Category Archives: Book Cover

Evaluation – Book Cover 2017

I’m very pleased with the outcome of this project and the solution to the brief I have produced. I have meet the needs of the brief by successfully designing a book cover for a paperback book that I have measured, showing I can design a format for a specific size of book. I have also shown how I can consider suitable type-setting in conjunction with my illustrations used. I feel the strengths of my outcome lay within the illustration and layout of the book jacket, it looks and feels like an authentic published book for Penguin. My illustration is unique and intriguing which a book cover needs to be

If i done this again I would research more into existing Penguin books so I can get a deeper understand of designs, layouts and compositions Penguin has used in its history. I would of also like to experiment with photography as a book cover as this can be effective in conjunction with typography.

As this project was very short compared to other projects completed, I was worried that my time keeping wouldn’t be good enough to create a effective solution to the brief and keep a blog about my progress, however I have proven to myself that I can keep time well in a short deadline and produce an effective outcome.

Finished Cover:



Final Print

Below is my final print onto lustre paper. I chose to use this paper as glossy would reflect too much light when being viewed which is not seen on a book cover, lustre was a good choice as it gave a nice finished feel and didn’t reflect too much of the overhead lighting when looking at it. I was also happy with my measuring of the original book as I had a perfect fit when mounting my book cover.

I am extremely pleased with my finished outcome. I thought with the given time frame, the shortest brief I have ever had, I would struggle with time management and getting an effective solution to the brief on time. However I fell I have managed this well and shown myself I have skills to work under a short deadline to a brief.

Digital Mock Up

I have digitally mocked up my final designs before printing on the high quality printers. The book mock up I have found wasn’t the Penguin book rectangular size so I had to re arrange my design to fit, however it is in similar proportions to the final.

I am pleased with how this looked mocks up, it looks like a professional and authentic penguin book, with the typography and illustration working in conjunction with one another. This have have me confidence to now print out the book cover on lustre paper using the Epsom printers.

Book / Brochure - B6 -  MockupBook / Brochure - B6 -  Mockup

Test Print

Here is the test print of my finished book cover. This is mocked up loosely onto my penguin book. The colour was a lot darker than on screen when I designed, however from past printing the paper stock from the standard printers often dull the colour of designs and make them darker. I need to make sure when printing on the Epsom high quality printers I have the optimum settings to get as close to the colour on screen.

I am happy with this test print and how it looks mocked up onto the book, I will now head over to the print room to print this out on premium lustre paper to get a nice finish for my cover.

Indesign Document

I have used the Penguin Book I purchased as reference to size my document, as I will need to use the physical book as a mock up it needs to be size.

197 x 130mm (COVER)

15mm (SPINE)

TScreen Shot 2017-02-09 at 19.40.19.pnghese are the sizes I have measured from my book. My Indesign document size is:       275mm x 130mm – this includes both cover pages and the spine together.

Because this is another page layout design I have included a 3mm bleed as I will likely have colours and illustrations that will need to bleed of my page to get a clean crop when cutting my final design out.

I then created boxes either side of the spread at 197mm x 130mm which left me with my 15mm spine in the centre. This left me with my page setup ready to start adding elements into.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 17.23.20.png I decided to use the type pairing with a brushed lettering and a serif typeface. I feel this works well as an engaging design point as well as working with my blueprint style illustration.

Upon a closer look at the typeface ‘Trashhand’ I saw an opportunity where I could include a heart shape  into the typeface,  which are iconic symbols (a human heart) and cultural symbols that have no natural resemblance to what they signify, where the signifiers have to be learnt. I used the white pointer to drag a part of the ‘o’ in love down to create the heart shape. This is a small but effective change to the typeface that works well with the subject of the book.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 20.54.13.pngTo start my book jacket on Indesign I brought across the main elements of the design, from illustration and the typography. Because of the illustration size I was limited to where I could place type as the hand needed to be coming from the bottom of the page to make sense.

I placed the blurb which was provided along with the critics review into the document so I could then start to build the layout. I then added a dark red colour background which worked nicely with my illustration when I turned the stroke white. I then focused on the back page, choosing a serif typeface for the blurb which is easy for the audience to read, the chose sans serif modern typeface for the critics reviews, using different weights of the typeface, bolder for the review as this is the main information, the the reviewers name below in a thinner weight.


I then came onto the spine of the book, where I created a separate document with the same dimensions of the spine so I could create it the correct way up, and then bring it in to the document and rotate it.

