Book Jacket Design

Book Making: PrintBookSignatures– Jill created this instructive guide to printing book signatures in InDesign (change printing range to the size of your signature, that way, when something goes wrong it’s not the whole book kind of wrong)

I saw this record with embossed lettering and I thought they had used a photographic manipulation where you offset a silhouette of the type to create depth artificially. I really liked that idea, so I thumbnailed a version of my book cover.
book cover thumbnail jane eyre

I tried this out in Photoshop, but the text didn’t pop out like I thought it would. It was too subtle and after Jill showed the class how E-PUB covers become so tiny on the digital display of a “bookshelf” on the iPad, I knew I had to take a bolder typographic approach, which led to a bold cover design with sans-serif all caps italic which didn’t have the intimate charm I was going for. And the image I put in the background was a library of congress photo which is available for anyone to use because of their commons-license, but it wasn’t big enough, therefore blurry.
book cover thumbnail jane eyre

The interior of my book has handwritten script for the chapter heads. So, I went to this idea of ornate typography. This was really fun to do. With handwritten things, it’s a matter of fluidity, so I had so many versions where the J’s curls did twist just right or the ink flowed to strongly. When I looked at them, even in their imperfection, they still were interesting, so I collaged them in my photoshop document along. I really like ink-splatter. You can’t fake it. This is real ink, folks. My favorite layer effect in photoshop is setting the transparency mode to “multiply.”

book cover version 1 Jane Eyre
book cover version 1 Jane Eyre
book cover design after critique Jane Eyre
book cover design after critique
final version of book cover Jane Eyre
final version of book cover

Update 11-3-12: I realized that grasuc (my conscientious commenter, see below) had a point. Something was lost from one to the other. Boxes are a little modern, but they help make the cover look a little more intentioned. And I think I was a bit extreme in my coloring, so I scaled it back and structured the soft splotches a little and I am feeling good about my design. (The final has the former image of Charlotte Bronte, I don’tknow why it inversed itself in the pdf forming, but I thought it looked kind of cool to keep it like that here.)

U pdate 4-11-13: I made this mock-up using this | Smart objects 3D book mockup (PSD).




  1. Thanks… I’m almost thinking so, but my teacher said that boxes are a little too modern for the mood I’m going for. I don’t think I’ve found the best solution yet.

  2. Yeah your teacher has a good point. As a workaround you can always distort the straight lines with some splash brushes. I really like how the grey tones combine with the greens in v1 !

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