We can all agree that the Harry Potter phenomenon is one of the best things that has ever happened to the world. From little kids to grandparents, every person has heard about the young and brave wizard Harry Potter who’s fighting against the evil and dark Lord Voldemort. I can bet that all of you have seen the movies several times, but have you all read the amazing books? I must admit, the books are as good as the movies and I really enjoyed both of them. To be honest, I really can’t pick a side. And why not enjoy the best of both worlds if you have the option?
It comes as no surprise that the Harry Potter books written by the amazing by J.K. Rowling are the best-selling series of all time. More than 450 million copies have been sold in the entire world and the book series were translated into over 80 languages. I’m not sure if many of you remember this, but the first Harry Potter book series appeared in 1997 and were published by Bloomsbury! Feeling old, right? And since then, they have been printed and reprinted all over the world. Some countries chose to use the original cover of Bloomsbury when they published the translated version of the books, but others chose to design the covers themselves instead. Therefore, there are some designs that are simple, depicting real scenes from the books and there also childish and cartoonish covers that are a little bit too abstract.
Today’s article presents a selection of different Harry Potter book covers from all over Europe, the United States and even countries from Asia. It’s amazing to discover how each of the book cover styles give off such different feelings, even though they all feature the same plot. Have I made you curious? Good! This means you’re ready to take a visual ride into the magical realm of Harry Potter book covers. Join us into this beautiful and colorful adventure!
1. The United Kingdom
Old UK Harry Potter edition
This is the very first edition of Harry Potter series that was ever published! These original covers were done by the Bloomsbury team in 1997 and we also know that Thomas Taylor did the illustrations. They look pretty good and neat for those years, don’t you agree? But do you know what makes these UK Harry Potter book covers very popular and attractive? The fact that Australia, Canada and India chose to also use them.
New UK Harry Potter edition
The same Bloomsbury publishing house decided to remake the Harry Potter book covers in 2014, and they really did an amazing job. We’ve heard that Jonny Duddle is the guy that did the illustration part. From my point of view, the new edition looks way more awesome than the previous one! They visually represent the important moments within the plot better and are more vivid and realistic. These polished new covers also invite you to step into the Harry Potter world!
2. The United States of America
Old USA Harry Potter edition
Here is the first American edition that appeared in 1997 and was published by Scholastic. The first thing people notice when they see these Harry Potter book covers is the fact that the title is not the same as the English version. It was changed to Sorcerer’s Stone because the American publishers believed that children won’t read the books if they have “philosopher” word in the title. The Brazilian editions also picked these covers for their translated versions of the book.
Mary GrandPré is the one who illustrated this edition. She is a big fan of Harry Potter and this thing can be remarked when analyzing her illustrations for the covers. For instance, you can clearly observe that she was very careful to depict details. Did you notice the curtains framing Sorcerer’s Stone and Deathly Hallows? They certainly suggest the opening and closing of this story. I find this really cool!
New USA Harry Potter edition
These new Harry Potter book covers were released by the same Scholastic publishing house on Harry Potter’s 15th anniversary. Kazu Kibuishi is the artist behind these covers. What’s different from the old ones is the fact that they are presenting only one important scene instead of describing the whole plot. I absolutely love them and I really can’t decide which one is more amazing. I want them all!
Salamandra is the publishing house from Spain that released these Harry Potter book covers. We found out that artist Dolores Avendaño from Argentina illustrated all seven books. Latin America also chose to publish these editions. As a fun fact, in the Spanish edition, Neville’s pet Trevor is a turtle and not a toad. I find this really funny! I really have no idea why they decided to do so.
Artist Jean-Claude Götting did all these French Harry Potter book covers. I honestly still haven’t decided if I like them or not. The first volume makes me think of Halloween. Or maybe of the Puritan pilgrims, because of those interesting hats the characters wear. Regardless of the hidden message behind these illustrations, we can all agree that they look a bit funny.
As an interesting and fun fact, in this French version, Voldemort’s middle name is Elvis. Because of this, the editors had to change his full name to Tom Elvis Jedusor, so the anagram for “je suis Lord Voldemort” would make sense.
The German Harry Potter book covers edition is designed by Sabine Wilharm. The very first interesting thing about this version is the fact that they wrote J.K. Rowling’s full name on the covers. The writer’s British publisher recommended her to go by her initials only, because he thought boys wouldn’t read a book about magic if it’s written by a woman.
