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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.
A point I've tried to make consistently throughout this course is that the more familiar you are with your material, the better your book design will be, or any design that your are working on will be. So, if you are designing a book cover, whatever the book is, be familiar with the book itself. When I was walking around my hometown of Brighton, I saw this very miserable looking building and it struck me as being the sort of place where the hero of the book might live, as described in the book. So, I took a picture of it and manipulated that picture, made it look even more miserable and austere than it already is.
That's what we have as this mock-up for combining a picture with the author name and title. So, we are going to start at in Photoshop where we have the original of the image and we don't need to do that much to it. We are going to make it black and white and we are going to put a vignetting effect on it just to make it a little more dark and austere than it already is. So, first of all starting with an adjustment layer, I can use the Adjustments panel, but I am used to doing it this way, so I am going to choose Black & White. Let's see.
Let's just experiment with these different black and white conversion options. What would maximum black give us? Yeah. I think that's sort of where we want to go. We want it to be dark and miserable looking. In addition to that I am also going to create a new layer and on that layer I am going to draw myself an elliptical selection. I am holding down the Alt key and I am drawing myself an ellipse, like so. If I need to adjust the shape of that I can come to Transform Selection, and I think that's about what I want.
Now, I am going to inverse that selection, and then I am going to fill the resulting selection with black. I'll use the shortcut, Alt+Backspace+ Delete key or Option+Backspace+Delete key. Now, I am going to deselect, Command+D or Ctrl+D, and I am going to blur what we have. Come to Gaussian Blur and I really want to completely blur the edges of this.
Pretty much maximum blur I think. Then we'll reduce the opacity, so that what we have, there is the before without the vignette and there is with the vignette. We can just increase or decrease the opacity as necessary. So, then I would save this as a PSD file. It could work as a TIF. But we want to retain the layer, so it's going to either need to be a TIF or PSD. May as well use the psd, because in that way we can if we need to, and we won't to need to in this instance, but you never know when you might need to, you would then be able to turn on and off the individual layers in InDesign.
Let me show you what I mean by that. So, I'll come to File and Save As, and we'll call this building and I am going to save it in the Photoshop format. You'll see we have three layers here. I'll switch over to InDesign, where I will delete the one that we currently have, choose File and Place, then come and choose the building that we just saved.
Turn on the guides by pressing W, and starting out at the top bleed guide, click-and-drag to place that image. And then we can send the image to the back. Turn off the guides by pressing W. Now, here is what I mean by being able to take advantage of the fact that it's a PSD file. If we get it into InDesign and then we decide, well, that vignette that we added, maybe we don't need that after all. Rather than going back to Photoshop, we can come to the Object menu and to Object Layer Options, and then just turn it off right there.
If I turn on the preview, we see the image now without Layer 1, which is the vignetting layer. So, even though I don't think we do want to do that here, it's always a good idea to give yourself the option and you give yourself the option by saving your images as PSD or native Photoshop files.
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