They say not to judge a book by its cover, but the color of a book is often the first information that potential readers process. So when designing and selling books, you want your cover to capture your intended audience and accurately reflect the contents of the book.
Pink is a popular color for both fiction and nonfiction, but is a pink cover right for your book? In this article, we’ll discuss the psychology behind pink book covers and how you can use pink in your designs.
The Power of Pink
Trends in pop culture affect book design covers, and savvy designers should take advantage of what’s hot right now. In the 2010s, “Millennial Pink” dominated designs and graced the covers of several books. It is a soft, dusty pink that functions as a neutral, at times replacing beige. Now, “Barbiecore” and Y2K styles are giving hot pink a fierce comeback. Staying on top of trends and using a popular color for your cover design shows your book is timely and relevant.
There are so many shades, tints, and tones of pink out there, how do you know which one to use? To bring some order into the vast world of color, Pantone is a company that provides universally used hues. This prevents printing materials that have color inconsistencies.
All Pantone pink shades have their subtle connotations: light pink is more feminine, hot pink grabs the attention, and pink paired with other colors affects color psychology as well. In general, Pantone pinks work great for romance and young adult genres. As a lighter variation of red, it evokes a more lighthearted take on red’s passion. Pink offers a hopeful, playful vibe to any book cover.
And of course, don’t count out the simple aesthetic value of pink: it looks beautiful on a bookshelf. Some readers buy books based on the color they need to round out their rainbow colored bookshelf, or what pop of color they want for their coffee table. With a beautiful pink cover, your book just might be exactly what someone is looking for.
Inspiration for Pink Book Covers
Ready to add a little pink to your cover? Here are six design ideas for books with pink covers.
- Hot Pink with Neutrals
In nonfiction, hot pink with neutrals communicates modernity and grabs attention. This combo is perfect if your book is about modern trends in dating, self-help books, and similar genres. For fiction, hot pink is great for young adult books. Neutrals such as gray, white, or black pair well as the font color or background color.
Keep it sleek with one focal image – which often ends up being the title. Font styles also communicate a lot about the book. Romantic cursive, bold caps, lighthearted speech bubbles… whatever you choose, it should reflect the tone of the book.
- Shine Bright: Pink with Metallic
The sparkle of silver or gold is fun to pair with pink Pantone hues. The sparkle and shine combined with pink does look a bit royal, so it’s perfect for stories of royal families or young adult novels about high school royalty (like Gossip Girl or The Clique). This combination is ideal for fantasy, historical fiction, or nonfiction.
Keep in mind that softer pinks are more classic, making them appropriate for softer topics, as well as tales set in or about bygone eras. Hot pink feels more modern, and is appropriate for the advent of technology. A good rule of thumb: if the society in the book is considered high tech, hot pink makes sense on a book cover.
- Pink Book Covers for Kids
Kids love color. They gravitate more towards maximalism than minimalism: kids always want more! So when designing a Pantone blush pink cover for kids, the rules are a little looser. You can put more images than you normally would. In fact, your color palette can expand to the whole rainbow!
But of course, parents are the ones buying the books. So there is room for minimalism in kids book covers, too. There’s nothing more appealing than covers with pink and purple for girls around age five. The younger the child, the more you should lean into pastels. Utilize darker tones for older children.
- Pop with Pink & Yellow for Young Adult
Y.A. romance is flying off the shelves — and there’s a good reason why! These stories are full of youth, fun, hope, and playfulness. Pantone pink colors paired with yellow communicate this playfulness well. Choose a pink cover with yellow font or a yellow cover with pink font — either way, you’re making it clear who your audience is.
For a romance or romcom story, a light-hearted drawing of a couple on the front cover evokes flirtation with the right body language and facial expressions. A handwriting-style font communicates one-on-one connection: as if the protagonist or author is telling the raw, vulnerable truth to the reader. It’s intimate yet casual — perfect for young readers.
- Match the Image to the Title
Sometimes, a book title will naturally lend itself to an image for the cover. If not, consider doing a play on words. For example, in Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein, the cover image is of a box of matches, with men designed as the matches. So you know it’s a story about dating and hoping for a spark. If there is no way to incorporate pink into the cover image, use a blush pink Pantone color, or your pink of choice, for the font or background.
Additionally, a phrase or two framing the book, such as “a love story,” entices the reader and relays important information. Place this in a space that is not overcrowded by other images or text.
- Adhere to Genre Standards for Romance
A Pantone blush color or a reddish pink with flowing cursive letters signals a steamy romance. When it comes to book covers, mixing pink and red is okay! This genre typically has one person or a couple embracing on the front cover, with wind in their hair. Use the cover to signal the setting or context: Beach? Castle? Mountain chalet? Draw the reader into the story as soon as they look at the cover!
A well-known author will typically put their name in a larger font on the cover, but you should always ensure the title is larger than the author name. Remember, you don’t need to cram all the information on the front cover. You have the back cover and book flaps to provide quotes and reviews about the book, as well as a compelling summary of the plotline.
Design Your Pink Book Cover with Printivity
Whether you’re sold on a millennial pink Pantone cover or you’re using pink as subtle accents throughout your design, Printivity can make your book cover dreams a reality. Our team of experts can help you get your book designed, printed, and into the hands of readers. In a rush? We offer overnight printing. Get a book printing quote today!