CDF — Project 4
The point of this project was to design book covers (front, back, spine) for three similar books — either of similar theme or from the same series. We were limited to the use of three colors and three typefaces max throughout all three books. We were supposed to convey the message of the books effectively using shapes, illustrations, and color.
Eragon: 9.3" h x 6.4" l x 1.6" w
Eldest: 9.3" h x 6.4" l x 2" w
Brisingr: 9.3" h x 6.4" l x 1.8" w
Author: Christopher Paolini
I began the artistic process with the above sketches. I tried to use less abstract symbols and objects in the first few iterations (namely 1 and 3) to try t convey a message, but it ended up being hard to create on Illustrator and too simply organized or formatted. As you can see, common themes and symbols that recur in these images are the egg, representing life, the sword, representing conflict, and the phoenix-looking dragon, representing rebirth and evolution. My more abstract iterations showed more promise, but I was not aware of it at the time. Thus, I went with basically a combination of the first and third iterations to create my first digital iteration.
For my first iteration, I went with a pretty literal design, showing major symbols within the plot to summarize the plot or tell the reader a bit of a hint of what’s coming. I played around with negative space to create shapes, and decided to go with the three primary colors, as the emotions that the colors conveyed seemed to match the plots of the books relatively well. However, I disliked my use of gradients, my non-interactive and uninteresting typeface, and my lack of consistency throughout.
For my second design, I went with a much more simplified version, using lines to symbolize plot changes as well as the paths that major characters took. I made the symbols from the first iteration much smaller, and tried to incorporate them within the type (although I changed the symbol for Brisingr). I tried to frame the overall design with lines at the top and the bottom. However, I still could not think of a way to translate the language of the front cover (on the right) to the back cover, and the typeface was still relatively weak (as was the placement of the title relative to the author’s name.
My final iteration was decidedly far more simple and well-rounded altogether. Using the stripes, I managed to find a way to connect all three books, and using the white background, I used the stripe to create a negative of a shape within the stripe. On the back cover, I mirrored the shape/object/symbol in the positive. The spine’s solid color, along with the shape on the back, frames the content of the back — which is a meaningful quote from each book. On the spine, I created tomoe, or commas, each one to represent the number of the book in the series, as well as to signify each major dragon in the plot line. Furthermore, my final typeface that I decided to use was Baskerville Old Face, which created a fantastic feeling without creating too much of a childish atmosphere as my previous iterations did. I feel like this was a more complete piece overall, and was relatively satisfied with my work. I could probably have experimented more on the colors to see if I could create more varied effects.
Although I was busy throughout the duration of this project, I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot about formatting covers, placing text in specific spaces, and using different colors and shapes to convey a message. I learned to create a more pristine feeling with white, rather than the clean, serious black that I usually like using, and also developed experience to use colors to supplement the overall piece. I greatly enjoyed this project and would definitely try it again if prompted to.