Retrospective of Harry Potter Book Covers

The story of Harry Potter adventures in the wizarding world will definitely stand the test of time. Its covers have been through many changes over the years. We're taking a step back in time to browse through the book cover history of the Harry Potter series from across the pond and in the United States. (In the following retrospectives we'll showcase covers from around the world and a collection of brilliant redesigns by talented artists.) We're asking the time-tested question: what are your favorite covers?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997) was published in the U.K. Its book was originally illustrated by Thomas Taylor. Cliff Wright illustrated Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban, Giles Greenfield created Goblet of Fire, and Jason Cockcroft designed the last three books.

In 1998, Scholastic in the United States took notice of the series popularity and began publishing the series. The title Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. All 7 books were illustrated by Mary Grand Pre.


In 2002-2004, JK Rowling released companion books with proceeds going to the Comic Relief charity; Quidditch: Through the AgesFantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

In 2009, they were re-released by Bloomsbury with new covers in the UK with charities proceeding to go to charity. These versions were 128 pages long compared to the original 98.

While United States adult readers could proudly enjoy reading the series with the book covers above by Mary, in the UK adult covers were released. These were only published until the fourth book and then were replaced with the covers below.

Notably recognized as a children's book / fantasy series, headlines were made pertaining to its popularity among adult readers. The covers were an alternative if adults were "embarrassed" caught reading a kiddies series.

For the signature edition in 2010, the UK welcomed a new re-release of covers for the paperback series. Illustrated by Scotland linocut artist Clarie Melinsky.


Combining the original paperback books, the UK hardcover collectors versions were deluxe. The title and JK Rowling's signature was emboldened with gold. The United States version was similar; leather bound with gold embellishment.
Companion book The Tales of Beedle the Bard was lucky enough to receive special treatment with three different covers.

Bounded in Moroccan leather and silver skulls, this version was illustrated and written by JK Rowling. Only available in 7 copies, they were sold at auction where the proceeds went to charity.

For the books wide release in 2008, the UK received the light blue cover, the United States received the brown cover, and the third is a prop in the Deathly Hallows Part 1 film.
During Summer 2013, the series was re-born with a host of new covers in the United States and across the seas.

In celebration of the Sorcerer's Stone 15th anniversary, Scholastic re-released the paperback series with a new award-winning illustrator, Kazu Kabushi, designing the covers. When the spines of the redesigned covers are placed together as a set, a glowing silhouette of Hogwarts makes for a nice view on any Potterheads bookshelf!


UK publishers are releasing a new series of covers for adults. Illustrated by woodcut artist Andrew Davidson. You can view the illustrations without the text and color here. Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows covers will be released in September 2013.

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