I find these covers rather hilarious, because Harry looks kinda confused in all the seven books with his upturned eyebrow. Also, don’t you have this bizarre feeling that he’s staring at you? I surely have!
I don’t know who designed the Italian Harry Potter book covers, but I honestly expected better from the country of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Let’s be serious now, what’s with that giant rat next to Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone? Is that supposed to be Scabbers? I really can’t remember any scene from the novel where Harry plays chess against a rat. What do you think this mouse represents? I’m gladly waiting for your answers in the comment section below!
Artist Per Jørgensen illustrated the Danish edition of Harry Potter books. Greenland is a Danish speaking country that also decided to choose these covers. I don’t know what you think about them, but for me, they look very scary and realistic. Especially the 6th volume, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The yellow-eyed lake monsters give me all the chills!
As a fun fact regarding this Danish edition, I would like to tell you that Voldemort’s name was really badly translated as Romeo. What do you think about that?
The artist behind these Ukrainian Harry Potter book covers is Vladislav Erko. We can all admit that they are very colorful, stylish and really cool. I think that the artist tried to include a very important scene from the story within the cover and he really succeeded in doing so. The inseparable trio looks more mature and ready to defeat the dark forces once and for all. However, I can’t help noticing the weird head on the snake and Hermione’s incredibly glossy forehead.
Alvaro Tapia did the cover art for the Swedish edition. I really like the entire collection, because it looks very magical and the designs of the books are filled with vibrant and lively colors. It features many iconic elements within the books, but my favorite part is how realistic the artist depicted Harry. Really, really awesome! Way to go, Sweden!
The Japanese Harry Potter book covers seem to be painted by a very talented artist. I find them very beautiful and authentic. You might ask yourself why there are more than seven books. This confused me as well. Apparently, the editors decided to split the last four volumes into two volumes each. Hope it all makes sense now.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with this, but the Chinese Harry Potter publishers conducted a competition to find the perfect artist to do the covers for their translated edition. Cool, right? I think that the winner did a pretty good job, even if I hardly recognized Fluffy and Voldemort in the first and last volume. Don’t you all think at first glance that instead of Fluffy, there’s the Gryffindor lion on the first cover? I bet you do!
I have to admit that these Russian Harry Potter book covers are one of my favorites from this list. They have a darker tone and this is what makes them unique from the others. Also, they picked a very good color scheme: as the images speak for themselves, the gold and copper colors stand out against the black background. But what I really enjoy most from these books is the stunning rendering of the Hogwarts castle formed by the spines of the books when they are arranged next to each other. Imagine how awesome would this look on your bookshelf! I think it’s time to take up some Russian lessons!
Artist Mika Launis did the illustrations for the Finnish Harry Potter book covers. It’s clear from the start that all the covers have a really noticeable theme: all the characters possess a giant nose. I don’t know how you find this particular physical feature. To me, it looks really funny. It makes me think that this is how Harry, Ron and Hermione looked before they discovered the secret spell for their nose job. How would you call it? Rhinoplastiarmus, for example?!
The Indonesian Harry Potter book covers edition is brand new, it was released only a few years ago. The covers are not very colorful and bright, but there are many details inserted that give us hints about important scenes within the plot. What I enjoy most about them is the fact that in the center is situated an animal associated with the series. For instance, in the Chamber of Secrets appears Fawkes; and in the Prisoner of Azkaban appears Buckbeak.
15. Czech Republic
I present to you the last translated edition of the Harry Potter book series. As you can see, this Czech edition looks very colorful and a little bit weird. Why does it appear that Harry is inside of a circus tent? I also have no explanation for the lipstick print on his hat. Yeah, I know, that is the sorting hat, but what does it have to do with the lips? Could it make a reference to the fact that the hat talks? Guess we’ll never know the real answer.
This article was a fun and informative ride. I really hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It was really interesting to dig so deep into the Harry Potter world. There were many things I didn’t know, and I bet you didn’t as well.
There are probably many other Harry Potter book covers all around the world, but I’ve chosen only my favorite ones. If you have any other suggestions that don’t appear in this collection, I encourage you to share them with us in the comments section down here.