Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Creative Process - working on a book cover with our competition winner

by JD Smith

A few months ago I launched a competition: Win a Professionally Designed, Bespoke Book Cover. I had so many entries on my Facebook page and website, I was relieved I only had to pick a winner at random, and not judge entries.

Linzé Brandon won with her book, Keeper of the Dragon Sword, in need of a cover design.  Linzé  knew which elements she wanted on her cover, and her husband was able to take original photographs of a sword (below) which is detailed in the book.



The rest of the images I found online from royalty free stock image libraries. There are plenty to be found, with stunning shots to choose from, but many covers require something more complex and layered than a single, readily-available image. 

When I first supply images for clients browse, I tend to warn them not to pay too much attention to what they will look like on the finished cover. I know each one I have selected will work, either on its own or amalgamated with others. I have ideas and know that toning down here, brightening there, and pulling a specific colour to the forefront of the image will give it the impact needed to make the cover stand out. I ask the author or publisher choose a selection that resonate with them and that work for the book, leaving the rest to me.

Below are two images Linzé chose, together with the additional image of a dragon outline that we would need to place on the back of the male model.


From there I mocked up various front cover suggestions; the start of the truly creative process, bringing together fonts and stylish typography, whilst bending and manipulating images to work in unison with one another. This was my favourite part. Here you can see the selection of cover variations for Keeper of the Dragon Sword ...


Linzé decided to go with the third option (far right) and from there I designed the spine and back cover. Below is both the final front cover for ebook publication and the full paperback cover for printed books, to be published later this year.












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