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Using the gradient and transparency effects

From: Designing a Book Cover

Video: Using the gradient and transparency effects

In this the third of our series of book covers, book covers by George Orwell, using the first of our approaches, which is what we are referring to as the big book look with a big title and big author name, we are going to see some simple affects to create this rather sinister looking typographic solution that befits the content of the book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is all about a totalitarian state and if are not familiar with it, I suggest maybe going and having a quick look on Wikipedia for a quick plot synopsis.

Using the gradient and transparency effects

In this the third of our series of book covers, book covers by George Orwell, using the first of our approaches, which is what we are referring to as the big book look with a big title and big author name, we are going to see some simple affects to create this rather sinister looking typographic solution that befits the content of the book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is all about a totalitarian state and if are not familiar with it, I suggest maybe going and having a quick look on Wikipedia for a quick plot synopsis.

We are going to start out with just plain type in a plain box on a plain background and then try and get something like this. I am just going to turn on my pasteboard for a moment and you will see that I was experimenting with different typefaces for the title, which I have chosen to put numerically, as opposed writing it out in words, which is another option. Both titles are viable. So it took a while before I hit upon this solution, which is a Helvetica Ultra Compressed type, which I think looks rather sinister and austere.

So beginning in the beginning version of the file, I am going to select the text and then come up here and change it. Now you may not have the font that I am going to use, in which case I would suggest using Myriad Pro in a bold condensed version. It's not going to be as condensed or rather as compressed as the type that I am going to use, which is part of the effect here. Using really compressed type I think is quite essential for the look that we are trying to achieve, and there we are, Ultra Compressed.

That's the one we want. So I am then going to pump up its size, Command and Shift, and the more than key or Ctrl+Shift+>. The more than key being the period key two to the right of the M. Get that as big as I can get it without it falling out of that box. Possibly, I might want to bring the numbers closer together. So that would be involved applying a bit of tracking to it.

Alt+Left Arrow, to bring them tighter. Now the 1 and the 8 look a little bit too far away from each other. Now the whole aesthetic of the authoritarian state that's portrayed in the book is very lo-fi and I doubt that they spent too much time worrying about kerning of their type, but nonetheless, I am going to add some because it just doesn't look right if the spaces between the numerals are too big.

I also would like the type centered within this box, so for that I am going to go to my Text Frame Options and it is centered within, but it doesn't look centered within. So I am going to add some baseline shift to it, and I realize there's some baseline shift already applied. That must be a legacy of something I did earlier, so let me take that off, this one here being baseline shift. And then if I want to add a little bit more, which I do, Command+Shift+Up Arrow, I am just doing this by making sure it's centered within that frame, and I think that frame wanted to get a little bit smaller.

Now on top of this I want to put a pyramid, but I realize that actually my box needs to be more of a square, because when I draw a triangle on top, I need it to be an equilateral triangle and it's not going to be with the current shape of my text frame. So what can we do about that? Let's see if we can just reduce that a little bit more. I am holding down the Command key as I am bringing this in.

By doing that I am doing something that you should never do, and don't tell any one that I told you to do this, but what I am doing is I am changing the horizontal width of the type, making it less than 100%, and if you have watched any of my other movies on lynda.com, you might have heard me say never do this. Or never do this except when you need to do it. So I am now going to make sure whether that is centered like so, and then on top of it I am going to draw myself a rectangle that is the same size, and then I am going to go to the Object menu, and choose convert shape and convert that.

Now I want to use some sort of transparency effect to blend this with the type behind, I will just press W there to hide my guides, and I am going to apply a red color to this and then come to my Effects panel and look at these blending modes. Ultimately what I am going to go for is this one here, Exclusion, but have a reduced opacity, something like that.

Now Exclusion is a blend mode that I seldom use, but it just happens that it gives me what I want in this instance, and I didn't necessarily know that was what I wanted, until I saw it, and that's often the case when working with these blend modes. You just kind of try them and the one that looks the best, that's the right one. In addition to that I also would like to apply a few effects to the type as I did in a previous movie. I'd like to add an inner shadow to the type.

So with background rectangle selected, now it may not look like it, but I've actually got two rectangles there. One of them has been converted to a triangle, but it was originally a rectangle. And it's that triangle that I have selected, so I am going to hold down my Command key and click. I now have the rectangle behind it selected, and then I am going to come to my Effects panel and making sure that I am affecting the text, because I don't want to apply the effect to object itself, but just to the text.

Come to the Effects drop-down menu and choose Inner Shadow and that's not far away from what I want. Maybe we will just increase the Opacity on that a little bit. Lastly, I would like to add a gradient to the background frame, and I want to use a really cold steely gradient, a black to blue, back to black again gradient.

So I am going to drag my Gradient panel off and when I expand that you will see that it has that gradient that I used before very conveniently right there for us, so when I click on that it gives me the gradient, but let's imagine that it didn't and we have to create it from scratch. So what we have to need to make sure is that the starting color and the ending color are both black, and you can change the colors just by dragging the color onto the color stop like so.

So we want to make sure that we've got black at both the start and the end. In fact, we want to make sure that it's not just black, but it is a custom rich black, which I have here made on my Swatches panel. It's a black that has in it, cyan, magenta, and yellow. In this case, each of those at 40% as well as 100% black. So it's going to be a lot deeper and richer, and in this case a lot more sinister than just your regular old black, which is zero cyan, zero magenta and zero yellow, but just 100% black.

So if we needed to make one of these, we could do it like this. New Color Swatch and then you just punch in the numbers like so. That's just so it's different from the one I already have. We have got 50% on each of those, add that, and then that is the color that I am going to apply to my staring gradient, to my ending gradient color. Now on screen, it's not going to look different from this black, but in print it will, and then I am going to use my 100% cyan right there in the middle between the two and now I am going to adjust the mid-points, so that it's a very steep transition between the black and the cyan.

It gives it this almost metallic look to it. Then just one other thing. I want to make sure that this vertical line in the gradient goes right through the middle of the lattice, so in that case to compensate for the three millimeters of this that goes outside of the page, because that's part of the bleed, I am just going to make my gradient slightly off center like that, there we go.

And there we have the scary looking metallic 1984.

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This video is part of

Image for Designing a Book Cover
Designing a Book Cover

36 video lessons · 20616 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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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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