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Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In coming out with the concepts for these book covers, I've used four approaches. So, I've tried to distill my different approaches to each design into one of four approaches and these four approaches admittedly have quite a lot of overlap. They are the Big Book Look, Typographic Solutions, Abstract Solutions and Illustration Solutions, and I'll be explaining what I mean by each of those. We are going to begin with the Big Book Look.
Now, this is a term that I am borrowing from Steven Heller and Louise Fili, and they mentioned it in their excellent book, Stylepedia, which I highly recommend. Essentially, the Big Book Look is all about having a very big title and a very big author name and that is basically your design. Sometimes the title and author will be combined with a symbolic piece of imagery, such as this one here from Catch-22. In my attempt at the Big Book Look for each of our three books that we are working with.
I won't say novels, because Homage to Catalonia, Orwell's account of his volunteering to fight for the Republican cause in Spain during the Spanish Civil War is nonfiction. But my first attempt is derived from or inspired by the work of the Catalan artist Joan Miro. He was responsible for this poster in support of the Spanish Republic and also this poster here many years later for the 1982 World Cup, which was hosted in Spain.
Here is the first of my book covers using the Big Book Look, big title, big author name, using hand-drawn type, drawn with the Blob Brush in Illustrator. The Blob Brush could have been designed for drawing Miro-like handwriting, so that's what we're going to do. We are going to go through the steps of creating this handwriting. First of all, just getting the letter shapes something approximating this and then filling in the counters in the letter shapes with these bright primary colors: the red, the blue and the yellow.
So, I am going to start out in Illustrator using the template that I created in the previous movie, book cover.ait. Here, I have two layers. I am going to turn off the guide layer for now and make sure that I am only artwork layer and the tool I am going to be using for this is the Blob Brush. I am going to zoom in, Command+ Spacebar or Ctrl+Spacebar, click-and-drag. Now, what so useful about the Blob Brush is that as you draw and you can just draw as if you are working with a pencil or a crayon.
What it will do is it will make one vector shape. Well, rather than creating a whole series of overlapping vector paths, it's going to make one vector shape. You can then come back. You can change the size of your Blob Brush by pressing the right bracket to go bigger or the left bracket to go smaller. Then you can paint over that some more and you will add to that shape. So, you can build up shapes by just painting over them and there we have one vector path.
Let's see what I can do in the way of creating some hand-drawn type here. Thankfully, for me what's working in my favor is that this style of type is extremely child-like and very forgiving. So, all of my mistakes, I could pretend though I wanted them that way, anyway. You don't need to see me carry on with my hand-drawn type.
You can finish that in your own time or if you wish you can use my already prepared version, which is in the Exercise Files folder. So, here is the result of my Joan Miro inspired hand-drawn type using the Blob Brush.
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