Failure vs. serendipity
Yesteryear Press hired N-K to design a historical mystery, Cover Her Body. The book cover was an offshoot of the graphics created used for the book’s website, but did not start off that way. Three initial layouts were presented and the client did not like any of the designs. Although I had researched other historical fiction book covers, the imagery was too specific to another era (Victorian–too fancy) or too plain (conveying little about the book). To capture the theme and mood of this story, I considered a custom photo, but time didn’t allow that with the upcoming book launch event.
When a client doesn’t like the design, we “settle up” for the work that was rendered. I was one step away from losing the cover design project. Before we came to a price agreement there was another job in the works: The book’s website. When I presented the graphics, the client loved the imagery and colors and wanted to use the same art for the book cover. It was serendipity!
I adapted the artwork from a horizontal web banner to a vertical book cover. The design solution started with a provided snapshot photo, a scene of the historic town’s river (the actual setting for the book). I added a layer of color over the image to give it a dark mysterious look. Only minor adjustments were made to the photo so it would fit the cover’s specified measurements. Next, the title and subhead (set in Caslon Antique) were placed in the darkest area so it would pop. The author’s logo type was added at the bottom of the page and I was happy to have an approved cover design.