Monday, October 8, 2012

My adventures in book cover design

I've been a graphic designer for many, many years. As a matter of fact, my day job is teaching graphic design at Bronx Community College where I have my students create their own cover designs. But it's only been recently that I've delved into the world of cover design myself. After getting the the amazing opportunity from my publisher, SPENCER HILL PRESS, to design my own cover, I've gone on to do quite a few more for them. The above cover for the forthcoming book, AWOKEN, is the first of the SHP covers to be revealed. Expect more to come.

Cover design, the way we do it at SHP, is a fascinating process.  At SHP, it's a collaboration between the editor, the author and me. We really listen to what the author wants and try to represent the spirit of the book as authentically as possible. It's an incredibly exciting process. In some cases, I've only been given the blurb, as in the case with AWOKEN. In other cases, I've read the whole manuscript. It really depends on how long it takes me to grasp the fundamentals of the book.

It took a lot of comps for me to get this book right. I really had no idea how to portray this rather complex tale. Below, I've posted the final comp that became the cover you see above. What we do is find low rez images from stock photography houses and play around with them until we capture the right mojo. I've yet to set up a photo shoot, though SHP is open to that possibility. I guess it's my roots as an illustrator that drives me to combine multiple images to get the effect I am looking for. And of course, the final touch is the typography, something all my students at BCC know I am absolutely adamant and exacting about. (I give some of them type nightmares). For the final, the high rez images are purchased, and then the cover has to be rebuilt from scratch to look as similar to the comp as possible, and of course, cleaner, crisper and better.

If you want to see more of my cover designs, and keep up to date with new work as it is released, you can check out my page on here, or visit my Facebook designer page at:

This is the final rough comp made of low rez images.
You can even see the stock houses watermark if you look closely enough.