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Designing a Book Cover
Illustration by John Hersey

The project brief


From:

Designing a Book Cover

with Nigel French

Video: The project brief

Designing Book Covers. In this course we are going to be creating paperback book cover designs for the following George Orwell titles: Homage to Catalonia, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Now I've chosen these as our book cover exercise because they are books I know and love. Maybe you've read these books, maybe you read them in school, maybe you are currently reading them in school. But a point I am going to be making throughout this course is that you'll have a much better book cover design if you are familiar with the content of the book and if the book means something to you.
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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

The project brief

Designing Book Covers. In this course we are going to be creating paperback book cover designs for the following George Orwell titles: Homage to Catalonia, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Now I've chosen these as our book cover exercise because they are books I know and love. Maybe you've read these books, maybe you read them in school, maybe you are currently reading them in school. But a point I am going to be making throughout this course is that you'll have a much better book cover design if you are familiar with the content of the book and if the book means something to you.

So feel free to use any book cover design that you like, choose any book that you like, any author that you appreciate and you can follow through this course using the sense of methodology and approach that I am using. An added dimension to this is that these three books are thematically similar. And they must work as a set. And in addition to this, these are books that the covers of which have been designed numerous times over several decades and we want to offer a fresh design interpretation.

We don't just want to repeat what other people have done in the past. So we have some technical specifications to talk about and they are these. Here is the size of the book. It's 5 x 71/2", 5 inches wide, 7 1/2 inches tall. We're going to be doing the front cover and the back cover. We need to incorporate the ICS Press logo. ICS Press is our fictitious publisher. This logo was supplied with the Exercise Files. And we also need to include space for the ISBN number and the barcode.

On the back cover we need to include some text, which is supplied with the Exercise Files. In addition to the front cover and the back cover, we need to think about the spine. If you look at books on a bookshelf, the spine is often the first thing that you see. So these obviously need to be very clearly readable from a distance. And they need to be of the appropriate width and these are the widths that we are working with: Homage to Catalonia half an inch, Animal Farm a quarter inch and Nineteen Eighty-Four, 5/8th of an inch.

So that's our brief and that's our spec. Let's get started.

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