Last week’s post was dedicated to the book layout of the book Awakening Possibility. Well… here one on the cover.

This project was quite complicated, and changed concept a few times. And since I started working on the cover long before the layout, as the layout progressed I had to work back and forth on the cover as I wanted cover and layout to be consistent.
To transmit the idea of workbook and implying interaction I used some of the elements from the interior of the book like the dashed lines, Escher drawings, etc.

Book Cover for Awakening Possibility

And here some of the earlier drafts (even one with a change in the title!):

Book Cover -alternatives

By |March 18th, 2009|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , |8 Comments


This is the second part of a multi-part post describing the design process of the cover, layout, & website for the book A Worthy Legacy by author Tomi Akinyanmi. You can read the Part I here.

PART II: The Final Cover

The first round of the cover concepts were focused on the uniqueness of the yoruba origins of the author and her grandfather, the focus of the legacy.

For the second round we looked for a more ‘universal’ approach on the topic of the book’s theme “learnings of life”, which would allow more people to relate to it. This was a better approach from a marketing perspective and also conveyed the message that the author was transmitting in a better way since the book is about people and life regardless which culture they are from:

The dark background immediately stood out from the rest. And though we loved the title set in the calligraphic font Affair, we later changed it to Bentley & MrsEaves for improved readability:

Here is the final cover:

When we finished the cover, we sent it over to the talented team of COS Productions to produce the book trailer. I was thrilled to see how the video captured the essence of the book:

Coming soon | Part III: Book Jacket & Interior Pages

By |February 18th, 2009|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments


After very few changes we arrived to the final design for the full cover!

*The ornament on the side of this post is from the font Zapf Dingbats designed in 1977 by Hermann Zapf.

By |October 8th, 2008|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , |3 Comments


AS A BOOK DESIGNER, I BELIEVE I HAVE THE BEST JOB ON EARTH. I love books. I enjoy reading. I love the feeling of the images coming out of my mind while reading a book that I will design. I love the process of the words entering the thought stream, turning on the machine and getting the book translated into images, colors, letterforms.

A few weeks ago we got the manuscript to design the book cover & page layout of The Imperfect Enjoyment: A Bachelor’s Memoir by Dewan W. Gibson. That title lends itself to so many design possibilities.

I printed the manuscript and after non-stop reading & laughing for hours at Dewan’s adventures, I came up with a cover. I actually came up with several more but in the end Dewan chose that first one. Here you see the cover and the spine:

The design of the book cover

The thought that led to the cover was ‘what is an imperfection?‘: maybe something that looks perfect but it is not. At a glance, getting “I’m perfect” instead of “imperfect” is itself an imperfection.

The idea of something sexual behind the title relates to the book and is kind of like a ‘peep show’ as a metaphor for the memoir: the people by reading it are ‘peeping’ into the author’s life.

Last but not least, the typography: I chose Emigre’s Brothers because it has that reminiscence of typical college fonts (where a lot of the action takes place in the book) but it is quite more daring & works great to give that feel of excess that I was looking for.

*The word-logo on the side of this post is from the font Brothers Word Logos by Emigre

By |September 30th, 2008|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , |11 Comments


We are working on the cover for FEARLESS BEAUTY -a spiritual path to the true you – by author Kenetia Paige. Having narrowed down to 4 covers, now is time to decide.

Which one would you choose?

& here my fave, wich is out of the race…

> so, what’s next? after choosing a mock-up, we will keep working on it to get to the final cover.
That is, to produce some variations on the same cover until all the elements work -usually some title variants, colors, positioning, even the image may change, we may add or take some element.
And then, the details -image retouch, transparencies, shadows, borders, etc.-
Spine & back are always in mind, but graphically may step in at different times during the process, sometimes earlier, sometimes later.

*The crown ornament on the side of this post is from the free font Crowns & Coronets by Emerald City Fontwerks

By |September 17th, 2008|Categories: Book Design, e-book design|Tags: , , |8 Comments


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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

By |September 10th, 2008|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , |4 Comments


We were recently notified by someone that about a dozen of our book cover designs were being used by a book cover design firm in India. That was surprising news to us. I quickly contacted the company in India and demanded an explanation.

The Indian company promptly responded that the designs were provided to them by one of their designers. The manager of the company apologized, removed our book cover designs from their portfolio, and stated that the designer would be “punished”. Considering their quick response to this matter and their explanation I’ve decided not to link to that company or print their name in this post. Should I?

An odd aspect to this situation is that the firm didn’t include the stolen designs directly in their online portfolio but only in an e-mail to potential clients and labeled the designs as their extended portfolio. So, if someone had not notified us by e-mail then we would have never learned about this incident. I’m trying to have good faith in believing that the Indian firm actually did remove the cover designs and not just changed the location to a URL I do not know about.

Ultimately, it’s quite foolish for a designer to use another designer’s portfolio. What happens when the design thief cannot deliver the same quality of designs as presented in the portfolio?

It’s very common for book cover designers to be influenced by the covers of other designers. It’s something else to blatantly use another’s portfolio as one’s own.

By |December 19th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , |4 Comments


We’ve been busy designing book covers the past few months. The online portfolio has been updated and we’ve also created a PDF portfolio for download.

book cover designs

By |November 20th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , |2 Comments


As a book designer I rarely get to do CD covers but last week I got to do one: Temple Bahan Band.

For me the process was almost the same as for books, just with some different details: I decided to play the CD’s music while working. I have to say that it was different, while listening to the music I tried to think of images and finally more than just images, what I found through the music were layers: different layers with the various voices & instruments that I translated into colors, images, swirls, shapes, and different levels of transparency & this is how I came to design the first mock-ups.

my first approach

The publisher’s feedback was that they wanted to add some city/party/celebration/ritual themes to the images so from that I worked on it graphically: the old wall texture in the background, the Hindu god, the crowd, some flowers related to Hindu rituals…and here’s the new covers, that yes, the publisher liked.

new covers

By |July 5th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , |3 Comments


In this case, I couldn’t read the book because I had to come up with some mock-ups for the next day. All I had was a little idea of what the novel is about and a title: HAPPINESS.

With that in mind, I did a few cover attempts, chose the better ones (these designs) and sent them to the publisher.


Later I showed that work to Mijal, a friend & designer, and when saw the blue one, she pointed out, “How clear that is your concept of happiness: winter & snow, while for many other people happiness would be a beach, warmth” … mmm, (yes, I do love winter).

Of course I was completely unconscious about it, and so much inside the design that couldn’t take any distance to be able to see it.

I always say that the work should never reflect the designer, but the author and the book. Yet, that’s difficult to do when the publisher insists that the mock-ups be done in less than one day.

By |July 4th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , |1 Comment