Lord of the Rings Book Cover Designs

There have been many different book covers to face the front of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. The covers below do not represent all the book covers created in the last 59 years but from covers illustrated by Tolkien himself to covers illustrated by the notable Alan Lee we have collected 16 of the most recognizable collections to carry the Lord of the Rings title.

1. 1954-1955

Illustrations created by Tolkien himself for the printed edition of all three books

Illustrations created by Tolkien himself for the printed edition of all three books

J.R.R. Tolkien’s original design for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy books illustrates the meaning of each story in a perfectly simple, yet magical way.  The vintage covers feature a different ring and border color for each book is a vibrant design element that gives each individual story within the trilogy its own mystical character.

2.  1960

Unauthorized edition of The Lord of The Rings by Ace

Unauthorized edition of The Lord of The Rings by Ace

This colorful, bright and vibrant design shown on the covers from the unauthorized edition of The Lord of The Rings gives reveals the magical wizardry within this epic story.  Scenes of darkness, shadows, and mystery are also prominent in these designs.

 

Book covers for the authorized edition of the Lord of the Rings by Ballantine

Book covers for the authorized edition of the Lord of the Rings by Ballantine

Ballantine’s cover designs present s mystical, magical and brilliant visual display for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy books.  There’s a wide spectrum of cool colors which bring about the feeling of mystery.

 

Book covers for the authorized Canadian edition of the Lord of the Rings

Book covers for the authorized Canadian edition of the Lord of the Rings

The Canadian edition covers crisply illustrated, featuring a ring in the center, serving as a window to a beautiful scene from within the story.  The covers are color coded, using a different bold primary color for each volume.

 

3. 1970-1975

LOTR4

This simple design uses a simple yet effective design, featuring a ring in the center, revealing a glimpse of the magic within the story.

4. 1973

LOTR5

These elaborate illustrations are exceptionally drawn, showing a glimpse of scene from within the stories.  The light, almost unnoticeable cool and neutral colors make these covers stand out even more.

 

5.  1981 – 1984

LOTR6

These covers feature beautifully illustrated scenes from each story of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Using the colors blue, green, and red gives each book its own individual personality.

 

6. 1988

LOTR7

These covers from a 1988 edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy books are a wonderful match, as they feature exceptional illustrations of scenes from within the books, and bold color schemes.

 

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Houghton-Mifflin

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Houghton-Mifflin

Houghton-Miffin’s covers for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy books are mythical, and give a feeling of mystery as to what’s waiting inside the books.  The uniquely designed images in each book coordinate with one another and look as though they’re different views of the same mystical scene.

 

7. 1991

These covers published by Harper Collins used Tolkien’s original artwork faded into black.

 Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins

The cover designs for the 1991 edition of The Lord of the Rings books are simple and bold.  The dark colored backgrounds and vibrantly colored rings as the centerpieces give these designs character, and are simple yet effective.

 

8. 1992

 Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins Illustrations by Alan Lee

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins Illustrations by Alan Lee

Alan Lee’s designs for the this edition of the Lord of the Rings books is magical and visually exciting.  The covers are all brought together using a ring on each, containing the book’s title.

 

9.  1995

LOTR11

The designs for the 1995 edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy books are colorful, bright, and abstract.  It doesn’t reveal much as to what the story could be about, but it gives a nice visual design with vibrant color schemes.

10. 1999

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Houghton Mifflin

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Houghton Mifflin

The covers for the 1999 edition are photorealistic and brilliantly designed.  The blue, red, and green squares give the covers coordination in the design, and relate them all together.

 

 11. 2001

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins

These cover designs for the 2001 edition are mysterious and dark.  Each feature a different color in the background, as well as the same scene and design in each.

 

12. 2002

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins Illustrations by Alan Lee

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins Illustrations by Alan Lee

The covers for this edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Alan Lee are stunning and bold, with different cinematic images as the focal points for each book.

 

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins

Book covers for the Lord of the Rings published by Harper Collins

Harper Collins’ cover designs for the Lord of the Rings books are mysterious, dark, and bold.  The designer uses a different hue for each cover design, giving each cover character and individuality.

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