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Design Devices: Arches

Like a doorway but much cooler.

Design Devices: Arches

Like a doorway but much cooler.

The Arch has been used in architecture for thousands of years, but for whatever reason, it became a popular shape featured on book covers in recent years.

The shape of an arch creates a sense of movement and transition. They are often used to mark the boundary between two spaces, and the curved shape creates a visual cue that invites people to pass through it. To me, they feel like portals. This can give the impression of moving from one place to another, or of entering into a new space or realm. An arch, when viewed on flat, 2D paper, has more movement than the shape of a “regular” rectangular doorway made from two 90ยบ angles.

Arches can also add a sense of grandeur or importance. In architecture, they are often found in grand buildings and structures, such as churches, castles, and temples. As such, the use of an arch can add a sense of ceremony or significance to a book cover.

Here are 10 covers from recent years that use the shape of an arch as the dominant feature. Explore the tag “arches” to see even more covers that use this popular design element.

Design by Henry Petrides, 2023
Design by Keith Hayes, 2022
Design by Joanne O’Neil, 2022
Design by Alison Forner, 2022
2022
Design by Keith Hayes, 2022
Quirk Books
Design by Maddie Partner, 2022
Design by Kelly Winton, 2022
FSG, 2019
Milkweed Editions, 2023
Phaidon, 2021
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