Jessica Hische is a multi-talented author and artist who has carved out a great freelance career making, teaching, and writing about hand-lettering, type design, and illustration.

You’ve probably seen Jessica Hische’s creative work, though you may not have realized it at the time. Her gorgeous, technically precise designs have graced everything from the opening sequence of a Wes Anderson film to the pages of the New York Times. You can find her work on magazine covers and in major advertisements, on corporate logos and in children’s books. She’s also one of the most popular teachers on Skillshare; the self-described “avid-internetter” has attracted tens of thousands of students to the classes she teaches on logotype design and lettering.

To celebrate Jessica’s immense and inspiring talent (and her latest Skillshare class, Illustrated Lettering: Designing a Book Cover in Procreate!), we rounded up a few of our favorite book covers that she’s created over the course of her career. Looking for a little eye candy or creative school book cover design ideas? We’ve got you (ahem) covered.

 1. A Spoonful of Sugar

Jessica designed this cover for Random House. The whimsical swirls and hand-lettering are the perfect backdrop for the memoir, written by a “prim and proper, gentle and kind” British nanny who’s cared for more than 100 children over the course of her career.

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2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

This beautiful cover is one of a series that Jessica created for the Barnes & Noble Classics series—which she describes as her favorite project of all time. A title that’s commonly assigned in middle school, it serves as a great example that school book cover design can be anything but boring.

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3. Church of the Dog

Book cover design inspiration can be found in all kinds of places. Exhibit A: This stained-glass-inspired cover for Penguin Books.

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4. Aesop’s Fables for the Dimwitted and Unimaginative

Jessica developed this funky cover—and the entire children’s book as well—while she was still in art school! While the book was never published, we can still appreciate the brilliant title and bold hand-lettering and illustration. 

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5. Moby Dick, Five Children and It, and Butterfield 8

These moody covers are just a few of the 26 that Jessica designed around the alphabet for the Penguin Drop Caps series.

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6. Some Recollections of a Busy Life

Featuring several different typography styles that work beautifully together, this dynamic cover was designed by Jessica for Dave Eggers, who self-published the book as a personal project.

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7. American Rose

Created for Random House, this cover uses black-and-white photography and retro fonts to harken back to the 1930s and 40s, when actress and burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee made movies and headlines.

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8. Shopping in Marrakech

Here’s another example of thinking outside the box when it comes to book cover design inspiration: Jessica hand-stitched the original of this incredible cover for The Little Bookroom.

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9. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

This unique cover that Jessica created for Simon & Schuster and Google Ventures uses stylized typography to perfectly illustrate the theme of the book: Going from idea to finished product in a short amount of time.

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Whether you’re looking for creative school book cover design ideas or simply seeking innovative ways to use typography, these nine covers can serve as the perfect inspiration. 

Ready to Design Your Own?

Illustrated Lettering: Design a Book Cover with Jessica Hische

Written by:

Rachel Gorman