Cover for Anthony Burgess — A Clockwork Orange (Designed by David Pelham)

For such an iconic cover, you might be surprised to learn that (a) this wasn’t the original cover for the novel, (b) the author hated it, and (c) the designer put it together and rushed it to press in a single night. This cover was used for the novel’s re-release, ten years after the original printing, to coincide with Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation. Penguin had expected to use artwork from the film for cross-promotion, but Kubrick stubbornly refused. So David Pelham was tasked with coming up with a design that looked like a movie poster without having access to any images from the film. He pulled an all-nighter, and came up with this: strong lines, primary colors, and an eye inside a cog. The eye-cog worked as such a riveting and thematically relevant icon that any more complexity would have just been a distraction, and the cover became a classic.