Urban Fantasy Book Covers

Welcome to the urban fantasy cover section.
Scroll down to view my urban fantasy book covers.
Urban fantasy stories are those that are set in an urban environment like a city, usually in our modern day reality. The difference from real life however, is that that are magical elements as well as real world ones.
As an urban fantasy book cover designer, I love doing these covers. You'll see a city-scape in the background of this art as that's what tells the reader the book is urban fantasy. Also most of the time you'll see metallic text and various glowy magical effects.

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Urban Fantasy Book Covers Info

Urban fantasy stories are those that are set in an urban environment like a city, usually in our modern day reality. The difference from real life however, is that that are magical elements as well as real world ones.

What Makes a Reader Reach for a UF Book?

Authors of urban fantasy need a book cover designer that understands the genre and what  book cover designs appeal to the readers that are looking for an urban fantasy story. This genre more than almost any other has a very specific look that hasn't changed a lot over time, so authors need a cover that screams UF to attract the right readers, if they want to sell their book.
So, what makes a reader reach for a UF book?
Because these stories are set in our world, they feel very realistic. This allows the reader to associate themselves very easily with the main character and feel like the magical side of the environment could actually exist. Urban fantasy has also become a kind of umbrella incorporating a lot of other sub-genres into itself, from fantasy and paranormal romance arcs to crime, suspense, mystery and even horror. Not only that, most of the magical creatures that appear in UF stories also have their roots in mythology, legends, wicca, occult and folk tales giving it the most diverse range magical beings in any genre.
All this allows readers to imagine what might be beyond our visible world and feel like where we exist might be less mundane than we realize.

Urban Fantasy Book Cover Imagery

When it comes to urban fantasy, there are several distinct looks that come under UF.
  • General urban fantasy
  • Academy
  • Dark urban fantasy
There are also several content tropes that go well with urban fantasy, including shifters, fae, vampires, demons, fallen angels, gods/demi-gods, reapers and witches.

General urban Fantasy

When it comes to urban fantasy, you want to see a city or skyline in the image. This is essentially what tells the reader it's an urban fantasy story. Add to that that usual brightly colored, glowing magic effects, the metallic text and lots of turquoise, pink, purple and the reader will instantly know the cover is for an urban fantasy story.
The main character is largely female with an attitude, a sword and some magic. They're often dressed in jeans and a leather jacket, but more recently they'll have a cropped top instead. Sometimes there's a male character on the cover with her too.


These types of covers have another very clearly defined look. There is almost always a wrought iron gate in front of a big building, with the main character standing in front of it, dressed in some kind of uniform. Often it's a short pleated tartan skirt with a shirt and tie, but other uniforms work just as well. The subtitle or title also has the world academy in it and instead of "book 1", you get "semester 1" for the book number. Once again, the brightly colored, glowing magic and metallic text feature a lot on these covers.

Dark Urban Fantasy

There is a growing trend of more de-saturated covers, some also have some very dark colors or even black on them. These tend to cover the more gritty / dark stories.


  • Kim Richardson
    Karen was a pleasure to work with. Her work on my covers was absolutely fantastic. I wanted covers that stood out, and that’s exactly what I got. My covers came out better than I had imagined. Outstanding. She went above and beyond my expectations. I have a lot of books, and I can honestly say these covers are my favorite. I’m thrilled with her work and cannot recommended her highly enough.
    Kim Richardson, USA Today  Bestselling Author
  • Harper A Brooks
    I fell in love with one of Karen's premade covers during an event and loved it so much, we made it into an epic trilogy, one I'm excited to release. Karen is so easy to talk to and very talented. She'll make your amazing story the cover it deserves.
    Harper A Brooks,  USA Today  Bestselling Author
  • author Troy Osgood
    Karen was a joy to work with. Quick to respond to questions and changes and open to suggestions. Will use again.
    Troy Osgood
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Hi! My name is Karen Dimmick.
I've loved fantasy and magic for as long as I can remember & have been in the publishing industry for nearly a decade.
I know how important is it for a book to look its best, and for potential readers to be able to tell at a glance it's a book they'll enjoy. Without that, even great stories go unread.
As you'll see from my testimonials, my clients love working with me because I'm easy to work with, communicate well and deliver on time, like you'd expect any professional to do.
Born in England, I now live in Florida, USA with my husband. I've traveled the world, living in Europe and Asia. I've had my own bestselling non-fiction book, as well as fiction books, so I've seen both sides of the cover design process.
I believe authors should be able to give their books every possible chance to succeed, with a cover that attracts readers and meets the reader's expectations for the genre.
That's why I created Arcane Covers - to help you make your book shine.
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