UK or US: Who wore it better?

UK or US Who wore it better.png
I’m not ashamed to say that I often find myself drawn to a particular book because of its cover. I mean, I always check the synopsis afterwards, but often it’s the cover art which first grabs my eye. And, why not? That’s what it’s there for, right? And a lot of covers feature the work of incredibly talented and hard-working artists. Shouldn’t they get attention too?

What I do find funny, however, is how different covers can be for the same books. I’m sure there’s some market research involved in which type of design is most likely to appeal to audiences in different countries but, just for fun, I thought I’d take a look at some of my favourite/ most anticipated books an decide whether the UK (where I am) or US design appealed to me more.

Will the UK targeted designs be my favourites?

Which set do you prefer? Do you think there’s a reason any of these are directed at a particular side of the pond? Let me know any redesigns you’ve loved or hated.


[U.K. Cover :::: U.S. cover]


A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Opinion: You can definitely see the similar ideas one these two in both the silhouette effect and the red, white and black colour scheme. I like both these designs but I think the simplicity and larger open space of the U.S. one pips it over the post for me. I also really like how the map of London is more obviously worked into the U.S. design.

Winner: U.S.


Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Opinion: You can see a little similarity in the circle at the centre of the designs but these two are pretty much polar opposites. I definitely prefer the bright colours of the U.K. cover. The crossed blades, red flowers and yellow all really pop against the teal. The U.S. version looks like a much more generic fantasy.

Winner: U.K.


Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Opinion: I’m not sure either design would massively stand out on a fantasy shelf, but personally I prefer the U.S. design. It’s brighter and more colourful. Plus I think the title and author’s name stand out more.

Winner: U.S. 


Daughter of  Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

Opinion: The U.K. cover hands down. It’s just got more depth somehow: the open door the discarded book, the handprint. This is the one I’d flip over to read the synopsis. Plus, again, the text is much clearer.

Winner: U.K.


My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows 

Opinion: I don’t hate either, I guess… but I actually unhauled my U.K. paperback so I could buy a U.S. hardcover. I just think it’s so much prettier. It’s brighter so it stands out more for one. Plus, I think it get across the historical humour mash-up without looking quite as young as the U.K version. The U.K. one looks like it could be closer to Middle Grade to me.

Winner: U.S.


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Opinion: This one is tricky because they’re so different and I really like both. I like that the U.S. cover has all the little details and elements from the story on it while I think the U.K. version makes the Rumpelstiltskin and Lithuanian elements more obvious. I think the U.S. cover ‘feels’ more like the story, but aesthetically I like the simpler U.K. design.

Winner: Tie.


Shadowscent by P.M. Freestone

Opinion: Both versions are beautiful. The U.K. looks more delicate and since it’s foiled, would probably look stunning in person. It also has the perfume aspect more clearly shown. But. The U.S. version has more depth with the different colours in the flowers and sphinx (?) around the outside. It’s bolder, I guess? It’s just stunning.

Winner: U.S. — By a hair.

25 thoughts on “UK or US: Who wore it better?”

  1. I agree with all your selections actually! I’m the same as you – I wonder why different countries have different designs. I can understand if there are huge cultural differences but the US and UK are quite similar so not too sure why they need to be so different at times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Partly it might be artists rights/ payment if there’s two desperate publishers, I guess? But I still don’t get why they’re sometimes SO different. Luckily, it just gives us more designs to choose from 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I must admit the US have been killing it with gorgeous covers lately. I tend to prefer UK covers most of the time because we usually have more illustration, whereas I feel like the US are more likely to have a photo or a person on the cover? The US have definitely stepped up their cover game over the past couple of years, though, and I do love seeing how different countries interpret a different story. I do prefer the UK cover of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but 100% the US cover of ADSOM is SO much prettier! I agree with you about Spinning Silver, too, I actually really like both covers, which is weird because I much preferred the UK cover of Uprooted. 🙂


  3. So I looked at all of them and decided before I read your verdict and we agreed on every one- except Uprooted, which I strongly prefer the UK cover of. And I had the EXACT same thought process as you for most of them too- especially the last one! We obviously should share bookshelf space 😂


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