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2020 is the year of enormous pink lady faces on book covers.

Emily Temple

October 1, 2020, 11:33am

This year has brought a lot of things, and most of them have been bad. One good thing, though, is there has been quite been a lot of innovative, beautiful, and fascinating book cover design, including, I’ve recently noticed, a book cover trend that I’d like to call “enormous pink lady faces.” In case this isn’t completely self-explanatory, these are covers that feature large illustrations (or, less often, augmented photographs) of women’s faces that are either pink, very pink, or give off a sense of pink. Plus some variations on the theme. You’ll see what I mean.

Let’s start with the very large and very pink:

L: cover art and design by Sarah Evenson (Coffee House, March 3) | R: cover design by Emily Mahon; illustration by Patrick Leger (Algonquin, August 18)

Even larger, if slightly less pink (still pink, though):

L: cover art by Xiao Wang, cover design by Jaya Nicely (Unnamed Press, August 18) | R: cover art by Gill Button, cover design by Jaya Nicely (Unnamed Press, September 15)

These two take a softer approach:

L: cover design by Becca Fox Design (Mysterious Press, June 2) | R: cover art by Akika Kurata, cover design by Stephen Brayda (HarperVia, July 7)

Then you’ve got the hot pink squad:

L: cover design by Yeon Kim (William Morrow, April 14) | R: (Soho Press, March 10)

This was also a year for vibrant color-blocking (AKA “colorful blobs“); the faces in these two examples aren’t holistically pink, but they do have pink accents. Let’s say their auras are pink:

L: (Avid Reader, April 14) | R: (Riverhead, June 2)

Then, of course, there’s the pale pink of white ladies in old paintings:

L: design by Jenny Carrow, image by Hans Memling (Pantheon, February 4) | R: design by Jenny Carrow, painting by Anthony Frederick Sandys (Grand Central, February 25)

This trend also has a subcategory that I couldn’t help but include here: the colors are cooler, and the faces are refracted and distorted; but it’s still a Large Lady Face trend (and one I love). These are the least pink, unless you count the lips, but I felt they deserved inclusion:

L: design by Laywan Kwan (Scout Press, March 3) | R: design by Jamie Keenan (Picador UK, August 6) L: cover design by Jaya Miceli, cover art by Jeremy Olson (Riverhead, August 25) | R: (FSG, January 26, 2021)

By the way, here’s the rest of the Ditlevsen series (a cheat, I know, because it comes out in 2021, but only barely) . . . one of which is, in fact, pretty pink!:

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