Inspiring Cookbook Cover Designs


While working with my publisher on the jacket of my upcoming cookbook, I spent a lot of time browsing in bookstores for inspiration. There are many cookbooks that do well with a single closeup photo of a dish on the cover, but I wanted something that stood out graphically. I'm happy to report that we have finally settled on a clean yet fun design, which I can reveal soon. In the meantime, here are some cookbook covers that I've found inspiring.

1. The Meatball Shop Cookbook - My publisher (Random House/Ballantine) did this book as well, and I love the vintagey cover. The meat grinder illustration is from the Meatball Shop menu.

2. Fish: Recipes from the Sea - Phaidon Press specializes in art books, and it's no surprise that many of their cookbook covers are works of art in themselves. I love the simple graphics on this cover, which reminds me of Saul Bass movie posters from the 1950s and 1960s.

3. Plenty - The colors in this photo, of a simple roasted eggplant dish, are gorgeous. The cover doesn't really need anything else to draw someone in.

4. A New Turn in the South - I love the big blocky font as well as the line drawings, which reflect the simple, homey recipes inside. Plus, I'm a sucker for illustrated maps.

5. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones - The ice cream cones against a dark slate background create such a fantastic image. It also captures the cool and friendly vibe of Bi-Rite Market, which I used to live near back in SF.

6. Poulet  - It's difficult to put a whole bunch of photos on the cover without making it look too cluttered. But the designer of Poulet manages to do it well, with clean, birds-eye-view shots of the food. Plus, the chicken illustration is cute and straightforward.

Do you have other favorite cookbook jacket designs to share?