Tuesday, 22 January 2013

First Book Cover

Copyright © 2013 M.Kelly
All Rights Reserved.
Recently, some of you might recall I mentioned I was going to give designing book covers a go. Well, as an update, I'm showing you the first one completed. I know it doesn't look much, but trust me when I say this, trying to get all the elements right for the author to like and for it to reflect what the story is about is a bloody difficult thing to nail down.

Admittedly, I think some writers envision their dream book cover to look like a Hollywood film poster (and I've had one issuing instructions to that ilk), but the reality of it is, simplicity works best, especially for the fledgling book cover designer like myself.

Restricted access to images, equipment and yes, I'll admit to this too, full software know-how, i.e. Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro ( excellent program, btw - click HERE to go to their free trial page, scroll to the bottom, download and get sketching! ) and a bit of InDesign, has left me wondering why I even decided to tread this path in the first place? But like everything in life, if it is worth getting/doing, then it's going to be bloody hard doing so!

There is an old saying (I heard it from my days in the Territorial Army) that goes, 'keep it simple stupid', and that's what I fully intend to do, at least until I'm a master of the software at my finger tips... muh-wah-hahaha!

13 comments:

  1. Looks really cool man! I've recently thought about buying photoshop and a tablet to try my hand at concept art... Have you ever given that a ponder?

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  2. I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet - basically a beginner's tool. Quite tricky drawing and not looking at your hand at the same time. Seriously take a look at Sketchbook Pro - I shall edit the above post to include the Sketchbook Pro demo link. I think you'd like it.

    For your kind of work, InDesign (and Quark, though it is a bit old now), combined with Photoshop - and possibly SB Pro, as it is easier than Illustrator - would be ideal.

    As for the concept art side, let's put it this way, I'm dusting off my old, old drawing skills and trying to get back into the swing of things, but it's a tough world out there in the illustration side of things. So many excellent artists out there, and to be successful to any great degree you need to be exceptional. Previously, being very good used to ensure the right attention, and it was the excellent artists getting all the best gigs, but now, what with the advances in graphic tablets, Adobe products and the freebie competitors like Gimp, every man and his dog is an artist now.

    It used to be the same in graphic design, where anyone with a pc and Windows Clip Art thought they were a graphic designer.

    Thank you for the kind words, Sir, and nice to see you at the Hearth :)

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  3. You designed that? It's awesome!

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    1. I had help from Photoshop - but yes, I'm responsible. And thank ye kindly :)

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  4. Glad to be at the hearth my friend! I'll keep you posted on what I'm looking into getting as far as the tablet and programs are concerned. I'm honestly just looking to do it as a hobby. I think most fantasy fans feel a desire to create their own worlds to some degree. I dabble in writing but I've always been interested to try my hand at some digital art. I'll message you soon with what I'm thinking of getting. Thanks again buddy!

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  5. Right then. That's brilliant and if I ever finish Reunion, You are the man for the job!

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    1. I'm extremely flattered, thank you :)

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  6. I couldn't do this in a million years, even with all the software. Good on ya, Mark.

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    1. Hey there, stranger :) Thanks for dropping by - trust me, it took ages just to get to that one simplistic-looking outcome, having thrashed out, discarded and deleted so many other ideas/versions.

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  7. I dig the way the author's name is complimented and surrounded by all the warm colors at the bottom. Dig it, dude!

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    1. Dig all you like, Mina - but if you come across anything valuable I want shares ;)

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  8. Oh, I hate book covers that look like a film poster!

    What you've done here is just perfect. You're absolutely right, simplicity is key. I've studied fine art for over ten years, and I have to say, that rule generally applies almost everywhere.

    I'm not well-versed in design programs, so I applaud you. The cover looks great.

    Speaking of book covers and film posters, have you ever looked at the film covers of the Criterion collection? Most of them are simplicity at its best, and I think a great deal of them would be incredible as book covers.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Raquel, I shall certainly look them up, hopefully to garner more inspiration from them. Nice to have you back :)

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