I find the design process really interesting, maybe more than the finished work.
Why? (just my point of view) Because during that collaborative process between designer & (ideally) author is where the visual personality of the book will be defined.
PART I: The Book Cover
We get the manuscript for the design of the book cover, layout & website for A Worthy Legacy by author Tomi Akinyanmi.
A Worthy Legacy is a story about life and the passing of wisdom from one generation to the next. The author combines the last wise words of her beloved grandfather together, along with a few of her own thoughts to create a compelling story about real life.
Read the manuscript
From just a glance, the overall feel of the book should come out.
Then look for the voice: my starting point for every book is the belief that authors write books because they have something to say. By reading a manuscript, I need to find what it is that they had to say, who says it, how it is said, & from which point of view.
Sooner or later (usually very soon) some details are revealed, and often I find in those little details the key to the cover.
Reading A Worthy Legacy I learned that the author, originally from Nigeria now living in the U.S., tells many insights about the Yoruba Tribe, which totally fascinated me… & gave the book the ‘unique’ factor.
So from the reading I jump to images: search for the graphic elements – images, textures, color palette, etc – that relate to the book:
From there I get the first round of covers to send to the author, and since the first cover was my favorite, I’ve done also an option in a lighter color. Maybe I was trying to persuade? :)
Part II: The author’s feedback & second round of covers.
*The miscellanea on the side of this post is from the font Wingdings2 designed in 1992 by Bigelow & Holmes for Microsoft.