10 Beautiful Book Covers that Tell Their Own Story

There’s nothing like a good book. But a good book with a great cover? That’s two works of art in one. The best book design tells its own story, whether through simple text, powerful photography, or a simple graphic element. Sometimes it’s subtle; sometimes it’s in your face. All that matters is that it enhances your experience from the moment you take it off the shelves or click it into your shopping cart. These 10 beautiful book covers span all genres, showing that inspiration can come in many forms. 

Workers Find School Chalkboard Drawings, Hidden for 100 Years

When contractors removed old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City earlier this week, they had a surprise waiting for them: behind those chalkboards was another set which hadn’t been touched since 1917.

Like a time-capsule, the old boards reveal a slice of history from nearly 100 years ago, including artwork for Thanksgiving and history on the Pilgrims, an unusual circular multiplication table, a calendar, and a list titled “My Rules to Keep Clean”. The reason we share this story here: just look at that handwriting.

What if Major Brand Logos Were Hand-Lettered?

For her graphic design graduate project, Sara Marshall imagined what the intersection between modern brand logos and the classic art of hand-lettering might look like – and it’s very thought-provoking. Like many of us Marshall has noted the trend toward flat, minimalist brand logos. With companies like Microsoft and Google leading the way, the iconography of major companies has lost some of its flair in the name of simplicity, adopting a minimal range of colors and making creative use of negative space.

While there are some good design arguments for going minimal, it doesn’t always have to be so.

World Renowned Graphic Designer Recreates Famous Brand Logos Free Handed With Pen & Ink

With just ink and a calligrapher’s pen, Sebastian Lester can create lettering that looks computer generated. A graphic designer with clients that include NASA, Apple, Nike and The New York Times, he doesn’t even need a computer to create logos. In these short timelapse videos, Lester shows off his skills and perfect proportions as he free hand prints some of the most recognizable logos out there. Lester is one of the highest profile calligraphers in the world and he shares his talents regularly with his followers on Instagram.

Rob Draper Will Draw Beautiful Lettering on Anything, Even Food

Why yes, that is an Ikea hotdog with beautiful typography all over it. Designer and illustrator Rob Draper is the kind of guy who’s unafraid to push the boundaries a bit, even if it ‘knackers’ the nibs of his pens in the process. With plenty of shout-outs to ‘create more’ his meticulous work finds its way onto food items like loaves of sliced bread or the bottom of a bagel. Other pieces are on old discarded Costa coffee cups or the wrapper from eats at Wagamama (both giveaways of his UK-based location).

Architectural Typography Animated with Miniature People

For design lovers, it doesn’t get better than this. German creative firm Deepblue Networks just worked with illustrator and graphic designer Florian Schommer on a promotional campaign which hits just about all the right spots. They’ve combined bizarre architecture, animated GIFs, typography and even logo design into just one project. Here are 8 animated illustrations, each realized as a towering building in the form of one letter in the name ‘DEEPBLUE’.

WWII Posters Declared War on STDs

Gigantic letters falling from the sky or giant dinosaurs stomping through the jungle might not be the first imagery that comes to mind when thinking of sexually transmitted diseases, but in World War II these posters were the military’s first line of defense against a venereal disease (VD) epidemic. Learning from the lessons of World War I, where many soldiers contracted and died from STDs, the US government started a graphic design war that saw military barracks plastered with posters warning of the dangers of unsafe promiscuity with “loose women.”

3D Calligraphy Jumps Off the Page

Turkish graphic designer Tolga Girgin has a passion for calligraphy, but her lettering has a look that’s all together different. Using an assortment of perspective trickery, she uses pens and pencils to give her old-school lettering a whole new angle – one that would have you believe each letter was pealing off the paper or hovering above it.