Archive for the ‘Book Design’ Category

Work in Progress: Grundish and Askew

September 2, 2009

It’s finished.

More to wit, it’s finished, approved and finalized. The proof has been sent, and accepted, and soon it will be available for mass consumption.

I’m speaking, of course, about the cover design I’ve been working on for fellow Vicious Books author, Lance Carbuncle.

I went through a number of rounds of design before finally landing here.

So here it is.


I made a few minor tweaks to it since the last round…nothing major. I just rotated the fists, which I think looks a little better.

The book should be available soon, and I recommend picking it up. I also recommend reading his first one, Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed and Spewed.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Work in Progress: Literary Edition (v3)

July 3, 2009


Last night we went out for drinks with friends

For about five hours we drank and discussed the inconsequential details of life that ultimately become small talk and anecdotes…

The whole time we were out, however, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Grundish & Askew cover. I couldn’t wait to get home (half drunk and full of piss and inspiration) to push forward on the design.

I’ve stopped working on the second look…I’m folding it up and sticking it in my pocket for later…I have a plan for that design that just might be interesting…

I once read a Q&A with Chip Kidd, the “rock star”of book cover design…He was asked if most authors have final creative control over the cover art…He essentially told the journalist that even if it’s not in a contract, the writer always has the final word…it’s their work…their soul…

While this may be true, they do have to trust the designer’s reasoning sometimes, and remember it’s also their biggest marketing and promotion media…

So I’m moving my focus over to look number 1…I’m happy with where it has evolved over the last few days. I feel like it’s very close to being a finished product, if the author (fingers crossed) approves it, then it’s just a matter of a few tweaks, and finalizing the dimensions and what-not…then bam. done…in theory…

So, here’s Grundish and Askew, version 3.0….


Here’s the front cover with the new font and a lovely bloody handprint.


and here’s the back cover and spine with the proper synopsis and bio and a tentative place for the barcode…



Work in Progress: Literary Edition (v2)

July 2, 2009


Another day, another stab at the Grundish cover…

As I said, the author prefers the tattoo direction (much to my chagrin)

I took some advice from you guys and got rid of the lower fists…I think it’s getting closer, though I’m going to try using a more frantic (but legible) font for Askew when I get home and have access to my macbook pro and my large collection of fonts… (as opposed to this horrid PC I’m chained to at work that does not allow me to install fonts into my computer, even though I’m in the marketing department, often doing graphic design work, but that’s a different post entirely)

Here’s where the cover is currently…

cover up

here’s the front and back together

cover 1

Even though the Rev. Dr. Carbuncle isn’t too interested in the other look, I refined it anyway…I couldn’t leave it sitting so unfinished…

I think he should at least consider this option once more…I adjusted the spine to parody the covers more.

cover 2

A former colleague suggested I put the full title on the cover of the book, which in fact I had done, albeit in a very understated way…I refined it, by adjusting the byline to follow the same style, which I hope will help the full title stand out more…

grundish cover

I also added it to the back cover.

grundish back cover

More to come…stay tuned…


Work in Progress: Literary Edition

July 2, 2009

For those of you just happening upon this post, the designs below have been updated in a newer post.

I’ve been working on some book cover designs for a friend and fellow Vicious Books author, Lance Carbuncle. His new book, Grundish & Askew, is a modern telling loosely dedicated to the classic Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck.

I went two directions. I made four different versions, but two overall directions…

The first follows certain themes from the book (a holy burro, a lost basset hound, tattoos…)

This is the direction we’re going to go with it, per the author’s choosing.

It’s not fully developed yet, just the basic idea…I’d like to redo the cover pic with some fake tattooes so it looks more realistic…otherwise, I might have to do something to make it less photo-real…

Here’s the cover

Grundish & Askew 1

and here’s the front and back together

Grundish and Askew 1a

I personally prefer my second look…it’s designed to be more artsy, less informational…less obvious…More striking without overstating…I liked this direction because it stands out…it could be the type of book people leave out on their table, or the type that catches a consumer’s eye on a shelf in a store…it’s designed so either way you have it set down, it’s looks like the front cover…I made the font treatments correspond to the words…

Here’s the BACK cover


Here’s the FRONT cover


and here’s front and back together


I’m going to hold onto this design, keep it in my back pocket, I think…unless I can convince Lance to use it…what do you think? Which would you be more likely to pick up and buy?