Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Cover Designs

By Becca

I'd love it if this post was about a cover for the story I've been writing…
 sadly I have a long way to go before it's at that stage.

I have been planning designs for one of Beth's short stories,
 and it has really captured my interest.
I can't share that specific cover just yet, but I thought it would be fun to share some techniques and layouts that I've discovered.

There are two main categories of covers
(Well, at least that's what we saw when we checked out our book shelf)

Photography based

Illustration based

I suppose there is another category that old books can fall into,
Just a fancy design :)
Like this one I picked up the other day at an pawn shop

I love illustrations, but I can't draw that well… maybe with some more practice :)
 I can take pictures though, and I really enjoy editing and graphic design.
So here are three book covers I made with my photography, and the thoughts behind them.

The first one was for a story Beth has in progress.
I love this landscape, a wagon wheel trail through the prairie.
Just from this picture, can you get an idea about the setting of the story?

I put this photo in PicMonkey and spruced it up a little,
layering a few vintage filters, lightening it up, and adding some lovely fonts.

This is very simple, the picture doesn't distract from the title, but complements it.
With the aged effects and the western fonts, it steers the imagination into the story world behind the cover

Beth's story is historical fiction set in the pioneer days,
could you guess that from the cover and title?

The second one isn't for a real story, I was just having fun :)

Doesn't it look kind of creepy?
I tweaked the lighting, added a distressed wall texture in PicMonkey, and antiqued frame.
The title on the left balances out the feather pen,
and the Author's name is emphasized with a flourish.
It makes me think of a mystery story.

The last one is also just for kicks and giggles. 
We thought since we had one landscape and one still life, I should make one with a person.
So I made Beth stand outside with my umbrella :)

It was raining hard just ten minutes before, but it stopped when we went outside.
So I added some rain in PicMonkey :) 
I washed out all the colors with black and white, but left the yellow to shine
The font I wanted to use disappeared in the trees, so I used some cloud overlays to help it stand out.
 I think this one looks more modern then the first two, it could be YA fiction.

Some day I'd love to design covers that will be published,
But for now I should keep working on my story…


  1. I really like your editing jobs! :D They look like something that would draw the reader in.
    I'm interested in some graphic design, but am trying to pursue illustrating. :)

    1. Thanks Paige!
      Illustrating is really neat! Do you have any specific thing you like to draw best? For some reason I like to draw tiny details, like twigs on a tree or scales on a dragon's face :)
      Can you draw dragons? I need one for a book cover.

    2. Welcome!
      I really like drawing animals and people best. :) Sometimes I can get really detailed too.
      I can indeed draw dragons, though it has been a while. Keep me posted! ;)

    3. Fantastic! Have you done any illustrating for people?
      We might in need of your services :)

    4. I have done some illustrating, but nothing published (yet?). :)
      By the way, I want to let you know that I've nominated you girls for the Liebster Award. See my blog post for details. :0

  2. These are really amazing! The editing you did really enhances the pictures. If I had not read any of this post I honestly would have though these were scans of real book covers!

    1. Thank you Jill! I had a lot of fun putting them together. It would be fantastic to design covers for real books someday.

  3. I love best the creepy "The Empty Inkwell", not for creepiness' sake, but because the layout goes strikingly well together.

    The "Yellow Umbrella" is very nice too, although I think I would change the tint of the "again some other day" font to a shade darker, just so that it doesn't get lost. But I must say, I do love this one almost as much as "The Empty Inkwell"!

    Splendid job Becca!


    The eldest sister & singer

    1. Thanks Jessica! Oh I love the "The Empty Inkwell" too.
      I think it's so funny how random that cover was, Beth and I just skimmed through some past pictures and made up a title!
      It was almost called "The Chicken Feather Pen" :)
      Yes, that part of the poem should have more contrast. I was a bit unsure of even putting that poem there, and made it too light.

    2. Oh no! I definitely think you ought to keep the poem in there!

      By the way, I was wondering if you girls wouldn't mind charing a list of the "oldies" music you two listen to? You see, my two sisters and I listen to a lot of 1940's pop, Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, and big band music and such, but I really like the songs you girls have brought into light in the past posts on your blog! It would be so nice to get some fresh ideas from some new music, but we are still so unfamiliar with "oldies" that it is hard to find good songs in the huge list genres. Do you think you could give us the a few names of bands or groups from the past that you listen to?

      Thanks ever so much!

      Blessings on your LORD'S day!

      The eldest sister & singer

    3. Sure! We'll shoot you an email!

  4. Wow i love it! You are good. When I get published ( hopefully) you'll have to help design my books :b those covers looked intriguing. I can draw some, but I'm not THAT good or anything. I would sorta like to illustrate my books...I love paints and chalks.

    1. Thanks Keturah!
      I'd love to help with designing covers1

  5. I like them. You did a good job. My favourite is the last one, though I do have a thing for rainy pictures 8-D

    1. Thanks Jack!
      My favorite was "Blue Sky West" but I think "Yellow Umbrella" is growing on me :)

  6. Those are great! Book covers say a lot about the book (does anyone follow the "don't judge a book by it's cover" rule?). I love how the first one reflects what's inside. The distressed look of the second one really adds atmosphere. But I'd have to agree with Jack and say the third one is my favorite. I have a thing for rainy pictures too... and rain in general, in point of fact.


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