Tag Archives: cover design

Behind the Scenes – Entrance to Dark Harbor

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to keep the same style as the first book, Dusk Runner. I used the same two textures to create the background (though I made sure to do the retouching on the basic layers this time, so that next time will require less retouch work). The author already had an image in mind for the main picture. While it wasn’t from one of our usual stock providers, I used the provided image and their description of the ship to find a similar picture at Dreamstime. I kept the text placement and style the same (though some adjustments had to be made, since the title was longer). We also tried two different font colors, a pale, near-white blue, and then a light blue. We ultimately chose the light blue since the color was still visible and provided the closest match to the previous title.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Entrance to Dark Harbor Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Entrance to Dark Harbor - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-brown-leather-texture-image21958744 – leather texture

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-old-yellow-brown-vintage-parchment-paper-texture-image24082203 – paper texture

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sailing-ship-image12784651 – ship silhouette

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Behind the Scenes – Sojourn: The Beastlands

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the style of the previous books, The Wildlands and The Deadlands. I kept the general placement of the titles and author name the same (though we did experiment with different placements), plus we kept with the general theme of the two characters walking on a path to a different destination. In this case, we used the same model imagery from the second cover, but I did a few adjustments to their images to make them seem a bit different (pushed them closer, adjusted the girl’s hair a bit, and flipped their images). We added a couple pieces of deserted imagery to add to the abandoned feel, and I used a lot of Photoshop masking in layers to get the various jungle layers to mesh properly and look natural.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Back of Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-jungle-green-thickets-mountains-malaysia-image56303604 – jungle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-abandoned-road-image16324304 – road
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-tropical-rainforest-khao-yai-national-park-thailand-world-h-image68662437 – jungle overlook
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abandoned-diner-photo-taken-off-interstate-i-usa-image56088809 – abandoned diner
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-abandoned-car-image23149927 -abandoned car
People – From the Dollar Photo Club

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Behind the Scenes – Night of the Hunter

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted a dark, sinister tone, and the author asked for the demon-like creatures to be staring out of the darkness. To achieve the appearance of the demon, I used a base image to start with, then used various layers in Photoshop to apply the red glow, which I then smudged and liquefied to match the model’s facial features.

Since the author said the main character is supposed to be a reincarnation of the main character from his other books, I used the same model, but with a different hairstyle.

This is the result:

Book Cover - Night of the Hunter

Back of Book Cover - Night of the Hunter

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-young-vampire-man-shirtless-gesturing-to-camera-portrait-showing-his-torso-chest-abs-looking-dark-background-image60136451 – demon

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-fog-smoke-background-image69643118 – fog

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-dangerous-man-gun-sunglasses-standing-abandoned-house-image65411957 – black shirt

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-businessman-gun-white-image47821012 – aimed gun

Head image from Dollar Photo Club

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Behind the Scenes – Shadow Notes

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, the publisher wanted to stick with the blue and white color scheme, which plays a major role in the story. The author provided a few example covers of books with similar tones, which I used to get an idea of the design style: the style of scenery, the font and title placement, and the general mood of the cover.

This is the result:

Book Cover - Shadow Notes

Wraparound Book Cover - Shadow Notes

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-351762476/stock-photo-lonely-woman-walking-in-the-park-with-trees-at-snowy-day-snowfall-in-park-with-lonely-walking.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-27596422/stock-photo-woman-with-psychic-pressure-in-a-corridor.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-44825947/stock-photo-walk-in-winter.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156469889/stock-photo-frozen-land-in-winter-time.html

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Behind the Scenes – Sword of the Quest

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the covers of the previous books, Dragon Sword and Sword of Doom. The font and border placement remained the same, as did the leather textured background. The difference was the scene on the front. We tried a couple cover options before we came to this particular setup. (As a note, if you’re the cover artist working on multiple books in a series, and you have all the art forms for each of those books, make sure you don’t accidentally blend ideas from each form.)

Since there’s a lot going on in this cover, the lighting played an important role in balancing the cover. I made sure to have the main character fully lit, and thus in the spotlight. Next up was the woman, but I put her in slight shadow. The reader’s gaze falls first on the man, then her, then finally on the cloaked shadow in the background. The cloaked figure I shadowed the most. Partially because the figure is supposed to be mysterious, but also so the figure doesn’t attract the initial attention from the main character. Then, once all the pieces were in place, I added the specific lighting from the emerald, that way the whole scene fell together.

For the runes on the altar, I drew them in one color on a separate layer and then tinkered with the “bevel and emboss” special effect until they looked like they were part of the stone.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sword of the Quest - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Stock site sold to Adobe Stock, individual links no longer work): katana //  wolf //  woman’s head / man’s arm / man’s legs / man’s torso
Stock images from Dreamstime:
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-angkor-wat-temple-inside-corridor-walls-cambodia-image26822490 – temple

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-leather-clad-warrior-image265556 – leather tunic

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-ancient-roman-stone-pedestal-image12983352 – stone pedestal

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-emerald-isolated-image16275280 – emerald

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-dangerous-vampire-catacombs-full-skulls-bones-horror-fantasy-image64756682 – cloaked figure

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Behind the Scenes – The Rovers

This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author already had an idea of what image he wanted used for both the front and back. However, the stock image we looked at initially was marked “editorial only,” so that one wasn’t available. However, we did find a similar photograph on the Library of Congress website that didn’t have any known restrictions, in part due to its age.

So, though it was black and white, I retouched the image and filled it in with color, along with sharpening the picture. (Ironically, while I retouched the back cover image as well, I removed the color from that one). We also found a free font that resembled the baseball logo of the referenced team. This was the result:

Book Cover - The Rovers

I changed the border a bit for the front and back of the print covers, due to the trim lines.

Book Cover - The Rovers - Print Edition

Back of Book Cover - The Rovers

 

Primary stock images from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/item/91725980

We had a modern-day image we considered using, but couldn’t due to licencing restrictions.

Post Card Border from The Dollar Photo Club (Now Closed)

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-quinn-abbey-image18602883 – Churchyard

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Behind the Scenes – In the Camp

This is a cover for Melange Books‘ young adult imprint. For this cover, the author wanted a symbol rather than a scene, and in their art form they mentioned that their story revolves around elves using nature to reclaim the modern human cities after a devastating war. Based on that, and since the author said that there was a phone that played a large role in the story, I tinkered with the idea of having an old, cracked phone on the cover.

Vines partially cover the phone (showing nature beginning to take over again), and I added the “reflection” in the phone’s screen to show more of the setting (a swampy area). To give the cover a dystopian feel, I used a couple grungy concrete textures in addition to the concrete background. For the text, I tried a bolder font to keep with the genre, and added a more “computery” text to the phone for the series title.

This is the result:

Book Cover - In the Camp

SBibb - ItCBackcoverBlog
Stock images from Dollar Photo Club:

https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/86638759 – concrete wall
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/87991955 – ivy
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/72301540 – cracked phone
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/95588080 – Night Sky
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/75505794 – abandoned warehouse
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/69503655 – swamp
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/84770412 – concrete grunge texture

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