I keep an eye out during the year for cool covers and flash-as book production. Here are my 2020 standouts.
I have been low key obsessed with this book cover since I first laid eyes on it. The cover photo is by Russell Kleyn, a "South African-born, multidisciplinary photographer based in Wellington, with portraits in the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Wellington and the National Portrait Gallery in London. He's on Instagram @russell_kleyn and the photograph and casting by Russell featuring @_francafranca
Yes, the cover is art - but it's the way it connects with the contents that fires this to Number One. This is a head twistingly fabulous book and Pip Adam is a flipping genius.
It's published by Victoria University Press who really respect the art of a good cover.
Nothing to see Pip Adam, published by Victoria University Press, cover by Russell Kleyn
— Ngā Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi (@ChristchurchLib) August 13, 2020
Here are some more of the best book covers of 2020. Enjoy!
My beautiful dark twisted FONTasy
I do love a bit of typographical artistry and there were plenty of gems on that front. Albertus Alert - Far-flung by Rhian Gallagher deploying one of my faves (You might recognise it from the classic tv show The Prisoner). Font fans - Fonts in Use is a delight.
- Far-flung Rhian Gallagher
- A bathful of kawakawa and hot water Hana Pera Aoake
- I am a Human Being Jackson Nieuwland
- Bill and Shirley: A Memoir Keith Ovenden
- Not that I'd kiss a girl Lil O'Brien
- Moral sloth Nick Ascroft
- Funkhaus Hinemoana Baker
- Crossing the Lines: The story of three homosexual solders in WWII Brent Coutts
- The General and the Nightingale: Dan Davin's War Stories edited by Janet Wilson
- Māori made easy Scotty Morrison
- Māori made fun Scotty and Stacey Morrison
- A Māori phrase a day Hēmi Kelly
- The Pōrangi Boy Shilo Kino
- Under the Covers Jenny Lynch
- You have a lot to lose: A Memoir C. K. Stead
Artful deployment of the natural world - flora and fauna - make these covers super striking.
- Down South Bruce Ansley
- One minute crying time Barbara Ewing
- Tree of Strangers Barbara Sumner
- Shakti Rajorshi Chakraborti
- Magnolia Nina Mingya Powles (Features a gorgeous artwork by Kerry Ann Lee)
- Te Manu Huna A Tāne editor, Jenny Gillam ; co-editor, Eugene Hasen, Maniapoto ; photographs, Jenny Gillam
- An Exquisite Legacy: The life and work of New Zealand naturalist G. V. Hudson George W. GIbbs
- Hiakai Modern Māori Cuisine Monique Fiso
The face is to the body as the cover is to the book. Maybe. Anyway, a good strong bookface is a winner.
- Goddess Muscle Karlo Mila
- In the time of the Manaroans Miro Bilbrough
- Head girl Freya Daly Sadgrove
- Mophead: How your difference makes a difference Selina Tusitala Marsh
- Mophead Tu: The Queen's Poem Selina Tusitala Marsh
- The Dark is light enough: Ralph Hotere Vincent O'Sullivan
- Know your place Golriz Ghahraman
- My honest poem Jess Fiebig
Kia ora to local authors and their beautiful books.
- Husna's Story Farid Ahmed
- No Man's Land A. J. Fitzwater
- The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper A. J. Fitzwater
- Christchurch Architecture: A walking guide John Walsh
- The Ghosts on the Hill Bill Nagelkerke
- Te Wheke Pathways across Oceania Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Ken Hall, Felicity Milburn, Nathan Pohio, Lara Strongman and Peter Vangioni, with Stephanie Oberg ; Te Reo Māōri translations by Hemi Hoskins, Reimana Tūtengaehe and Te Marino Lenihan
MORE MORE MORE
Some more stunners.
- Te Hāhi Mihinare The Māori Anglican Church Hirini Kaa
- The Inkberg Enigma Jonathan King
- Monsters in the Garden: An anthology of Aotearoa and New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Elizabeth Knox and David Larsen
- Sado Mikaela Nyman
- New Transgender Blockbusters Oscar Upperton
- Afakasi Woman Lani Wendt Young
- Pins Natalie Morrison
- I am the Universe Vasanti Unka
- Ko Aotearoa Tātou We are New Zealand edited by Michelle Elvy, Paula Morris & James Norcliffe ; art editor, David Eggleton
More best book covers
Best book covers of previous years
- Best book covers of 2019 - My pick of New Zealand's finest
- Best book covers of 2018 - My pick of New Zealand's finest
- Best book covers of 2017 - My pick of New Zealand's finest
- Best book covers of 2016 – My pick of New Zealand’s finest
- Best book covers of 2015 - My pick of New Zealand's finest
- Best book covers of 2014 – My pick of New Zealand’s finest
- Best book covers of 2013 – My pick of New Zealand’s finest
- The colourful book covers of 2012
- Best book covers of 2012 - New Zealand's finest
For more on local book covers and design, see the PANZ Book Design Awards.