From concept to cover

Yesterday I told you about the beginning processes of a book design. Of determining the message to convey and then obtaining or creating graphics that would help to convey that message. Of course, a book cover is nothing without a title and other essentials, so how do those photos translate to a complete design, to something that allows all of the elements to work together to convey a strong message?

The answer is that not all of the photos are going to lend themselves to book covers. And, as with all graphic design, sometimes less is more. So, some of the images that came out strong looked horrible once we tried to weave in text. In the end, I came up with three covers I was equally happy with, and I was ready to share them with Amy.


Option 1

The image in this first cover spoke to me even during the photo shoot. I loved the black silhouetted vines. It felt very dramatic and thrilling and dangerous, which I thought lent well to conveying the message of an emotional affair. I gave the main headline a bold, stark font with an embossed look so that it would give a 3D appearance in eBook format. I sent this proof along with this message to Amy:

Silhouetted vines symbolize the dark side of emotional affairs in this cover version. This stands in contrast to the color and font choices of the word emotional – which represents that it can appear to light and romantic, until the darkness sets. The white and blue background represents that there is hope beyond the thorny black, beyond the entanglement.

Option 2

Option 2 made me happy because it was so green, and Amy had mentioned she liked green. I altered the title font slightly to give it a vine appearance. I like the way the g and the l are reaching for each other but never quite connecting. It feels like a marriage in the beginning stages of unravel. This is the message I sent Amy with this proof:

The title is trapped between the vines in this version, and the words blend with the color of vines, showing the entanglement. The vines’ entanglement starts simply; at the top of the photograph it is loosely wrapped around the vine, demonstrating how it begins. But by the bottom of the photo, the entanglement has grown messy and complicated.


Option 3

Option 3 had all the makings of a fantasy. I choose a lightweight, dreamlike handwritten font for the subtitles. The clouds contrasted with the entangled vines, and the green leaves were just about to fall into nothingness.

The words are literally entangled with the vines in this photograph. The clouds and the subtitle font are designed to give the cover a daydream-like feel, as a woman would feel as she begins her emotional affair. However, the stick on the right side of the photo represents the person who has been entangled – and she is hanging by a thread.

 Amy loved them all, and she was torn between option 1 and option 2. She wasn’t too sure about the pink font, but once she decided on option 1, it was easy to switch to red – red conveys passion, and in many ways could even more appropriately show the heat that an emotional affair brings – both positively and negatively.

So, now that you know how we arrived at the book cover, don’t you want to read what’s inside?


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