Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tip O'Day #243 - Judge by the Cover

Guest blogger Kaleb Zeringue on capturing a book’s mood in the book cover.

As an independent cover artist, I’m often asked about the process I use to choose colors to represent moods or themes in a book. It starts with learning a little about the book. I collaborate with the author to discover the overall theme or idea and then I go to the drawing board.

Color is a quintessential part of design in all design processes. Color governs the way we receive a piece. It’s amazing because as humans we subconsciously associate colors with moods. For example, we associate yellow with joy, intellect, and energy. So if I am presented with a book that has some or all of these undertones in its story, such as the cover I did for Renee Andrew’s Cake Icing, Butt Budder and Tea Lids, I will use colors with a lot of yellow in them to trigger a certain response from viewers before they even pick up the book.

I think it’s important for the mood of readers to match the book’s mood before they start reading so they can fully connect with the story and so the book can have that lasting effect every author desires. That is the cover’s purpose.

Learn more about Kaleb at http://www.wix.com/z4designs/z4designs
Book covers are crucial in buying decisions, it would seem, so more frequent posts on that subject are planned. Would love to hear from other designers.

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