Thursday, April 02, 2009

Designing a Book Cover: 101

Designing a Book Cover-101 from Henry Yee on Vimeo.

(Click on the link DESIGNING A BOOK COVER-101 to go to the Vimeo site to view a larger, higher-res version)

Back in early 2001, I was asked to give a presentation to our Sales Department at the St. Martin's Press / Picador Sales Conference to describe very simply, what went into designing a book cover. I chose the topic of working with different types of art. Showing one example each of working with an illustrator, a photographer and creating artwork myself. Since this was done in 2001, you'll notice I made note of the use of the emerging new technologies that were starting to change the way we did things. Sketches sent to me electronically via email, Using eBay and the Internet as a source for research, taking portraits using a digital camera instead of shooting on film for instant viewing and cost savings, and retouching digitally. This was also the first time I used PowerPoint and I enjoyed working with the different ways you could transition between one element to the next to convey the story. Although in exporting the PowerPoint as a movie, I lost many of the subtle scene shifts. So I'm presenting it as is. It may be a little hard to follow without me narrating. But you'll get the general idea. I added the music to fill in the dead space.

Cover 01: DOUBLE TROUBLE by Greil Marcus / Illustrated by Steven Stines
Cover 02: TRIALS OF THE MONKEY by Matthew Chapman / Photo-illustration by Daniel Lee
Cover 03: DARLING? by Heidi Jon Schmidt / Illustrated by Henry Sene Yee


Ian Shimkoviak said...

That was nice. It's fun that you were asked to do a presentation so that the sales folks would understand that there is more to it all than slapping a picture and getting on with it. That there are many people involved and lots of time and attention is spent in choosing art, fonts, colors, compositions etc. good stuff.

PowerPoint didn't do it all justice, but it worked nonetheless;)

Jenny said...

When the “Double Trouble” text followed “working with illustrators” I didn’t realize that was the title of the book. I thought you were trying to say something about illustrators!

hope said...

This is great-- thanks for sharing it! I love anything showing the process and evolution of a design... so helpful to see how someone else thinks things through.

Anonymous said...

I find your covers really interesting, but I could only watch a bit of this.

I realize you "enjoyed working with the different ways you could transition between one element to the next to convey the story" but as a viewer it is very annoying.

Viewers end up either trying to second guess what transition you are going to use next or cringing as another cheesy transition takes place.


H3NR7 said...

PowerPoint is perfect for cheesiness.

Mark Brown said...

That was really interesting. Thanks so much for posting it. Your designs are terrific so it was fascinating to see a quick version of how some of them came together.

Anonymous said...

this is so cool. thanks!

ps: i love bjork too.