Simple Book Title

Instead of resumes I got to try my hand at piecing together a very simple, title-only cover page for a book of poetry that my friend is placing onto Amazon.

I had the title and some examples of what he liked in book covers before. On Friday I was able to sit down and go through some of the poetry. I sketched up some thumbnail, stick-figure illustrations and about a half dozen treatments of just the title.

I’m not much of an illustrator and have little faith in my ability to create something completely from scratch that resembles humans. When I was told that he was looking more for a book title – and after he selected one of the title thumbnails that he kind of liked – I ran with it. The sketches and general research took maybe 20 minutes all told (including reading and re-reading bits of the content).

I started with a parchment texture from CG Textures. I was disappointed to see that many of their large files have moved over to premium users only but I understand. As Amazon wants things in 72 dpi and not super high res, this basic scrap was enough for this project:


I started with the texture, reduced the opacity and placed a neutral color behind it. When placing the text I had a happy accident of one of the text layers being beneath the textured layer. I liked it and left it:


Project Time: 42 minutes

I then began moving some of the elements, aligning them more like a reflection and playing with the spacing to get ‘was’ to be about the same length as ‘is’:


Project Time: 49 minutes

I also tried moving away from the first third and going straight for a centered look but I didn’t like it:


Project Time: 51 minutes

I tried to mess more with the idea of a reflection by attempting to overlap the text, but I didn’t like this either:


Project Time: 56 minutes

Lacking a hero image, you really need the text to work for you and I went back to the first mockup that we both liked better than the others. As some of the text in samples he liked featured fonts with filled in letters I did this myself by placing shape layers behind the fonts:


Project Time: 1 hour

Now that we have a basic design that we like, it’s time to move onto color. Using the mood board I had created from other titles he liked I came out with:

mockup1color   mockup1color2

Project Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

About 45 minutes later I got a kuler out of him and I have to say I felt I was somewhat close with colors! Complementary, but in an orange I don’t normally see.



color1acolor5    mockupcolorcomplement

Project Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

I experimented with the lettering on the treatment to the left and neither of us liked it but I kept it here to show the attempt. the right was far more along the lines of what was desired but we still weren’t 100% sold on the font. While the texture definitely struck and using the rule of thirds helped, it might not be everything that this project needs.

Tools Used: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Kuler, DaFont, CG Textures

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