This was….complicated. I really like the final design, and I was a little surprised when the author decided to go with something so minimal. I think with the young adult genre as it is right now that this design will fit in perfectly. The simple colors, design, and an object that’s not only a main part of the story but also something that will catch the reader’s eye is just what it needed.
The original concept I had been given was going to be an anime style illustration, not something my department does. I mostly work with stock photography or images from our custom illustrations department, so it didn’t look like we were going in that direction. If I remember right the idea of a blue ball of flame with blue smoke/aura around it was the next idea the author had supplied. However there was another concept that I was unaware of until we got on the call.
It seems that the original concept for the cover was extremely complicated but seemed like it would be fairly easy…until you start trying to find images to make it work. I’m generally limited to 2 images for a cover and additional images can be purchased when needed. What the author was really looking for was a dark room with a partly open door with blue smoke coming through it and a ball of fire in the room with light coming through a window you couldn’t see because it was behind the camera, a bean bag chair, book case, and other various things to help fill up the room. I actually surprised myself in being able to pull this off to some extent but neither of these mockups turned out to be something I am super proud of beyond actually making it look slightly realistic. Needless to say I am ecstatic that he went with this cover design.
Like I said, I think this works well with the genre, the colors turned out lovely, and I really like how the title turned out. You would be surprised how tricky typography can been sometimes and having a shortish single word and room to play leads to cool giant letters that really stand out. Although this was really complicated I learned a lot about composition by working with several images in an environment that they don’t generally belong in and got a little more practice with adjusting colors to match on various images. Although you will never see those designs just know that my future designs will hopefully improve just from the practice alone.