Cover Design: New Dusk

SPOILERS for the book within this article!

Last time, I introduced how I came to the idea of simplistic, symbolic covers.

<img class="wp-image-170" src="https://i2.wp.com/prospectandraven.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0104.jpg?resize=600%2C450" alt="The basic concept" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/prospectandraven.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0104.jpg?w=2048 2048w, https://i2.wp.com/prospectandraven.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0104.jpg?resize=300%2C225 300w, https://i2.wp.com/prospectandraven.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0104.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i2.wp great site.com/prospectandraven.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0104.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1170px) 100vw, 1170px” />

The basic concept

The idea for New Dusk was to have a splatter of blood behind the title. Each of the images on each of the covers are meant to symbolise a key element of the story. With the mystery in the first book centred around the Demon blood drug, blood was an obvious choice x8pnx0s. But blood can also represent death, so it wasn’t giving away too much to have the blood on the front cover of a mystery story.

But before blood splatters, I needed fonts for my title and the other text that would go on the cover.

Having looked at a lot of book covers, I saw that most only had two different fonts on, so after perusing FontSquirrel for a while, I chose Ostrich Sans and Cardo. I went for one Serif and one Sans Serif font (that’s one with the little embellishments at the ends of the letters, one without) to give some contrast between them, but otherwise kept the fonts pretty simple.

I originally planned to make the blood splatter myself using a fake blood recipe I found on Pinterest, but a quick search on Google showed me there were loads of photoshop brushes ready available.

I looked for brushes that were free for commercial use, and found this set on Deviant Art, which I really liked. By layering together a few of the different brushes, I was able to make what I hope is quite a dramatic splatter.

New Dusk Cover

I decided not to put the splatter behind the title in the end. One, because layering text over images can lead to difficulty reading the text. You can fix that with a few tricks, but it’s extra work, and besides that, the cover was looking like a lot of white space. White space can be good – it makes things easy to look at – but too much and the image wouldn’t have any impact.

With the layout of the cover, I wanted to draw the attention of the reader to the title. The angle of the blood splatter and the words alongside it are intended to draw the eye down to the title, which I hope gives the cover a sense of motion and energy. The words are a direct quote from on of the first few chapters of the book, and intended again to reveal something of the theme of the novel.

This one was pretty simple to put together. The majority of the time spent on it was on choosing fonts, playing around with colours, sizes and the general layout. But with all that stuff sorted, the next cover has half the ingredients ready to go. Keeping all the fonts and colours the same, as well as much of the layout gives the series a sense of cohesion – they’ll look like they’re all part of the same set, while not looking exactly the same.

Total Cost: £0 – all brushes and fonts downloaded for free under Creative Commons Free For Commercial Use Licence

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