Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 13, 2016

Australian Book Design Awards Shortlist 2016

It’s quite interesting to see that there is a definite ‘type’ of design for different types of books. Whimsy is charming for children’s picture books, but for children’s novels and YA, designs need to be spikier, with brighter colours and jazzy fonts.  Compare commercial fiction to literary fiction and you can see that giant fonts for title and/or author name predominate for the commercials while (with the exception of Hot Little Hands) the LitFic covers are more subtle.  And I love W.H. Chong’s design for a non-fiction book called Confessions of a Comma Queen.  (Chong has two nominations which is not surprising because his designs are brilliant.)

Notable omissions (entirely subjective, of course…. no, I have no idea what the eligibility rules are but here are 15 books that have been published recently and I liked their covers!


  1. Thanks, Lisa. This interesting article highlights the best of many of the current book designs. It is so hard to find just the right book cover. It needs to be eye catching and still manage to capture the essence of the story on the pages inside.


    • Alas, I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but I do love to see covers that get it right:)


  2. I like Warrior, the best. All very telling ‘book design’. The scars on Warrior represent many things. Also agood and interesting read. I am drawn to books with attractive design covers, but it doesn’t influence me into reading them.


    • It is brilliant, isn’t it?
      Some of them are just clever because they allude to something in the book that works for me now that I’ve read the book, and some of them because of the balance of the design or some element of the artwork, and some of them just because they are intriguing.
      It was interesting to look back through my recent covers and see how many enjoyable books have really ordinary designs, mostly big publishers or so it seems to me. Most my First Fifteen are from indies.


  3. Remember “Foal’s Bread”? That was a beautiful cover. Also “Mateship With Birds”. And PanMac has a very pretty cover for Spargo-Ryan’s upcoming “The Paper House” – I’ve got that on pre-order.


    • Yes, I didn’t include those because they are from a while ago. The cover from Murray Bail’s the Voyage was lovely too.


  4. Sepia tones are obviously very fashionable!

    In the UK, the colour of the moment seems to be yellow.

    Liked by 1 person

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