The cover for each Harry Potter book possess a similar style. The British publisher Bloomsbury does books in both adult and children's editions, with the adult edition depicting a particular object or place in the cover, and the children's one featuring a major event in the book. Bloomsbury has used several illustrators for their children's covers. The original covers by American publisher Scholastic usually depict an amalgam of objects and people from the book against a common backdrop; the art on all original American editions was by Mary GrandPré. In March 2010, Bloomsbury unveiled new cover artwork by Clare Melinsky for its Signature Edition.
In 2013, Scholastic commissioned Kazu Kibuishi to create new cover artwork for 15th anniversary editions of all of the titles. Each depicts a major event within the particular book, such as Harry's introduction to magical society in visiting Diagon Alley for the first time, and his casting of a full corporeal Patronus to affect an important rescue. Same year, Bloomsbury commissioned woodcut artist Andrew Davidson to create new cover artwork for its paperback Adult Edition.
In 2014, Bloomsbury commissioned Jonny Duddle to create new cover artwork for its Children's Edition. The cover art and design of either the British children's edition or the American edition is re-used on many, but not all, international editions of the books.
The cover of the children's edition, drawn by Thomas Taylor, depicts Harry Potter staring at the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4.The original Bloomsbury back cover includes a rather bizarre-looking figure (whose face also adorns the spine) who was created by the illustrator. After a few editions, the back cover was changed with a new image, this time clearly identifiable as Dumbledore, even holding a Put-Outer.
The cover of the children's edition, by Cliff Wright, has Harry and Ron Weasley inside the Flying Ford Anglia. The Hogwarts Express runs below them. The back cover depicts Hogwarts. A cutout of the cover image of Hedwig in her cage adorns the spine.
The cover of the children's edition, by Cliff Wright, depicts Harry and Hermione Granger riding Buckbeak. A lupine creature (either Sirius Black's Animagus or Remus Lupin in werewolf form) adorns the back cover and spine.
The cover of the children's edition, by Giles Greenfield, depicts the First Task of the Triwizard Championship, with Harry on his Firebolt being chased by a Hungarian Horntail. The back cover is an image of a Hogwarts staircase, with a ghost atop of it. A cutout of an owl statue in the back is on the spine.
The cover of the children's edition, by Jason Cockcroft, features a phoenix rising from flames.The battle in the Atrium of the Ministry of Magic appears on the back cover, with the symbol-filled ceiling and the gold statues of the Fountain of Magical Brethren. A golden feather decorates the spine.
The adult edition depicts a Phoenix. The Signature edition has a Prophecy Record.
The cover of the children's edition, by Jason Cockcroft, depicts Albus Dumbledore and Harry inside the Horcrux cave, surrounded by a ring of fire created by the former. The back cover is the Horcrux Cave, with the lake and the basin filled with potion. The spine has Marvolo Gaunt's Ring. Both flaps feature Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy's hands making the Unbreakable Vow.
The cover of the children's edition, by Jason Cockcroft, depicts Harry, Ron and Hermione breaking into the Lestrange Vault in Gringotts. A sword-wielding Griphook stands behind Harry.The back cover features Hogwarts, the front flap has Harry's deer Patronus, the back flap has Nagini inside a crystal ball, and the spine, the Deathly Hallows symbol.
- Boxed Sets
The cover shows a Nimbus-riding Harry (in Muggle attire or Hogwarts arches) is about to catch the Golden Snitch, with other Quidditch players in the far distant background. Hogwarts castle appears behind Harry and the arched columns through which he is flying, the bottom of the entire cover shows a soft, red and blue tile floor, which is connected to the columns. The soft floor features a transparent fabric so we can able to see the bottom of the columns, and Fluffy's three vicious heads are visible in an opening in the castle wall. In the distance, the forest's pointed pine trees mirror the pointed towers of the castle, while a unicorn gallops by. The back cover shows a letter-carried owl, Dumbledore, a Bludger, and a key, which is dropped by an owl. The back flap shows an orange curtain with white stars is blown by the owl. The front flap has a mysterious candle-holding figure with no shoes or boots is coming from behind a light-green curtain with light-blue swirls and dots.
The alternate paperback edition has Snape running into the woods. The Tenth Anniversary Edition has Harry looking into the Mirror of Erised. The School Market Edition has Harry getting his wand in Ollivanders Wand Shop with Hagrid and Garrick Ollivander. The Fifteenth Anniversary Edition features Harry and Hagrid in Diagon Alley. The Fully Illustrated Edition features Harry with Hedwig preparing to board the Hogwarts Express, another owl flying overhead.
The cover shows Fawkes flying Harry, Ron, and Ginny Weasley to safety after the defeat of Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets. Mrs Norris is in the back cover, and the front flap has the Basilisk's lurking eye. The title (besides "Harry Potter") is written in blood on the walls like Ginny's messages while possessed.
