cover love: the butterfly clues

Here’s something fun I never thought I’d be able to ask about YA cover art:

What’s black and white and red all over?

(And looks like a Rorschach test?)

I’ve had my eyes on this particular cover ever since Thea from The Book Smugglers posted it as on her radar.

It’d be easy for me to start tagging Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues with several different descriptors that make it a likable cover. Intriguing. Mysterious. Simple. Haunting. I certainly wouldn’t describe it as pretty, even with its title and object of affection.

But as much as I do like the final cover art, I wish Egmont USA had gone with an earlier design:

It’s easier for me to picture a “seedy, violent underworld” (taken from the novel’s synopsis) with a cover like this. How awesome would it have been to see a final print with that aged paper in hardcover? Both designs come from the incredibly talented Jen Heuer. I’m not even kidding when I say that looking at all of her design work makes you want to read every single book she’s had a hand in fashioning. It’s unreal.

And while I prefer the unused cover art, I understand why Egmont USA chose to go with the The Butterfly Clues’ final design. I’m still excited to see what the novel looks like out in the wild.

What say you? Do you prefer one cover over the other?

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11 thoughts on “cover love: the butterfly clues

  1. Love both versions, but strongly prefer the earlier design. Unless there’s a reason for having a border, I feel like it clutters things. That rejected version is genius.

  2. I kind of love both! I really like the black and white on the top one but the bottom one makes me want to look behing the cover to see if there’s a red bloody stain on the back. Pretty awesome!

  3. The red on both covers confuses me. Is it supposed to be blood or paint?

    I like the new cover better, just without the border.

  4. I adore the bottom one. It’s soooo awesome. Although the folds in the paper kind of confuse me… how was that butterfly pattern made by folding into squares? lol oh well.

  5. I agree! That second cover is so much better. The folder paper gives that clue-ish vibe to boot. It’s just far more striking.

  6. I’m actually a huge huge huge fan of this cover, but I think I love the rejected cover just a little bit more.

  7. I like the rejected cover a lot more than the final one! Like you said, the aged cover is pretty but I also like how the butterfly isn’t as defined as it is in the other cover.

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