As a graphic designer, I subscribe in theory (but don't always follow successfully in practice..booo me) to the rule of thirds and the tenets that less is more and just because you can doesn't mean you should. I get incredibly excited when designers are successful in letting negative space speak as loudly as their designs. That is why I fell in love with all of these Slovakian binding illustrations I found over at A Journey Round My Skull. These are examples that should be shown again and again and again to Design 101 students. When I took some classes at the local JC, let's just say that at least 75% of the class could have benefited from the refined editing used on these covers.
I love this one as well simply because the colors are divine. I will forever be a sucker for jewel tones.
All images are from A Journey Round My Skull.