Book Cover Designs

View testimonialsView Artwork
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Book Cover Designs

    I'd quite like to get into book cover designing. I've already had an image used on my first (non-fiction) historical book, 'The Rise and Fall of the Knights Templar'. Hopefully my second (non-fiction) Templar book (out soon) will also feature some of my artwork. The first image here shows the designs I've submitted to the publisher as suggestions. The second two are mock-ups for covers to old stories of mine (one being a Hellraiser fan-fic, the other original), done simly as practices for designs for the fiction genre. I hope one day to approach publishers for work designing covers, as mentioned, and would appreciate any c&c on these things.

    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by dashinvaine; August 26th, 2007 at 10:50 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    2,105
    Thanks
    113
    Thanked 515 Times in 187 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    You need to look over the typography dude. There are some good books on the subject.
    This one for example.

    [url=http://galleryonefone.blogspot.com[/url] This would be my gallery in Sweden

    This would be my Pleine Air blog
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    What's wrong with it?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    659
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked 138 Times in 90 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thing with typography is that there are dozens of rules to remember. Rules that help the eye move around the page, rules that take in how colours interact with one another and how the eye gets tired...ya-da-ya-da...I took a type course last semester in college. If you can't find/purchase any typography books I recommend looking at Wassily Kandinsky's work during his time at the Bauhaus (look up the bauhaus as well..particularily the type aspect) ..you'll notice a lot of imaginary lines that line up text and unify pieces....also look at kerning (it stands for the spacing between letters). You may be able to google some rules on type if you're lucky...well actually you'll most likely be able to find something. Hope that rambling makes some sense...but type is very important ..particularily in books . lol lats for now

    EDIT: what program are you using. If its not QuarkXpress I recommend looking into that. It's the standard for print production

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Yes but at risk of repeating myself what's wrong with it? What rules have I transgressed in my ignorance? And it's done in photoshop, with downloaded fonts.

    Not a big fan of Bauhaus, by the way, unless it's the Bela Lugosi's Dead Bauhaus.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    659
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked 138 Times in 90 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Lol well in that case I apologize. There really is nothing wrong with it. The only suggestion I have is to justify the text at the back, as in make the title the same width as the body text. it leads the eye better. Other than that I don't see anything that I would change.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    oakland
    Posts
    1,197
    Thanks
    279
    Thanked 200 Times in 122 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by dashinvaine View Post
    Yes but at risk of repeating myself what's wrong with it? What rules have I transgressed in my ignorance? And it's done in photoshop, with downloaded fonts.


    there really are quite a few typographical "errors' here,
    in typography as in art there is no real "wrong"

    but more about stylistic consistency and cohesion ..like in all design
    its about sticking to the rules you have made for the world your design .

    for instance it is widely consider a no-no to have the same font at widely different heights as you do, in your examples.
    maaaan thats a faux pax

    says who? 99% probability your publisher or art director will. (or who-ever)

    believe me they will send it back to you and ask you to fix it.
    (thats the real definition of wrong right there )

    remember: these are a lot of the same issues raised re: your website.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by kingshaj; August 29th, 2007 at 10:38 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    114
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I like #1 and #5 the most. Probably because of the image used. #5 is going to give you the least amount of trouble with lining up the spine, but that stuff shouldn't be a real problem anyway. The two with the white covers tend to not work as well, at least if there's text on the very first page. If you have a 10pt cover weight than you'll probably be able to see through it. From a typography standpoint the only thing I would recommend is to do a better job with aligning the fonts. The fonts are heavy enough for a title and seem to fit the books. Most of what you have on the back cover should probably be spaced a little differently as well, and could probably be a smaller font size.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    oakland
    Posts
    1,197
    Thanks
    279
    Thanked 200 Times in 122 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    make sure you center and align every element with some logic you can defend....

    ask yourself: is this centered with whats around it? aligned? if not is it a good reason....

    otherwise they'll send it back

    remember layman can see this stuff too, they just dont know whats exactly wrong.

    but they see it as sloppy in general.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Hi.

    A couple of things: The title of the book and the author's name on the spine need to be relatively the same size. You're competing with other books on the shelf.

