All posts tagged: Graphic design

Book Covers: Project Example

Okay, so in part 3 of this series, we’re now going to take what we’ve learned and apply it a real life example. Okay, a fictional example. A fictional example of fiction I totally made up. Even though I do in fact have a book cover on my to-do list right now (for The Culling Fields, the book I finished as part of NaNoWriMo 2013) I’m going to do evil, naughty things to the first example of such, and I don’t like the idea of doing it for a book that will actually see publication. Potentially awkward. Thus, let’s go with something invented for that purpose. “A Litany of Ashes” is a post-apocalyptic YA about a teenage girl in a small community that survives by its religious rituals, designed to keep at bay the demons of radiation and nuclear fallout. But when she begins to think the demons are literal, is she going insane or has a terrifying new threat arisen in the post-nuclear landscape? So it’s a bit A Canticle for Leibowitz meets Handmaid’s …

Book Cover Reveal – Blood Chimera

Okay, here it is, the cover for Blood Chimera. (See my post On Book Covers for the lead up to this.) The cover went through a lot of revisions: at least seven different iterations. The original cover even had an illustration of Jackson on the front (someone said it looks like a romance novel, and that was completely true.)  I played with putting a chimera on the cover comprised of different animals important to the story, but it looked like a fantasy book. Ransom note lettering? Too hard to read. Eventually I decided I liked Maureen Johnson‘s push for gender-neutral covers and came up with the idea of using a glyph of Cipactli. Once I hit upon that, the rest fell into place reasonably quickly. (For those interested, clouds and background blood smears were created in Corel Painter, the Cipactli glyph in Adobe Illustrator, and final collage, correction and typography in Adobe Photoshop.) I showed the prototypes to a lot of people — pretty much everyone I could find. Some people didn’t like the fact …

On Book Covers

I used to be a graphic designer. This isn’t exactly a secret, and I was a graphic designer for something like 20 years (a little over, but close enough.) I became something of a specialist in logos, which are often considered the hardest work a graphic designer can do. Nope. I wasn’t giving enough credit to book cover designers. This stuff is HARD. Keep in mind: I am an artist. I have that advantage over most writers — I still think this stuff is hard. Insanely hard. When I say writing the book was the easy part, that is nothing but blunt honesty. You’re probably wondering why I’m designing the book cover at all, if I have a publishing contract. The truth is: I don’t have to. I’m very lucky in that my publisher is open to the idea of letting me take a crack at it (even if they go with something else, which would be their contractual right.) As a graphic artist turned writer, I have it within me to be the most obnoxious of …