Book covers act as both an advertisement for the content inside and as collectible design pieces. Cover designs need to stand out on a crowded shelf while conveying necessary information, such as title and author. Additionally, as readers are increasingly finding their book recommendations online, it is necessary to find a way to speak to these online audiences.
This project visually updates three book covers from different genres. The goal was to figure out how to communicate the mood and themes of a story and condense it down into one clear and eye-catching visual. For online promotion, making an animated version of the book cover helps to increase sales, create interest, and makes it stand out in a crowded online environment.
The first step in this project, before deciding on any book covers, was to do a survey of potential book covers to redesign to see what has already been done and if there was a need for an update. The three books chosen were: "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman, "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote, and "The Secret Place" by Tana French.
Once the books were chosen, it was necessary to revisit the text and read summaries. This was the heavy note-taking and sketching phase, making sure to pull out themes, motifs, and moods for each of the stories. One of the biggest challenges of this project was to keep in mind that, above all, these covers need to have a compelling image/text combination and that too much visual information will create confusion.
Next, and often simultaneous to the note-taking step, was gathering other book cover inspiration for visual direction. The inspirational book covers functioned as jumping-off points for mood, type, layout, imagery, and style. After this stage, the illustrating and designing began, with multiple iterations until the final layout.
The most challenging and rewarding part of this project was figuring out how to convey a novel-length story in one image and type layout. The key is knowing that not every aspect of the story needs highlighting, and it is more about translating a feeling or mood: remembering that a cover is an advertisement for the book. The primary goal is to get a customer to be intrigued enough to pick it up.