Back to the book cover…

After the last meeting with Jon I was able to develop some of the details further and apply the design to the back and spine. But before that Jon was interested in seeing other scripts in place of the one used in the title. As I had already explored this before presenting this to him, I gathered several alternatives that I had tried and rejected. They were all selected for their natural flow and vintage qualities that suited the whole ‘radiogram’ theme, and after seeing these Jon was in agreement of my original choice:

As for my design process, in the early stages after a few pencil sketches have been made I put together a fairly clean digital version to discuss the idea, without really concerning myself with proportions and measurements; everything is composed by eye.

Now that Jon had chosen a design it was time to firm everything up and establish some relative measurements. What this means is that I now look back into my layouts and discern a more formal composition based on units of measurement or proportions or both. The design Jon chose was the one with the black panel with some minor variations.

The design is generally composed over a division of sixths, but a little more control of the separate elements was required in order to create a more harmonious composition overall, especially when the design was applied to the back and spine.

The main elements for development were the dial – the tuning markers were to be labelled with relevant themes from the book and losing the faint script in the background. Also, the flat creamy colour of the background needed some texture to give it some surface for the graphics to relate to. This was achieved in Photoshop with a concrete texture from my library (I regularly take photos of textures for precisely this purpose) and some subtle layering to get just the right balance:


So let me share the overall composition at this point and expand upon the basic grid shown before. As you can see, the grid has been subdivided further and all the elements have been adjusted to relate to the lines of the grid in some way, tying everything together relative to the page:

I know that many designers don’t do this and simply trust their judgement, which is just as valid, especially if the designer is experienced enough, but I prefer to allow my judgement to dictate the design and then use grids to fine tune sizes and positions. This works for me, and showing the structural framework of the design to clients helps to show some of the process that forms the end result.


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