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From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

The Self-Published Book Cover Design Process

I would like to show you an example of the book cover design process by revealing a series of cover comps (ideas) we did for one of our client’s books. Nature’s Wisdom in the Workplace: Managing Energy in Today’s Health Care Organizations was published by Synergy Press, and authored by Sharon Cox, Jo Manion and Diane Miller.

The Design Brief

First we spoke with the client to get a list of information regarding the target market and book specifications. The design brief outlines the parameters for the style, colors, imagery and typography our designer needed to incorporate into the book cover design process:

  • 6″ x 9″ soft cover book
  • Full color cover
  • Category: Business, Management, Health Care
  • Target Market: Mostly female, 30 years and older
  • Buyers are interested in new age/alternative modalities
  • Use bright colors, abstract, creative
  • Book synopsis: The book explains how to use the essence of Chinese medicine to manage personal and organization energy. It shows how to use the “5 Element Model” to restore and manage energy, change behavior patterns, and improve productivity in the workplace.
  • Incorporate imagery representing the 5 elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood
  • Graphics should have an Asian flair or style

Initial Cover Comps

Following the specifications on the design brief, we presented five comps to the client:

Book Cover Design Process Comp 5

Book Cover Design Process Comp 4

Book Cover Design Process Comp 3

Book Cover Design Process Comp 2

Book Cover Design Process Comp 1

Refining One Direction During the Book Cover Design Process

The client selected the third design, and requested several rounds of edits. First, we divided the layout exactly in half, and inserted a different illustration of the bamboo. We tried different colors and fonts and icons for the 5 elements. We also rotated the pentagon 180 degrees.

Book Cover Design Process Comp

Next, we revised the subtitle font and colors, and squeezed the rice paper and bamboo illustration into a narrower space. The icons for the 5 elements are placed into a circle.

Book Cover Design Process Comp

The final design has the bamboo illustration overlapping into the green background.

Comp7B copy

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