The fully illustrated edition shows the Weasleys and Harry Potter in the Flying Ford Anglia.
The cover shows Harry and Hermione riding Buckbeak. It could be said that all four Marauders appear - Sirius Black is probably the silhouette toward the bottom of the front cover, Peter Pettigrew's rat form is in the front flop, Remus Lupin in Werewolf form runs in the back cover, and Harry's stag Patronus (which resembles James Potter's Animagus) is in the back flap. On the back, we see four Dementors prowling around the castle and the Whomping Willow in the distance. Crookshanks is waiting under the tree. On the back flap apppears a small house with smoke rising from its chimney—probably Hagrid's hut.
The Fifteenth Anniversary Edition shows Harry Potter casting his Patronus to repel the Dementors attacking himself and Sirius Black.
The entire art depicts the Third Task's maze, along with the Horntail (whose head and wings are on the back cover). The front cover features all Triwizard Champions - Harry Potter holding the Golden egg, Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum, and Cedric Diggory. An acromantula (partly obscured by Fleur's hair ribbon), Sirius' dog form, distant stands full of spectators projecting above the maze and what looks like a Dementor are also visible.
The Fifteenth Anniversary Edition shows Harry Potter face-to-face with the Hungarian Horntail, having successfully claimed the Golden egg.
The picture depicts Harry in the circular room at the entrance to the Department of Mysteries. The back cover has Lupin, Tonks, and Moody opening one of the doors. The deluxe cover depicts 12 Grimmauld Place, with Hedwig flying in the front cover, and broomstick-riding wizards arriving.
The Fifteenth Anniversary Edition depicts Harry Potter and two of his friends as they fly on Thestrals to the Ministry of Magic to attempt a rescue of Sirius Black.
The picture has Harry and Dumbledore in front of the potion-filled basin on the Horcrux Cave. Ron, Hermione, Ginny and other DA members are in the back cover, with the Dark Mark in the sky. The deluxe cover is Harry and Dumbledore in Bob Ogden's memory, watching him arrive at the Gaunt shack.
The Fifteenth Anniversary Edition depicts Harry and Dumbledore standing together on a rock in the middle of the ocean just outside the Horcrux cave, about to venture inside.
The cover depicts the Duel in the Great Hall, with Voldemort in the back flap and cover and Harry in the front cover. The deluxe cover depicts Harry, Ron and Hermione riding the blind dragon while escaping from Gringotts Wizarding Bank after their break-in, as does the cover of the 15th Anniversary Edition.
- Boxed Sets
The Danish translations of the books, published by Gyldendal, have been published with at least three cover designs. The original design had inset illustrations by Per Jørgensen. A second design used the same illustrations as the full cover, along with the familiar Harry Potter logo. A third design, to date used only on the first four volumes, has banners of a single colour across the top half of the cover and symbolic art on the lower half.
The Dutch translations of the books are published jointly by Uitgeverij De Harmonie (in the Netherlands) and Standaard Uitgeverij (in Belgium). The cover art was created by Ien van Laanen and the covers were designed by Anne Lammers.
In 2010, pocket editions were created to boost sales in the Netherlands by Uitgeverij De Harmonie. Rob Westendorp created new cover designs for the books, as seen below.
The French translations of the books, published by Éditions Gallimard, have cover art created by Jean-Claude Götting. Götting initially painted front covers only for the first three volumes, and full (front and back) cover art for later volumes; the publishers later commissioned him to repaint the first three covers in full. The covers for most books have Harry and friends in Hogwarts uniform - exceptions being Goblet of Fire, where he wears his Triwizard Tournament robes, and Deathly Hallows, where he wears a simple jacket.
In 2014, Tiago da Silva created new cover designs for the books as seen below.
The original edition's cover was designed to look like Harry Potter's copy of the book, with a sticker featuring his signature, and claw gashes over the cover material. The 2009 edition has a painting of Hogwarts' coat of arms with the animals escaping the frame.
The original edition's cover was designed to look like a Hogwarts Librarybook, complete with seal. The 2009 edition has a painting of a Golden Snitch in a blue background.
The UK cover depicts a tree stump (from the story Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump) and a skull (The Tale of the Three Brothers). The US cover has objects from each story: a tree stump, a hopping pot, a fountain (with the three witches and the knight climbing the hill toward it), a heart and three hands holding the Deathly Hallows. Most international covers follow the UK cover - though the German cover has a wizard, the hopping pot, Babbitty Rabbitty holding her wand and a skull, while the Spanish cover has Death, the hopping pot, the fountain, the heart, and Babbitty Rabbitty biting her wand alongside the stump, and the Japanese one just illustrates Babbitty Rabbitty.
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