point for the subject matter, the bold and colorful type treatment stands out on a whole other level. There is something so satisfying and yummy about this typeface too, I want to use it on everything!
Columbia University Press
AD: Julia Kushnirsky
Designer: Catherine Casalino
Piggybacking on the previous all-type solution, this all-type solution is so successful with the rhythm of the strong thick/thin Didot-style typeface of "Philosophy" contrasting the delicate and elegant script below. "All-type" is a capsule solution to academic covers that are too conceptual to illustrate, but can often result in something unimaginative. These two subvert that expectation with results that are both graphic and memorable.
John Hopkins University Press
AD: Martha Sewall
Designer: Kathleen Lynch/Black Kat Design
I love when a simple, seemingly banal object is blow up in scale to create a striking shape on the page. The result here creates beautiful sections of negative space with the subdued color palette and type that functions as a nod to engineering diagrams. The subject matter could easily lend itself to something dry but this is such a lovely solution. I also really enjoy the background texture that feels like the pages of an old manual.
Harvard University Press
Art Director: Timothy Jones
Designer: Graciela Galup
This part graphic design/part sculpture combination is a home run! These objects combined create a powerful visual for a big topic that to me has no obvious visual association. I love seeing how designers creatively combine objects to illustrate a conceptual subject matter. The symmetry of the image also makes this cover feel perfectly balanced and even more striking.
Louisiana State University Press
Designer: Mandy Scallan
This is a perfect modern take on vintage signage elements and typography for a design that fits the time period of the book with a colorful and modern twist! The vintage signage elements are perfectly layered and arranged and show a strong command and knowledge of the periods typographical history, especially considering how large of a role typography played in newspaper advertising of the time. This is university press design melding history and design at its finest!
West Virginia University Press
Art Director/Designer: Than Saffel
Than Saffel is a one-man design super team at WVU who creates such a diverse range of incredible design work for WVU's titles, you would never guess it was all from the same person. I love the combination of unique type elements, vintage frames/banners, and illustrations set in such a pleasing color palette. An all-around excellent cover design!
University of Iowa Press
Designer: Sara T. Sauers
I absolutely love the subtle elegance of poetry covers. The most successful ones always feel sparse or subdued, letting the weight of the words carry the book. This is a perfect example of that. The thin colorful threads give this cover movement and delicacy that works well with this visceral title.
Gallaudet University Press
Designer: Eric Wilder
Continuing with beautiful delicate covers, this painterly solution to a powerful memoir about the child of two deaf adults is so lovely and feels both warm and personal. The two shapes interlocking to marry the type represent the space the author filled between his parents.
Jordan Wannemacher is a book designer based in the NYC area. She was born and art school educated in the Southeast at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she focused on graphic design and creative writing. Currently, she is running Studio Jordan Wannemacher, a boutique book design studio based out of her home in Montclair, New Jersey.