Here is my finished spine, featuring the authors names, title and publisher. I kept the hierarchy of a book layout in mind for the spine also. I kept ‘Investigating Love’ in the same typeface as the cover, and made it purposefully larger than the rest of the type as this is the main point of the book and the main aspect people would be looking for if this was on a bookshelf.

I used my Penguin book as reference for where the publishing details would go.  It is also featured on the back and front of the book so I have also included this on my design. To make it look like an authentic Penguin published book I have included the pricing and barcode on the back.



In this Book Cover project I will be assed on my type-setting in conjunction with your imagery. Now I have my main illustration done it is important for me to now start looking into typography which will go on the book jacket.

I have made a type sheet of different typefaces used for the title to help me get an idea of what works and what doesn’t in conjunction with my illustration work.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 20.26.21.png

Through this task I feel I have came up with several type pairings that would work with my design. I particularly like the 4th pairing as it goes with the investigation idea, and gives the feel of its been written down as a note like you would when you are investigating/researching something. The serif typeface Minion Pro underneath shows that this book is a serious look into the subject at hand.

I also like the 7th pairing where I have experimented with a magnifying glass as the ‘o’ in love, with a small heart symbol being looked at through it.

I will need to experiment with some colours in the type too when I start bringing my typefaces and illustrations together.


Hand Illustration

To go with my rose illustration for the book cover I wanted to have a hand holding it to give it a more personal feel and have a link back to the cultural aspect of the book. When illustrating the hand I came across something quite interesting. Using reference imagery from online I used the same process as illustrating the rose before. However during this illustration I wanted to see how much of  the hand I had created a skeleton for so I made a purple circle behind to see my white lines and I got a really unique and interesting design style.

This style made me think of a product design sketches and a blueprint feel. I felt if I could create a design like this it would represent a blueprint showing what the book is about: ‘Investigating Love’ as a blueprint is an analysis and breakdown of something which this book says to do about love.

I liked this idea I had developed and wanted to apply the same effect to my rose illustration.


Applying to Design:


Here I have applied the design style yo my original rose illustration- I think the two illustrations create an engaging and intriguing design that I feel could work really well on my book jacket to showcase the book.

I will now need to start creating my Indesign document so I can start to mock up some layouts and get an idea of how I can use my completed illustration.


Illustrated Rose

One of the the ideas I got from my idea development was the idea of a rose to represent love through what it represents, the red colour which is symbolic of love, as well as the link to cultural exploration of the book. I started this illustration by using reference imagery to draw round, organic shapes to build it up the design as shown below. This have a really smooth and soft feel to the design which I thought could work well as a book cover.

I used a Wacom tablet to make sure I had smooth consistent lines with the pencil tool to draw out my shapes. I built up a skeleton of paths over the reference imagery then used the colour picker (with the chosen settings as a 3×3 average to get a better overall colour for each section). This was a slow process but the results were beginning to come through and I was pleased with how it was coming along. Here is the final illustration of the rose:Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 18.11.08.png



Digital Work (Compass Idea)

Here is my next step from generating ideas and sketches.  I went onto illustrator to start digitally reproducing my ideas and start to get a feel of what is working and what isn’t. Because of the short length of this project I didn’t want to get heavily involved with an idea and invest to much time into it if I didn’t feel it was working from the beginning.

Here is my illustration of my compass idea to illustrate the idea of ‘exploring’ love, as a compass is a symbol of this. I used some simple shapes to start the compass, then using the rotate tool to duplicate the triangular shape I could equally space the points as needed. For the points in between the points I used small heart shapes, which are iconic signs of a real heart as they resemble the human heart they signify. They are also symbols, which are cultural symbols that have no natural resemblance to what they signify, where the signifiers have to be learnt.

I like this illustration on its own however for my book jacket I think it needs to work alongside something else to represent the book title ‘Investigating Love: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration’ as I don’t feel this is substantial enough to show this. I could incorporate this into the typography of the book or into the back of the book jacket.

Idea Generation (Book Cover)


After receiving the brief and getting over the initial confusion I started to look at the title of the book: ‘Investigating Love: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration’. I chose to break these words down and write down as many things I relate to each word to help me start to get ideas starting in my thinking process. This was a really helpful task to do after receiving the brief as it it helped me think of design solutions within the structure of the given brief.

I got some interesting outcomes from this, things that I didn’t initially think of from just reading the title. Things like magnifying glasses and compasses to show exploration, symbols and translations to show culture and things like DNA, atoms, test tubes and the human body to show the scientific side of the title.

I then also done the same for the word ‘Love’:

Roses, Doves, Heart symbol, eyes, flowers, cupid, valentines day, wedding, vowels, rings, brain,