    You also have too many fonts on the outside back cover, also try the author's name in a font that's not outlined..maybe the same as the title.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    552
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 167 Times in 105 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    dashinvaine,

    Several things that jump out at me... first, the type generally seems to lack 'weight', 'substance' & 'character'. You can better manipulate the size, kerning, and character of the type in Adobe Illustrator or Quark Express (or any equivalent program), where about 99% of all the books & magazines use to create their type & logos.

    When you go to the bookstore and you look at the displays of books from a distance, the strength of design must really be able to catch the customer's eye. Your design is competing with hundreds of other books that are sitting right next to it, so obviously your design must be outstanding.

    Do you have the rudimentary knowledge of where to place type and such on a book cover? Sure. But to me, they overall come across as rather weak, both in type choice and illustration.

    As far as the type goes, everything looks quite flat. Not very substantial, which may be due to the choice of type, or due to your not adding (for example) under-layers to your type. Something, anything that would help dimensionalize your work. That could help make the type much more readable, especially from 10-15 feet away.

    Essentially, your cover designs look flat enough to have a 'wallpaper' effect. Nothing graphically 'pops'. Very bland.

    The illustrations look very insubstantial. On your samples #2-4, the illustration elements are weakly done. The Knight on the horse has major problems with anatomy and structure. The helmet/sword/shield combination simply lacks dimension and character.

    The back cover on #1-4 is the strongest element. I can sort of tell that it's a tunnel of some sort, but it is difficult to 'read'. At least it is a much stronger graphic element, and it seems to have a bit of character to the illustration. However, it's a stronger element, but not by much.

    The last 2 designs, again, are incredibly flat. You seem to have added a layer of sophistication to some of the type, but really only a very small layer, and not even that sophisticated. You simply stroked a colored rim around the letters, which is the easiest thing to do in Photoshop.

    I agree with kingshaj. This also applies to your website.

    So, you do have skills. You do know how to put together the elements that make up a book cover. This is a good thing!

    But I really think you need to go to a bookstore and spend some hours in there absorbing the BEST OF THE BEST of the kinds of designs that are there to behold. Even book cover design is an art.

    I personally believe that the biggest, best thing you can ever do for yourself is to acquire the ability to really know what the highest standard of professional quality is, and then to know exactly precisely how your work compares to it.

    THAT, more than almost anything, will guide you in the right direction towards knowing how to correct any problems in your design. If you do not have this ability, then you will constantly be spinning your legs, yet really getting nowhere.

    I believe you're able to step up your game quite a lot! I think you're off to a decent start.

    Good luck!

    Last edited by magnut; August 29th, 2007 at 11:47 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,108
    Thanks
    1,527
    Thanked 5,188 Times in 1,721 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I designed book covers for years and the thing that always stuck in my mind from my art director/boss was his constant advice: "Give the Type Some Distinction!"

    *anybody* can type words out using a ready-made font.

    But only the talented and design-educated will be able to come up with the typographic conception *prior* to hitting illustrator or In Design (or whatever program you're using). And then find the font that fits. And then manipulate that font in illustrator, adding swashes here, connecting serifs there, adjusting kerning to equalize the spacial areas between letters, etc, etc, etc...

    My advice, is similar to the other bits of advice offered on this thread. But also...

    Get a hold of as many great book covers as you possibly can and start analyzing them. Start a notebook about design.

    When you really get into graphic design, the great thing that happens is your illustration becomes way way better because half of illustration is design!

    Good luck,
    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I will return to these when I rally my morale. I wish I'd concentrated more in the graphics module of the art side of my degree (did joint honours with history) unfortunately graphics was on friday mornings, and the student night at the Worcester nightclubs, which I kept getting dragged off to, was on thursdays. I've just come to the end of an MA in Crusader Studies in London so am still surrounded by books, and a lot of their covers break every rule mentioned above (though I now see that others are better, and why.)

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Here is the cover of the Hellraiser one with the writing 'justified'. Improvement?

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    6,035
    Thanks
    2,167
    Thanked 3,345 Times in 1,123 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Trendy fonts are usually not the way to go for many things. Ever see the font 'papyrus?' Even use it? If you have, slap yourself (kidding ) but the point is, easily recgnizable trendy fad fonts strip any credibility you have, no matter what the design looks like. All I can say about this font is I'm not sure of it.

