Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How to make a Picture Book Jacket, that works.

I would like to start delving into what makes a good jacket for a picture book. (This is by all means open for discussion) Far to often I will receive postcards and dummy books in the mail from Illustrators which give little or no thought to a jacket image. This is a mistake. In my opinion if you can illustrate a good image for the jacket summarizing the story you might have an easier time with the interior illustrations as well. Since you are able to visualize the entire story into one picture successfully. But my all means this is not always the case.
A good portion of the time Illustrators tend to try and use an image from the interior of there book. And I don't blame them after 32 to 40 pages of illustrations, I am sure they are tired of the book and the thought of one more illustration seems daunting. But I think it helps to make the book unique as possible to create an image that stands on it's own.

The first thing I suggest, and this goes for novels as well, is to think of one image or character that summarizes the story simply. I find when there is a scene of action it some times makes the jacket very busy. All of the examples below show single character composition. Basically to introduce the character and tell a little bit about the mood of the story with out giving to much away. They are what some call ICONIC covers. Iconic = simple and brand

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hush Little Dragon/COVER ART

I just received in my opinion some sweet new jacket art from Kelly Murphy that I wanted to share.
Kelly's sketchKelly's Final

Hush Little Dragon Publishes in Spring 2008 from Abrams Books for Young Readers

Back cover image to FELL

Here is the back cover image I made for Fell

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Galley Week

This week is galley hell week. So I might not be posting as regularly as I want to until next week. I am working on 3 galleys all due at the end of the week.

Fell, The Lighthouse War: Book 2 of The Lighthouse Land Trilogy and Hour of the Outlaw. On top of this we are working on getting numerous SPRING 2008 picture books out to press, Because You are my Baby, Hush Little, Dragon and Clinton Gregory's Secret.
If I am not dead or have a stroke from looking at a computer screen for so many hours I will be back and in good form to start this blog of right. Okay that's enough whining.
Here is a picture I did for Greenwillow's Breathe.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Designing a Blog book

My latest project is called LIBBY FAWCETT'S SECRET BLOG by Shana Norris. ( The title will most likely be changing )
I am about half way through reading the book. All the while thinking of possible scenes or imagery that might make a interesting image. The first thought that goes through my head is the word Iconic. I think of this word every time I attempt a novel or picture book design. What does it mean? Simple, yet interesting. Do I always make this happen perhaps not but I try.
First I look at what else has been published in the genre of this book. Blog or internet books. I want to make sure that my design stands out from the rest ( At least I hope so ).

So how do you make a jacket about a blog and make it visually interesting? I am approaching it graphically. Much like some of the banners you might see at the top of some peoples blogs. And really making the type cool. I haven't ruled out any imagery just yet but I really don't want to place some half cropped girl's face or legs or arms or any other body part that seems to be popular in teen novels. That being said I have made a vow to never use straight stock imagery I think it really makes for a very bland image and doesn't stay true to the uniqueness' of the book.

I will report make in a week or so and show my results.

If any of you have certain blogs that you think might help please let me know.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Other Book design blogs


Found on this site is a great Interview from one of my favorite Book Designers Vintage's John Gall