If you love good YA book cover art, then you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on seeing them as works in progress. Thanks to the visual power of Instagram, many YA book cover artists and designers have an active presence and showcase not only the covers they’ve worked on or are working on, but they share so much more of their awesome, inspiration, and downright badass art.
Find below a wide array of YA book cover artists and designers. I’ve included both the creators of the art and those who help design the covers. Many work across age categories, but I’ve noted below the names of each artist or designer some of their most well-known YA book cover work.
If you’re looking to drool over incredible art and design, then look no further!
It should be noted that YA book cover artists and designers are wonderfully diverse. In an industry that is far too white, it’s refreshing to see so many people of color both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. Likewise, a number of the covers these designers and artists have worked on are #OwnVoices—in other words, a Puerto Rican illustrator whose work is front and center of a story by a Puerto Rican author about a Puerto Rican main character. More of this, please! It’s not only important but it’s beautiful and opens up a whole world of potential for creative folks (and folks who just like great design and art!).
40+ YA Book Cover Artists and Designers To Follow on Instagram
Micaela Alcaino, Designer and Illustrator
Samya Arif, Illustrator and Designer
Rachelle Baker, Illustrator
You’ve seen Baker’s covers before, because they pop. Some of her recent works include Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh, Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez, and Shirley Chisholm is a Verb by Veronica Chambers.
Corey Brickley, Illustrator
Andrew Eliopulos’s The Fascinators was designed by Brickley.
Colleen Bringle, Hand Lettering
Not all illustrators or designers work on the lettering for a book cover’s title, tag line, or by line. Sometimes a specialist in hand lettering hops in, and that’s what Bringle does. This designer and illustrator for Target has lettered the covers of the 20th anniversary edition of The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot and the RWBY Rooster Teeth YA novels by EC Myers and Violet Tobacco.
Jonathan Bush, Cover Designer and Associate Art Director at St. Martins Press
Alex Cabal, Illustrator
There’s zero question if you love YA that you’ve seen Cabal’s work, which includes the covers of Running by Natalia Sylvester, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, and A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Marrow.
Jason Chan, Illustrator
David Curtis, Senior Book Designer and Illustrator
Erick Dávila, Illustrator
Liz Dresner, Associate Art Director at Macmillan
Laura Eckes, Designer at Simon & Schuster
Molly Fehr, Senior Book Designer at HarperCollins Children’s Books and Freelance Illustrator
Erin Fitzsimmons, Book Design and Lettering
Connie Gabbert, Cover Illustration
Owen Gildersleeve, Designer
You know those really awesome paper cut designs that are on the front of covers like Frankly In Love by David Yoon? Gildersleeve is the genius behind ’em.
Cassie Gonzalez, Designer at Macmillan Children’s
Gonzalez is the talent behind designing such awesome YA book covers as I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson, and It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill.
Kat Goodloe, Illustrator and Letterer
Olga Grlic, Designer
Grlic shares the spotlight with James Iacobelli, wherein the share their individual works, as well as their joint creations, so you’re getting two designers in once place. Grlic’s work includes Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, The Mall by Megan McCafferty, and Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin.
Ana Hard, Illustrator
Daria Hlazatova, Illustration
Chelsea Hunter, Designer
Gigi Lau, Art Director at Harlequin Books
Jacqueline Li, Illustrator
Hot British Boyfriend, anyone? Li’s not only beginning to dip into the world of YA book covers, but she’s created so many incredible fan covers on her Instagram.
Ericka Lugo, Illustrator
Earlier in the post, I alluded to a Puerto Rican illustrator doing a cover for an #OwnVoices Puerto Rican YA book. That would be Lugo, who did the cover for Fat Chance, Charlie Vega.
Carol Ly, Senior Designer at Random House
Casey Moses, Book Cover Designer, Illustrator, and Letterer
Leo Nickolls, Designer
Talk about versatile design direction! Nickolls’s work includes Spells Trouble by P.C. and Kristin Cast, the illustrative work for The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson, and Reverie by Ryan La Sala.
Alix Northrup, Letterer and Illustrator
Philip Pascuzzo, Designer and Illustrator
Katt Phatt, Illustrator and Letterer
You saw the designer behind A Universe of Wishes—Casey Moses—now see the illustrator behind it with Katt Phatt. Phatt’s letter work, which you’ll see step-by-step, is phenomenal.
Valentina Remenar, Illustrator
Though Remenar hasn’t done a whole lot of YA book covers yet, with work like Vicious Spirits like Kat Cho to showcase, chances are there will be many more Remenar covers to come.
Kerri Resnick, Designer and Art Director at Wednesday Books
Erin Robinson, Illustrator
Stephanie Singleton, Illustrator
Jenna Stemple-Lobell, Design Manager at HarperCollins Children’s and Illustrator
Stemple-Lobell’s name is stamped on some iconic YA book covers for her design work, including Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. If you’re a fan of killed cover designs, you’re in for a treat!
Peter Strain, Illustrator
Neil Swaab, Illustrator and Art Director
Swaab’s work showcases a wide range of talent from war-angled YA books like the forthcoming Enduring Freedom by Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy to disaster books like Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt to a Groundhog Day–inspired YA titled Time Travel for Love and Profit by Sarah Lariviere.
Jim Tierney, Illustrator and Designer
Hillary D. Wilson, Illustrator
Wilson’s power is in her faces, which you can’t deny when you even glimpse Legendborn by Tracy Deonn.
Lesley Worrell, Illustrator and Designer
Worrell and Yoo, who is below, have collaborated as a design-illustrator team on a number of outstanding YA titles including The Good Luck Girls and Sisters of Reckoning, both by Charlotte Nicole Davis. Worrell’s other design credits include Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura and Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders.
Chungi Yoo, Illustrator and Art Director
Yoo’s bright and dreamy style is the cover art for The Good Luck Girls, as well as Parachutes by Kelly Yang and more.
If this whets your appetite to dive even deeper in book cover art and design, you’ll want to explore why so many YA book covers look the way they do right now, as well as these Instagram accounts which celebrate book cover design. You’ll also want to then follow some bookish art departments, too!