Publishers of African books have upped their cover game the last few years. We’ve come a long way from the era of stock images, acacia trees, and questionable fonts. The array of covers in 2021 so far is stunning. With digital technology so pervasive in our lives, book covers are having to compete with the flood of high quality images on instagram and other social media platforms. But as you’ll see when you scroll through, these covers are up to the challenge. The covers below are some of the ones we love so far. They are colorful and adorned with inviting fonts, making them tantalizing to the readers. Enjoy!
Suyi Okungbowa’s Son of the Storm cover is beautifully illustrated. The image and the font work well to create a cover that you can’t ignore on a book shelf.
The color palette of the artwork on Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones is soft and inviting, plus the gold tones and stunning illustration hold the reader’s attention at first glance.
The all-over-pattern design of Max Lobe’s A Long Way From Douala is too stunning to be missed in an Instagram feed.
Ayesha Harruna Attah’s Zainab Takes New York is a New York City story with a lead character who happens to be an illustrator. This stunning picture of her in red lipstick channels the chic vibe of the novel.
T. L. Huchu’s The Library of the Dead is getting quite the buzz. The font of the title alone draws the reader into a mysterious world of gothic intrigue, not to mention the gold edges set against the dark castle.
The UK edition cover of Jordan Ifueko’s Redemptor is color burst meet glow-in-the dark aesthetics. How can you resist picking up this book at a bookshop?
With Efua Traore’s Children of the Quicksand, the curved lines and bright colors tell us that the book opens up into a world of fantastical adventure.
Cassava Republic is known for being very intentional about their covers. Mukoma wa Ngugi’s Unbury Our Dead With Songs captures the movement and fluidity of a world shaped by dance and music.
We love the painting inspired texture of Uwem Akpan New York, My Village. The water-color aesthetics channels the elite art world he explores in the novel.
All Shades of Iberibe by Kasimma caught out eyes for the ways it references the African fantasy aesthetics of the likes of Amos Tutuola.
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé Ace of Space is all kinds of amazing for its clever play on the title of the book.
The cover of Reni K.. Amayo’s Descendants of The First is loud and bold and all-round fabulous!
Taban Lo Liyong’s poetry collection After Troy is a beautifully rendered all-over-pattern cover design, but the added element of a playful font gives the whole image a cool vibe.
Teju Cole’s Black Paper is a collection of essay. The collage design evokes the wide range of ideas explored in the book. But the brooding darkness of the cover speaks to the weight that Cole brings to his consideration of ideas.
The bold colors of Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks cover art is eye-catching, but the repetition of the batik fabric pattern on the dress and the hair makes for a nice symmetry.
The color palette is calm and pretty, but it’s the gold dots that really make this cover for Chibundu Onuzo’s stunning new novel Sankofa.
On the cover of Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune Men, the blurred image of the male figure striking a pose prepares the reader for the unbelievably tragic story they are about to read, a story that is unfortunately true.
The clever use of space in Buki Papillon’s An Ordinary Wonder, a novel about an intersex Nigerian teen, is invitingly abstract.
Diana Ejaita who is a well-known illustrator nailed this artwork for her forthcoming book Olu and Greta. The chalk texture of the font is perfect for a children’s book.
The cover art for Hafsa Zayyan’s We Are All Birds of Uganda is an unusual mix of bold and simple. The all-over-pattern design is intensely colorful, but the clean font is centering and pleasing.