As a personal design project, I have been recreating covers of the books I’ve been reading and reviewing during my reading challenge this year. To view the original covers and my reviews for these books, head over to my March & April book reviews post. You can also check out my cover redesigns of the books I reviewed in February.
Eerie by Blake & Jordan Crouch
I decided to stay simple for this one. The original cover is very loud, and I don’t really feel that it matches the creepy haunted house vibe of the book (at least the first part of it – that book was weird). I used a photograph by Jon Tyson from Unsplash, which I altered slightly in Photoshop using the dodge tool and some blur effects. The font I used is Futura in medium italic. I duplicated each layer of the text and added some subtle white drop shadows and path blurs to go with the creepy vibe. I wanted the text to pop against the background but didn’t want it to look too clean.
If I were to design this cover for an ebook I might go a different way with it, because the text – particularly the author’s name – isn’t really large enough to work well for online scrolling. However, I’m pretty satisfied with how it looks for this project.
The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
I went through about five redesigns for this cover before I landed on this one. I used the Darkones typeface from Envato because I wanted an interesting font for the title. I combined a couple of the stylesets that came with the font to make it look cool, then used a more simplified version for the author names. The image is an AI-generated drawing of an abandoned house that I asked Midjourney to design for me and I distorted it slightly in Photoshop for no reason other than it made it more interesting. I added a layer overtop the image and under the text and used one of the Old Paper Photoshop Brushes by M-e-f on Envato for the paper effect.
This isn’t one of my favourite designs but I think it’s interesting enough to be featured here. Like many of my other designs, I’ll probably play around with it more in the future to see if I can come up with something better.
Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell
As I mentioned in my review for this book, I really didn’t like how it was written so it was difficult to come up with a design to “sell” it. It had potential though, so I decided to focus on the few things I liked about it. The scariest scenes in this book take place at night, and involve one of the main characters sleepwalking so I went with that.
I used the Midjourney AI image generator to create an image of a girl in a nightgown with her shadow against the wall. Then I used the brush and smudge tools in Photoshop it to make the shadow resemble the shape of the monster that features in the book. To make it more interesting, I enlarged the image so that we can only see part of the girl and most of the shadow. I used the Haext font by hellomartco from Envato for the title and Copperplate Light for the author. I’m not sure the font is exactly right but overall I like the end result of this.
Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
I decided to go with more of a commercial look for this one. I used the Airy Palms pattern by MalyskaStudio and played around with the colour, texture, and saturation until I was happy with how it looked as a background image. I used the font Meno Banner in semi bold with some added embossing to give it some dimension. It’s not the most creative cover ever, but it’s clean and works well.
I put the ‘&’ symbol at an angle to make it look interesting, however I’m not totally sure I love it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I’ll probably keep tweaking it until I find something I’m happy with, but it works for now.
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
I’ve been realizing just how challenging it is to work with an idea that you don’t know how to execute. I originally wanted to go with the theme of the title story and use an image of an old theatre, but I couldn’t find a suitable one that worked. Then I played around with the idea of using a close-up photo of a typewriter and having the title text appear as words typed on a page, but again nothing I tried looked right. I decided to simplify things and generated an image of a typewriter using Midjourney. I’ve noticed that AI-generated art sometimes looks a little “off” and I liked the idea of having a weird-looking typewriter as the main image. I played around with some background textures and decided to use these paper textures by MographMotions from Envato. Everything for this cover was done in Photoshop.
For the text, I used the Adobe font JohnDoe. I added a few ink splotches to the author text using the same splatter brushes I used on my design for The Troop, put it on a slight angle, and distorted it using the smudge tool. For the title I duplicated the layer, added a drop shadow, then played around with a couple of blur effects. The result is this minimalistic but interesting design.