Book Covers

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One of the most retro things I can think of is a vinyl record. I see these on a lot of retro-style posters, so I thought I would use it as a basis for the imagery on this cover.
I researched some retro colour schemes and found a brown, green, yellow and orange scheme which you would think would look really unpleasant together, but when you actually use them all together in a picture they work really well. My inspiration came from a few retro posters and I think I captured the retro feel really well. There a
re a lot of retro typefaces out there to pick from, and I believed that any could have worked with my book cover, but I chose Velocette because it appealed to me the most – I believe it was probably the least tacky out of the retro fonts on; it has a more elegant feel about it.

For this theme I decided on using grey and white because I believe they are very calm colours. I didn’t really have a plan for this one and didn’t really want to use a basic serif or sans serif type because even though some of them look very simple and clean, they’re not necessarily passive, so I decided to go with a script typeface. I went into the handwriting section of the script fronts on and tried out a few until I found Journal. I believe it’s very passive; it has a naive quality about it. For the background I found a picture of rye, made it black and white and turned the opacity right down so you can only just see it.

This was something I did in half an hour or less. My idea was to make it as interesting as I could whilst keeping with a monotonic theme. I used Cent
ury Gothic for the repeating background text because it’s a very plain and simple sans serif that’s still quite attractive. I decided to do the repeating text background because I believe it adds to the theme of monotone. For the title and author’s name, I used Blues Highway which is similar to Helvetica and Century Gothic because I wanted something different to the background text. To separate the type from the background I added a box around the title and a texture to the background.

For inspiration for the modern book cover, I looked at modern posters. I could have researched modern book covers but I wasn’t particularly sure that I’d be able to find what I was looking for. I used the typeface Blackout because I wanted something that looked like it hadn’t been used up until this point in time. It’s true there are other fonts that are black and blocky that had been used in the early twentieth century (e.g. fonts found on Russian Constructivism posters, sometimes Art Deco), but I believe there was nothing that looked like this particular font. It does look like it could come from the Russian Constructivism art movement and if so that’s alright because Russian Constructivism was modern for the time.

This was the first of the book covers I started on because I thought it would be the easiest. In some ways it was but out of all the covers, this was the one I sp
ent the most time on. I had trouble finding the perfect typeface to go with the image I’d made – the silhouette of the New York skyline with paint and grunge splatters all over it. When I finally decided on Uptown, which I think really works because it isn’t over the top with effects but it’s distorted enough to definitely be seen as grungy and rather than take away from the image is works with the image, I spent a few days playing with the alignment, the colour and the size.

This was a challenge and a half. I had no idea what to do for this one because dynamic is one of those words that isn’t particularly easy to define or find in a design. So instead of thinking of dynamic, I thought of it as energetic instead. There was a tutorial I found that I wanted to use ( because I saw it as dynamic and instead of adding a texture over the text, I wanted to overlay a bright and colourful image of New York. I started but never finished because there was too much involved and in the end I didn’t think it wou
ld be as engaging so I simplified my idea and went with creating some black and white diagonal lines over the top of the image. I chose Destrukt as the type because it is bold with hard and sharp edges. Image used:

To me, a classic book has a hard cover with a plain coloured cover, gold type and decoration. I chose Baskerville Old for the type because to me it's a very well known and elegant typeface and I think that if I asked anybody they would say that it’s a classic. I made the cover a maroon colour and put an old paper texture over the top to give it a worn and well loved feel. To get the gold effect for the text and border I added some simple layer styles – I wanted to show that it’s supposed to be gold rather than put a flat yellow colour.

When I think of aggressive, I immediately think of loudness, discomfort and fear. I chose 'Promises Broken Dream' from the 'Destroy' section on because it's rough and it looks like it's been clawed and ripped at which says 'aggressive' to me. I chose a bold, bright red because I associate red with anger and danger and against a plain black background it stands out and screams at you. I wasn't sure which element I wanted to be the focal point of the cover and I didn't really want a photo or vector image on
the cover so I decided on having exactly the same font in exactly the same colour for both the title of the book and for the author's name. I made the title large, each word roughly the same point size and close together to give the front cover an uncomfortable feeling and placed the author's name beneath so it was still noticeable.

My first idea for futuristic was to make it look spacey/set in space, but then I decided that I could do something a little more original, so I chose the type Continuum Bold which I think is quite a modern, tech-y looking typeface, and added some 3D effects to and a green glow on a dark background. I also drew a vector modern-looking rye stalk and added a green glow to that. I'm still unsure of how futuristic it is, but I'm happy with the look of it and the choice of type.


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