For Class April 2

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Book cover by Chris Silas Neal

The next assignment will be to design and illustrate a book jacket. This will be a chance to integrate display type and image. Be sure to choose a book you know well, so you know what it is you are trying to communicate to the public about the text.

First design the front cover. By default, use the standard hardcover size: 6 x 9″. If you make your jacket another size, model it on an existing book so your design will have the appearance of the Real Deal. If your professional goal is to work in children’s publishing on picture books, you can do a children’s book jacket, just use that industry’s standards for your size and design. Include in your design the spine, the back-ad (what the back cover is called) and front and back flaps. Study a real book jacket to see what some of the conventions and sizes are for the spine, for the flaps.

For class this week, April 2nd, have your book chosen, sketches and work in progress. You may use any media to create your illustration. Use either Adobe Illustrator or InDesign to set your type, unless you have special effects that can only be done in Photoshop. As ever, for final crit on April 10, you’ll hand in your artwork and sketches and archive the digital files, as well as a pdf, to your Dropbox folder. Your art work must read well from a bit of a distance, so manage contrast for legibility. Print out proofs as you work, so you can see how it’s looking. Make necessary adjustments for the clarity of the print.

While working on this, study existing book jackets. What makes a book look compelling? How is the story or subject suggested in an enticing way? How does the typography interact with the illustration? What is in the backad (back cover)? Note on the resources page of this blog there are links to great book jacket design sites. Have fun exploring them.

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