    What I am sure of is that adding a fuzzy stroke around a font (especially one that's aligned to the center of the stroke of the font, and thus cuts into the font itself when the size is increased) is not a good idea. If you can, align it to the outside and either make sure it's thin enough so the strokes don't touch, or thick enough so they overlap and strengthen each other.

    Consistency is the word of the day. Restric ourself in font usage. Ideally, you should use one font for everything, meaning your choice should be well-thought. Two is perfectly acceptable though, with a choice of a larger, 'bolder' font for the main title, and a smaller usually sans serif font for minor stuff. Not a rule, but not a bad idea either.

    Also, gestalt. The idea that everything reads as one 'unit' so that nothng is competing with anything. This involves thinking about placement, size, what's important? What's not? Usually this involves integrating picture and text into a central unit, but there's so many ways to reach a unified visual 'organ' if you will, you should really play around with the idea.

    EDIT: I just now took a good look at the recent update and I have to say it's the opposite of what I was talking about. Big title, big pic, big title, big pic, all the same visual strength all placed in a logical top-to-bottom path leaving the reader to try to figure out what goes first. Integration. Heirarchy. What can come together? what's important? What do you want them to see first?

    Here's a bit of a design-over just to show you what I'm talking about. Same font except for name to differentiate, colour close to the colour of the now unified visual 'icon' etc etc. not the best, just showing you what could be done

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 30th, 2007 at 12:55 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,108
    Thanks
    1,527
    Thanked 5,188 Times in 1,721 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Rhineville?? You've done an illustration, not any design or typography. You're totally fired. Dash's Hellraiser design and type was better. At least it was interesting. Although, the odds of Mr. Napier, (who I surmise is a Christian historical writer for an in-house church-related press), writing a Hellraiser sequel is quite limited!

    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I like that version. Nice one. I like the star thing. I thank Kev though for deeming my effort not too bad.

    The font I used is called 'Hellraiser', and is based on the font used in the film credits, I believe, hence I thought I'd be obvious. I added both outer and inner glow as I didn't like the hard edge, but I take the point about it bleeding in too much, and probably should have set the inner glow to a smaller range.

    By the way, lest there be any confusion, Mr Napier is me, (wavering anglican/agnostic as it happens). I actually wrote the book on the Templars (published by Spellmount, who specialize in military history). The Hellraiser thing was a bit-of-fun project from a few years back, never intended for publication. I've just mocked up the cover now for the practice, and for an example should I purse cover design. I should probably come up with a pen-name if I do ever attempt to write publishable horror novels, as it seems a bit odd next to the historical non-ficton. (Actually after 1307 the Templars were arrested on accusations of secret depravity and unholy worship, by authorities jealous of their land and wealth and eager to discredit and destroy them. Confessions were wrung out of them by the Inquisition, so the boundary between real medieval history and modern horror fantasy comes closer than one might imagine).

    Incidentally the dodgiest font I've seen is

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by dashinvaine; August 30th, 2007 at 02:18 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    6,035
    Thanks
    2,167
    Thanked 3,345 Times in 1,123 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Rhineville?? You've done an illustration, not any design or typography. You're totally fired. Dash's Hellraiser design and type was better. At least it was interesting. Although, the odds of Mr. Napier, (who I surmise is a Christian historical writer for an in-house church-related press), writing a Hellraiser sequel is quite limited!

    kev
    screw you kev! it's my style! I quit!

    Just showing how integration can work. I don't agree that the illustration in dash's was more interesting, because the fact there are two near identical elements spaced apart just seems... odd. Agreed on the font though. I would have looked for a better font but I'm at work, pressed for time, and there's no god damn font book or something on here.... bah!

    oh and dash if it's actually called hellraiser and all that, then yeah it could work. Though I'd suggest a cleaner one for the smaller stuff at the bottom at least.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    oakland
    Posts
    1,197
    Thanks
    279
    Thanked 200 Times in 122 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Rhineville: love the use of empty space
    but somehow literally everything is off center
    and art directors hate it when the text dang near touches the graphic element...they start to twitch and stammer. i feel what you are going for, i too love that "tucked in feeling" with small sub headers...but no quite SO tucked in.


