Now February is here, some of you may be thinking about Valentine’s Day. Instead of sharing a list of love stories, romantic novels and star-crossed lovers, we’re going to share some of our creative insights into what we think makes a successful romance cover.

When you think of romance covers you might automatically think of open shirts, passionate embraces and longing stares. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Throughout recent years romance book covers have evolved – leaving the cliche romance novel in the past, making way for contemporary, clean and thoughtful designs.

Any book cover design should start with identifying the unique selling point, themes and genres of the story, once these are clear the cover design can come to life. There are many design considerations that impact the communication of these ideas, not only the image or illustration choice but, the typography, styling, colour and composition too.

To avoid a generic romance cover it is also helpful to consider the subgenre of your story, this could be anything from historical (think Bridgeton) to fantasy (Twilight or Vampire Diaries), maybe something more contemporary (Normal People).  These useful distinctions help communicate all the aspects of your story and allow potential readers to easily recognise what’s in store!

Romance Book Cover, The Twilight of Twin Flames

Modernising Traditional Romance Covers

Image composition and styling immediately catch the reader’s attention. We are all familiar with the classic longing stares showing the chemistry between characters. However, in this instance, the image has been modernised, and the “double exposure” style layering of the image adds a new dimension to the image, making it feel elevated while still drawing on a traditional symbol of romance novels.

Finding the right colours

Red is a complex colour with many meanings and associations globally. Typically, in a Western setting red usually represents anger, love or passion. In this case, we’re focusing on romance, the use of rich, deep reds and golds instantly communicates to a Western audience that this is a romance book. These colours also communicate ideas about the character’s wealth and status in society. The luxurious gilded ballroom and elegant red dress embody the ideas of affluence and high society.

Romance Book Cover, It's All in His Gaze
Romance Book Cover, My Dearest Darling

Creating a Narrative

To communicate complex, emotive narratives it is essential to consider how all design elements come together. For example, by combining bold typography, dark colours and a “scrapbook” approach the reader is able to gain instant insight into the characters. These colours, with a subtle night sky texture, aim to show the distance between the characters, as they can only connect through their letters and knowing they’re looking at the same night sky. A scrapbook approach ties together all the different elements that communicate the essence of the story. The style and tones of the ephemera also highlight the time the story was set. The script font is highly textured with ink droplets around the title to show the significance of letter writing in this story, especially as the subtitle is Letters of Love in War Time.

So, when approaching your cover design takes time to consider what is important to your story. Our author questionnaire guides you through this process allowing you to understand what styles, fonts and images suit you and your story. Plus, our team of expert designers are always here to advise, guide and help you discover your perfect book cover!

Get in touch to see how we can help you with your book cover design services today!