Week Three: An Appealing Cover


The cover illustration is the most important illustration in your book. Imagine a picture book wall in a store and all of the covers face out. Squint your eyes and see how your cover would look at a distance. Print out your cover and take it to a book store to see it in relation to the other covers on a picture book wall. It will depend on what books are on the wall, but it will give you an idea of how your cover will look with other books. For example, if your cover were red, it would stand out on the bookshelf below, but if there were lots of red books on this shelf—then less so. This is a home bookshelf instead of a bookstore bookshelf, but what stands out here?


The aqua background with the contrast of the polar bear book shows up better than the aqua background of the baby book on the top shelf.

The yellow with the contrast of the cow shows up.

The deep color of the night sky with an elephant sort of recedes, but in a hefty way.

Now a bit closer:

The "How to find..." with the large text becomes more clear. 

The White large text of "Tress" shows up well.

Notice the penguin book is hard to read the body form of the large penguin? Even though the shape has contrast and holds weight, it doesn't register—so our eye moves on. 


"Forever"'s book cover works in all three scales of viewing: from a distance, from a few feet, and in your hands. Look at the bookshelf below. Look how the eyes of the scuba diver draw in our attention!

Study these samples of interesting covers and why they work.




Design your book cover. Tell us what techniques you used to create an eye-catching cover.


1) It's nice if your title is not too long. Generally, the type should be designed so the title is clear and readable. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: such as Chicken, Soup, Boots by Maira Kalman. 



2) Will your cover stand out when seen at a distance? from a few feet? and in your hands?


3) Color, contrast, and composition can be used to make a cover engaging.


Have fun!! I'm looking forward to seeing your creations! 


I hope you enjoyed this lesson.




k@kristenbalouch.com | Brooklyn, NY 

© 2018 by Kristen Balouch

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