    dashinvaine:

    much better...but see Rhine's use of negative space REALLY helps direct the eye

    making the one square the central focus helped a great deal. and its beginning to have meaning.


    also don't be afraid of illustrator its really easy, now that you know PS,
    and especially for handling text its all as you would expect after familiarizing yourself with PS and dragging and dropping elements from PS too illus couldn't be easier.....trust me it will make this specific type of work much easier and more fun aaaand professional lookin'

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    6,035
    Thanks
    2,167
    Thanked 3,345 Times in 1,123 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by kingshaj View Post
    Rhineville: love the use of empty space
    but somehow literally everything is off center
    and art directors hate it when the text dang near touches the graphic element...they start to twitch and stammer. i feel what you are going for, i too love that "tucked in feeling" with small sub headers...but no quite SO tucked in.
    haha that's hilarious Didn't notice all that... I know I did this in a rush but holy moly... well my heart was in the right place

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  22. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Trouble with the star idea, it just needs a crown on top and it will look too much like a British police badge.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  23. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    6,035
    Thanks
    2,167
    Thanked 3,345 Times in 1,123 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by dashinvaine View Post
    Trouble with the star idea, it just needs a crown on top and it will look too much like a British police badge.
    Right-o, remember I wasn't saying "do this cuz it's gud" it was just an example of how to bring things together to unify it more. Just start thinking about how to bring the eye where you want it, what's important etc.

    I just picked up a great book called "picture this: how pictures work" and it's really useful for stuff from illustration to graphic design. I'd suggest getting a copy and taking a look, there's great stuff in there

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  24. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'll keep my eye open for it.

    I wonder if my design would work better with only the second of the two cubes...

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  25. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    671
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 29 Times in 22 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    a few rules to remember:
    -Never stretch or squash text. The type font is a piece of art, you dont want to go squishing a piece of art now do you?
    -Never put a stroke on text without copying the unstroked text and placing it on top. The stroke bleeds into the object as well as out of it so you lose some of the font definition and shape.
    -centered text on large paragraphs tends to look bad. The edges of the lines on the unjustified sides of text are called rags and they should look nice. You dont want them jumping around or moving in and out to much. Just a nice flow.

    hope that helps.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  26. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,108
    Thanks
    1,527
    Thanked 5,188 Times in 1,721 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    If this is portfolio stuff, I'd stick "Clive Barker's" over top the Hellraiser lettering, whatever it ends up being.

    Congrats, Dash, on being published. Didn't realize you were a multi-talent.

    Btw, I've seen way dodgier fonts than that jerusalem font. Almost any free font off the net will suck like a hoover.

    Unless... don't tell me you were making a political statment in your objection?

    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  27. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks. No, I wasn't on this occasion making a political statement concerning the Israelis with the font thing, even if I may have made the odd political statement against their occupation of Palestine in the past. (To come to think of it, I'd probably upset the Palestinians enogh to receive death threats if they saw the 'Pilgrimage to Damnation' design featuring the Dome of the Rock mosque with a cross on top! Such a cross was put there during the Crusader occupation, though, until it torn down by Saladin when he recovered Jerusalem in 1187... but I digress).
    I just think the Jerusalem font looks naff. If I was Jewish I would probably deem it rather bad taste to see hebrew imitated and the characters turned into Latin ones.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  28. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    For the knights cover I prefer the first one.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  29. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I felt left out
    Name:  bookcover.jpg
Views: 151
Size:  400.9 KB

    I liked the graphics but I thought your text had waaay too many different effects.

    I'm bad at sketchbooks, have a tumblr!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  30. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    312
    Thanked 307 Times in 201 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks. Very nice and I prefer your layout, although that text makes it look like a book about Jesus.

    Last edited by dashinvaine; September 1st, 2007 at 08:48 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  31. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Hahah wow, I hadn't even noticed. Sorry about that.
    Hey, you could always sell it as a fundie Bible-analysis and start your own cult though . The layout is basically yours, I just removed some extra stuff. I mean, why do you need the title on the back as well? are people too lazy to turn the book over?

    I'm bad at sketchbooks, have a tumblr!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook