We often hear the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”. However, in our selection today, we do judge, as we have collected the most exciting cover designs made in recent years from the Eastern European region.
Gábor Zoltán: Orgia x Roman Juhas
Absynt Publishing House, 2019 | Slovakia
Gábor Zoltán was born and raised in Városmajor, Budapest. He wrote his novel in 2010 about the Arrow Cross Massacre in Városmajor, which came out in bookstores in 2016. Three years later, Absynt published his novel Orgia in Slovak. Roman Juhas’ cover design faithfully reflects the novel’s troubled plot, with the book’s blood-red spine complemented by a deep green canvas-bound cover. The minimalist toolbox of the cover, which operates exclusively with typographic tools, has a strong impact.
Łukasz Kozak: With Stake and Spade. Vampiric Diversity in Poland x Julia Mirny
Adam Mickiewicz Institute, 2020 | Poland
Łukasz Kozak’s book is unprecedented in its topic, as it deals extensively with vampire stories of Slavic origin. Julia Mirny’s cover design for the volume is a stark contrast to the realistic text, approaching with grotesque playfulness the popular beliefs nurtured against vampires. This is indicated by the main motif of the cover, a vampire beheaded with a spade and then put back to his own grave. The cover and other illustrations in the book were also handcrafted with collage technique, using newspapers preserved in the archives of the National Library of Poland. The result is authentical and modern, creepy and raises a smile at the same time.
Max Kašparů: 10 Steps to Joy x Peter Ličko
Benemedia, 2020 | Czech Republic
Max Kašparů’s 10 Steps to Joy would not be the same book without the visual world of Czech-born Peter Ličko, as the entire volume builds on these colorful illustrations. The full-page drawings come back in the form of small motifs on the cover as well. Peter Ličko’s drawings are completed by Milan Pleva’s layout design.
David Eagleman: Mozak: Priča o tebi x Dragana Krtinic
Arete, 2019 | Serbia
The Serbian edition of neuroscientist, David Eagleman’s book is special in several ways. Dragana Krtinic, who conceived the cover, wanted the book to stand out from other editions. Unusually, pink and red appear on the cover as two main colors, which make us immediately associate with the brain, but this visual representation is unusual for a science-themed book. The misconception that the scientific world belongs to men is further weakened by the graphic design on the cover.
Melinda Mártonffy: Buildings with cour d’honneur x Anna Bárdy
Artem/Books, 2020 | Hungary
We conclude our selection with a worthy Hungarian publication deserving to be here. Melinda Mártonffy’s gap-filling volume deals with a special topic, which is accompanied by a special look. As a result of more than seven years of research, a book dealing with the history of buildings with cour d’honneur has been published. The architectural overview is made even more exciting by the pictures of photographer Fülöp Schmal. Anna Bárdy was responsible for the graphic design of the publication. Her work is also praised by the minimalist cover design. As with the topic of the book, the game of textures and shapes prevails here.