Inside the Design Process

John Coulthart has a fascinating post up which chronicles the decision processes involved in designing a new book cover for Jeff VanderMeer. I often see people around the blogosphere complaining about book covers, and often an unspoken assumption behind the complaint is that no thought has gone into picking the cover. Doubtless there will be some people who don’t like the cover John and Jeff finally settled on, but the process of getting there certainly wasn’t easy or trivial.

4 thoughts on “Inside the Design Process

  1. Thanks for linking to that–John rarely shows in-process drafts, so it’s unique in that way, too. One thing John doesn’t talk about is that this final design has potential wide appeal while still being aesthetically interesting. I.e., in showing it around, most people got a pleasant feeling looking at it–an optimistic feeling. I can have this book at a literary festival where I’m teaching a workshop and know that the cover isn’t going to turn off most people. Whereas the more mechanistic ones would probably appeal more to a particular segment of the writer population.


  2. Thanks Cheryl. And Jeff just made the point I would have–and probably should have emphasised a bit more–about having something which appeals to a broad audience without looking like a textbook.

    Book cover designs can often go through a lot of stages before you hit on the best solution; some arrive very quickly, others involve lengthy back and forth.

  3. I love it. Real design. The general public don’t realize the work and thought that goes on in designing a book cover or illustration. It was very informative and inspiring.

    I hope John Coulthart dosen’t mind my eye prints on his blog. It’s a great link.

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