You should take a look at the Penguin Design Award Shortlist (via Kottke via Book Design Review), the results are quite inspiring. I really find this year’s winning covers much more interesting than last year’s.

jenna jones cover

1st Place, Jenna Jones – Norwich School of Art and Design

jez burrows cover

2nd Place, Jez Burrows – University of Brighton

matthew chilton cover

3rd Place, Matthew Chilton – University of Gloucestershire