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Cover Trend: That One Serif Font

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Ashley Holstrom

Staff Writer

Ashley Holstrom helps make books at Sourcebooks. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color. Newsletter: Crooked Reads. Twitter: @alholstrom.

I love me a good book cover trend. This is one you’ve seen everywhere. It’s similar to the big cover trend of 2018, outlined by Literary Hub, but with one tweak. Instead of a big, bold sans-serif font on a vibrant background, these have a serif font on a solid background. Simple. Gorgeous. It’s a good trend, Brent.

The majority of the books with this treatment are non-fiction by and about white women, with a few exceptions. If you flip through a list of feminist works of 2018, a good chunk of them will fit this cover trend. I guess it’s a ~girly~ look? It’s also the go-to font for a lot of fashion blogs right now.

It seems like the trend got started in 2017, with these two:

The Girl in the Show: Three Generations of Comedy, Culture, & Feminism
by Anna Fields

Sex & Rage by Eve Babitz

But THEN 2018 happened, and, hoo boy, have we got a lot of them. Let’s take a gander. Also, sorry (not sorry) in advance, but you will be finding this cover trend everywhere now.

Black Swans by Eve Babitz cover

Black Swans by Eve Babitz

Conscience by Alice Mattison

Conscience: A Novel by Alice Mattison

The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash

dead girls by alice bolin
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession
by Alice Bolin

Dictionary Stories by Jez Burrows
Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings
by Jez Burrows

Feminasty by Erin Gibson
Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death
by Erin Gibson

from the corner of the oval cover
From the Corner of the Oval
by Beck Dorey-Stein

Horse by Talley English

Horse: A Novel by Talley English

MI5 and Me: A Coronet Among the Spooks
by Charlotte Bingham

Man with a Seagull on His Head by Harriet Paige

Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life
by Mari Ruti

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak, edited by Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan, ‎Aisha Salau

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Someone Has Led This Child to Believe by Regina Louise
Someone Has Led This Child to Believe: A Memoir
by Regina Louise

Tell Me Lies
by Carola Lovering

Unwifeable by Mandy Stadtmiller
Unwifeable: A Memoir
by Mandy Stadtmiller

Note that I *do* work in book design, but I’m not, like, super savvy in the world of typefaces, so don’t @ me about these not all being exactly Bodoni Old Style Bold. THEY’RE CLOSE.

Other book trends this year: floral fiction, ultra violet YA, and the art of YA book titles.