Saturday, 21 July 2012

Cover Designer - Guest Post

When I heard J D Field had started writing a series of novels I hoped to get the chance to design the covers, so when the opportunity came about I jumped at it! It was always going to be an interesting project seeing as we live in different continents, but the initial brief soon set my mind at rest. Reading a snippet from the preface I could see that these were going to be exciting books. 

The brief asked for an image of a lake or pond, at night in the countryside with the water being a rich blue colour. And to have the moon and stars reflected in it, and possibly the title. The image was to be centrally located on the cover and possibly vignetted so that it faded out to black. 

I am a walking enthusiast and photographer as well as a graphic designer, so this project was perfect as I set about looking for the ideal lake near to me to photograph an adapt to fit the brief. There are 2 reservoirs nearby. Arlington and Bewl water. I chose Bewl as it is more natural looking and is also close to Bedgbury Woods which also contains a few lakes so there should be plenty of opportunities. Here's some of the original photographs. The chosen one is in the background. The others were lovely shots but contained too much detail. In the end we cropped in on the horizon of the chosen one:

The typeface to be used was also very important and if possible to try and do something a little different with it. I knew of one called Plantagenet Cherokee that had many alternate versions of each letter plus some glyphs of old letter forms and symbols. These could be used to add some character and a sense of history to the covers. This typeface would also be a defining link  and 'brand' between covers in the series. 

After doing some ideas for typographical arrangements of the title, I chose a photograph to work on and emailed JD Field some initial designs.  

It was decided that the vignette idea wasn't really working, instead we opted to extend the image to the edges of the cover but add in a rocky silhouette to the front to keep the shape. After some more to-ing and fro-ing of the design to perfect the balance of the elements and colours, the first e-book cover of The Levels Series was finished. A similar process was followed for Rock anthem and now it is time to start thinking about part 3. What will it be? Well you will have to wait and see... Here's a selection of the changing designs clockwise around the finished printed book

Read more about my walks,  (some of which I do to support the charity Hope for Children), kung fu training and photography at or follow me on Twitter @ollyeast


  1. Unfortunately I can't view the images in this post. Such a shame because they sound really interesting.

  2. I'll have a fiddle around, the trouble is I can see them perfectly. What browser are you using?

  3. cool blog ! I've added your site as a link on mine
    Will definitely be adding your books to my reading list.

  4. I really enjoyed seeing the other pictures that were taken in the process of creating the cover. I also liked hearing about the process on the design end. The cover looks great!