How long does book cover design take? Until it’s DONE: lessons from a challenging cover design case study

 In book design tips, current projects

Most of my covers take a few weeks. This one took almost a year.

The author paid in November of 2012.

The title is “The Oppressor’s Toolkit” so I started with these:

tools10tools8tools7tools6tools5

 

Karim wanted to focus more on a toolbox, so I made these:

toolsnew4toolsnew1toolsnew9toolsnew9

 

But he thought the toolboxes looked out of place and would be better on a road, maybe with blood, set against a background of ruins.

toolsnewBtoolsnewA

 

I really liked these, but he didn’t.

I made some more:

tools719Btools712Ftools712Dtools712Btools712A

My favorite was the purple one with the T’s as hammers.

He liked the shadow hammer and wanted to focus on that:

 

tools719Gtools719D

 

I thought those were pretty good. He wanted the shadow hammer to be coming from a microphone – more symbolic.

tools831Htools831Gtools831Dtools831Ctools831Btools831A

 

But neither of us really liked those either.

At this point we were stumped. I offered him a refund so he could try some other designers; we were also thinking about putting the project on 99designs.com to see what they came up with.

But then, freed from the responsibility of producing a cover based on Karim’s suggestions, looking back over the project with fresh eyes and a deeper understanding of what the author was looking for, I made these.

 

tools916Btools916E tools916Dtools916C

 

 

These are much nicer covers  than anything I’d come up with before, and Karim agreed (although he requested the silhouettes be specific historical figures).

The final will probably be something like this…

toolsfinal3

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