I took on the role of cover designer for my Campfire Stories collaboration. This was my first time designing for a group of people. I had a few doubts. I’m not an expert photography editor, or an illustrator with ten years experience.
However, I have some skills. I’ve taken a few art classes. I’ve spent many hours looking at covers, movie posters, etc. I’ve experimented a lot with photography in the past, and was a part of a photography group. I’ve used Gimp, PicMonkey, and Paint to create different pictures. Experimenting helps a lot with the learning process.
Plus, I decided to volunteer for the job because I enjoy making covers. It takes awhile. Sometimes I spend over 8 hours just experimenting. Nonetheless, in comparison to writing a book, 8 hours feels like instant gratification. I also love visual arts.
Initially, I spoke with the group leader about what kind of cover to make. I wanted to make something with a campfire. She wanted the lettering to be a little girly, which made sense for our concept. We didn’t want to make a horror cover, because that’s not what we wrote. The cover should represent the writing, and our anthology has different genres within it. There’s horror, fairy tales, and even a tall tale.
I showed the group leader some pictures, and we picked out a couple. I ended up using her favorite: a campfire in the woods. I had to use a big, bold font; I did not want the title to get lost in the background (right). It’s amazing how long I spent looking at fonts. I have a new appreciation for fonts.
I also did additional mark ups with the font the group leader suggested (left).
At this point, I posted 5 of the cover designs for the rest of the group to see. A different approach was suggested. I had a conversation with another group member to get an idea of what she was looking for in a cover.
This time I went with a more minimalist approach. This cover set was faster to put together, because I did not use any filters. I wanted an elegant font this time. I picked a couple cursive fonts and a couple funky fonts to give the group options.
The group voted this month! And the final cover is:
Working with a group was an interesting experience. It’s different trying to design something for someone else. It involves more than just my vision. However, it was fun and I enjoyed the process. Everyone was kind and cooperative. I hope it’s everything they wanted, and that we sell lots of books.
Thank you to the photographers who put their work in public domain.
Photo credits in order of appearance: