Thursday 4 May 2017

Paisley Rabbit Cover, Leaf By Leaf (Part 3)

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Paisley Rabbit Book Cover
Watercolour and Gouache
42 x 55cm
There was a bit of a gap in-between finishing the cover illustration and designing the layout for the book cover. I completed some other illustrations for the same book, and then returned to the above illustration and created some draft layouts to share with the writer and publisher, Steve Richardson.
Four cover mocks up to choose from.

Together we came up with four basic designs and then decided to ask the online public to vote for their favourite. We had a wonderful response, especially on Facebook. In the end the clear winner was layout D, which pleased me even more because that was also my favourite design.
Rough layout 'D'.
Steve and I agreed to follow the 'market research' and run with layout D. I took the basic design and started to play around with the text colour, from black to blue, then eventually to a dark brown.
Hand drawn and painted text blocks.
I mainly concentrated on the text blocks (or boxes). I wanted to make them feel much more organic, in keeping with the illustration. So I began to produce some hand drawn and painted versions of the text boxes and then I introduced them to Photoshop to tidy them up, and in the pencil versions - add colour.

I went through lots of trial and error. The pencil lines, when coloured, looked messy and they didn't create a strong enough edge to compete with the illustration sufficiently. I opted to work with the painted text block and tried varying the corner designs. I felt square cut-aways looked too harsh and in the end I worked up some quarter-circle cut-aways to replace them.
The final cover design.
Here you can see the finished cover design, complete with painted text block and quarter-circle corners. You can also see that I tweaked the amount of foliage covering the edges of the title block and I added some leaves to the bottom block. I also tagged a drop-shadow to the edges of the leaves to lift them slightly from the blocks, thus re-enforcing the levels of depth between leaves, blocks and tree.

That's the end of this series of blog posts. I hope you enjoyed seeing the process behind creating this book cover design. Later on this year the book will be printed and made available to purchase online. Just as soon as that happens, I will post about the finished book and where to get it!