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Designing a Book Cover
Illustration by John Hersey

Using black-and-white images creatively


From:

Designing a Book Cover

with Nigel French

Video: Using black-and-white images creatively

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.
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  1. 2m 42s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 44s
  2. 29m 57s
    1. The project brief
      2m 30s
    2. Doing research
      4m 16s
    3. Setting up a document in InDesign CS5
      5m 4s
    4. Setting up a document in InDesign CS4
      6m 4s
    5. Putting your InDesign CS5 document on a grid
      3m 2s
    6. Putting your InDesign CS4 document on a grid
      4m 31s
    7. Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid
      4m 30s
  3. 40m 39s
    1. Creating hand-drawn type with the Blob Brush tool
      4m 13s
    2. Using Live Paint to color type
      3m 40s
    3. Choosing typefaces
      3m 42s
    4. Creating a simple illustration using the Pen and Gradient tools
      8m 43s
    5. Applying type effects
      5m 42s
    6. Manual tracing
      4m 42s
    7. Using the gradient and transparency effects
      9m 57s
  4. 17m 27s
    1. Distressed type
      5m 42s
    2. More distressed type
      3m 35s
    3. Using mirrored type
      3m 34s
    4. Using giant wraparound text
      3m 56s
    5. Starting text on the cover
      40s
  5. 13m 7s
    1. Illustrating concepts with abstract shapes and transparency
      6m 27s
    2. Representing the book content with icons
      6m 40s
  6. 24m 8s
    1. Using historic photography
      6m 21s
    2. Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 19s
    3. Using gradient mesh in Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 55s
    4. Using Live Trace on a photograph
      3m 52s
    5. Using black-and-white images creatively
      4m 41s
  7. 25m 30s
    1. Developing a book set
      2m 50s
    2. Designing the back cover
      8m 42s
    3. Designing the flaps
      2m 41s
    4. Designing the spine
      11m 17s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. Using spot varnish
      4m 30s
    2. Preflighting your document
      4m 51s
    3. Preparing the PDF
      3m 35s
  9. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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Designing a Book Cover
2h 46m Intermediate Aug 26, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Researching the design and brainstorming ideas
  • Setting up a document in InDesign or Illustrator
  • Choosing typefaces, colors, shapes, and imagery
  • Hand-drawing type and using different type treatments
  • Creating illustrations from scratch
  • Using and adapting photographs for illustration
  • Preparing the book covers for printing
Subjects:
Design Print Design Projects Design Skills
Software:
Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Using black-and-white images creatively

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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