I’ve researched some well know publishing series for inspiration on producing a consistent look and feel to my book covers for the PAC project… Penguin, Faber & Faber, New York Review of Books, Bloomsbury, Canongate and more… here’s my Visual Research. I’ve decided to loosely follow Marber’s grid for Penguin but applied it to an A5 format.
I’m calling the Series Times Turnovers. This is a reference to a tradition at The Times when they would publish major articles starting in the last column of the right hand page and they would continue when the pages was “turned over”. When the paper was published in this way it became known as the Turnover Book.
The subject in the series will loosely follow the sections of the newspaper – News, Sport, Arts & Culture (i.e. society) – and I thought it would make sense to adopt the colours that the paper uses to signify these sections.
I’ve had a go at designing a logo which would be applied to the covers, based on the turnover theme. It really tested my Illustrator skills to do this page curl effect, and the first feedback I’ve had from my dear wife is that it “looks like a paper plane” and that maybe a straight edge, more like a fold, would be better… so more experimentation to come, but for the time being here’s the logo as applied to the 4 subjects and one without colour which will be applied to spines (the black background on the slideshow is not very helpful):
I also did a logo which was more semantic typography than illustrated, which is below. I’m not convinced by this:
I’ve then brought this all together in a front cover for the Jim Laker cricket book discussed in my previous post. Here are a few iterations, the last one of which uses the logo as above (the others were done with the semantic logo).
Version 1 Version 2 Version 3
Version 4 Version 5
Version 1 was criticised (again by my dear wife, who should know about these things as she’s a literary agent) as being too unclear. The quote was too dominant and it wouldn’t be clear what the book is about. I was rather pleased with my quote so wanted it to be large on the cover! I made is smaller in version 2 and increased the size of the title (and changed the title). I also look out the photo to see if that made any difference. It looks clean but possibly a bit dull. Changing the layout of the quote in version 3 helps, I think and with the photo in version 4 I think this works. Version 5 uses the branding I’ve been working on today. Looking at the thumbnails as I write this post, I think the layout is beginning to work. It’s still not right but I thought I’d put this out there before Friday so maybe I can get some feedback. Thanks!