THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES

book cover designer

How does my book stand out from the crowd? A visually appealing book cover is the first big step.  Arash Jahani introduces his personal approach to cover design.

How do I design as a writer a sensational and promotional book cover that seduces to read? Arash Jahani knows the answers and gives in his lectures and webinars valuable recommendations around the craftsmanship, aesthetics and content of book covers.

For those who could not attend his lectures or the previous Arash Jahani webinars on the subject of book design, we summarized the most important findings in a slide show using concrete examples. With this “guide,” we want to give you a feel for and approach to how to design your book cover.

STEP BY STEP TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL BOOK COVER

1. THE THREE FEATURES OF THE BOOK COVER DESIGN

There are three features that play a significant role in book cover design. Frequently, the focus of Buchcover’s design is on one of these features, but it is advisable to combine all three.

Content: The story or part of the plot is taken up in the book cover motif.

Aesthetics: The viewer’s attention is aroused by a cosmetic stimulus, eg by the use of a striking font or color.

Craft: The professional quality and implementation of the design is an important basis for a professional result and ensures the viewer’s confidence.

The following three examples show how content, aesthetics and craftsmanship unite in the design and what meaning they have for the perception and decision of the viewer.

2ND EXAMPLE OF THE CHARACTERISTIC CONTENT

This book cover focuses on the first feature, the content. Without the viewer knowing the contents of the book and regardless of the title of the book, pictures are immediately created in his head and he probably wonders: where are the people going? What are they fleeing from?

The illustration obviously represents an escape situation. But what makes this clear? People are “out of the picture”. In the background is a burning city. The danger situation is visually supported by the combination of the signal color orange with black and white.

3. EXAMPLE OF THE FEATURE AESTHETICS

Here the emphasis is on the aesthetic feature. On the book cover is not like the previous example an illustration or a motif, which reveals something about the contents of the book. Minimalism and contrasts are in this case the stylistic means. No colors were used. Instead, there is a plain, white background. The black typography stands visually in clear contrast.

In order to lend more weight to the meaning and content opposites contained in the book title (analogously: we = good, greed = evil), different font sizes are used. The word greed even seems to “break” under the we .

4TH EXAMPLE TO FEATURE BOOK COVER DESIGN CRAFT

In this example, the craftsmanship and skill of the designer is particularly clear. Obviously, the picture is a photomontage composed of several pictures. Creating one requires advanced skill of the designer.

The motif on the book cover entices the viewer to make assumptions about the content of the book. The motif is clearly related to the title of the book: “Death and the Dreamer”. In the foreground you can see a man from behind, standing on a higher platform and looking at a skyline. Does he want to jump to his death? The indicated shadow spreads something threatening (death), in contrast to the bright sky, which awakens positive associations (dreamer).

Of course, every viewer interprets the motif on the book cover individually and in his own way. But that is exactly the exciting and the goal of the author. The book cover should attract attention and be thought-provoking.

5. YOUR BOOK COVER AS A CANVAS

You want to start designing your book cover and have chosen a specific book format. First of all, completely independent of the design program. What do you need?

Let’s take a look at the white book cover as a canvas and begin to arrange our elements like tools.

6. YOUR BOOK COVER ELEMENTS

We would like to design the book cover for an adventure novel. We have a photo we want to use. This is a landscape shot with an appealing color scheme (aesthetics). The motif has something mystical through the wide, blue sky and the sea. It awakens associations. It should stand for the setting of the story (content).

We arrange other elements with which we want to fill the canvas. The following information should be shown later on the book cover:

  • first given name
  • Surname
  • title
  • A novel (subtitles / genre)

7. THE USE OF THE BOOK COVER MOTIF

We generously use the photo as a background. The motif is ideal for a book cover, because there is already a certain division. There is the sky, the sea and the mountains. The horizon causes an optical division of the book cover. The sky is wide and reserved, in the lower part of the picture is livelier, the colors stronger.

8. WHERE DOES THE BOOK TITLE FIT?

The book is called “The Quest” (English: the adventure). The letter Q, because of its exotic nature, lends itself to being highlighted. We use the letter prominently, at a height where it blends harmoniously into the background. The O contained in the Q could stand for a cloud. The tail that turns the O into a Q is reminiscent of a wave. The letter thus serves not only as part of the title of the book, but also as an aesthetic element that corresponds to the content of the book.

9. THE TITLE AND AUTHOR NAME “SEARCH” THEIR PLACE

The very large letter Q gives us in this case almost by itself, where we place the other letters contained in the book title. On the tail of the Qs offers the ideal place for it.

The order in which the letters are inserted contradicts the actual reading direction. It would be correct if the “The” would stand before the Q. But in this case it does not matter. We deliberately break a convention to attract attention and excitement.

The lying above the book title free area lends itself to use there the author name. In order to set this optically off the book title, we use a different font as well as a subtle color as additional contrast. The placement of the author name in the upper area of ​​the photo creates an optical conclusion of the sky. If we go a step further, the viewer might even see a flock of birds in the name element … all a matter of fantasy.

Incidentally, the font of the name “Quest” is Trajan Pro, a kind of cuneiform writing that consists only of uppercase letters.

10. THE SUBTITLE / GENRE

Often you can refer to the book cover the genre of the book in fiction titles.

Also we would like to place the word Roman on the book cover. It is compared to the book title to a secondary information, which is therefore visually a smaller weighting should come. The dark, free area in the lower part of the photo is predestined for this purpose. So that the single word does not lose itself on the dark background, we draw a line from each side of the word to the edge. While the author name visually “opens” the book cover, this element is used as a conclusion.

The font for the elements name, genre and “The” is Avenir .

11. THE FINISHED BOOK COVER – POSSIBLE DESIGN SOFTWARES

To design a book cover, different software can be used, often in interaction with each other. Of course, not everyone has professional design programs. Book covers can also be designed with Office programs such as PowerPoint.
In the case of this sample book cover, we edited the photo with Adobe Photoshop and designed the cover with Adobe InDesign. The latter offers ideal possibilities for dimensioning the front, back and back pages of a book and professionally using pictures and various fonts.