I am now on version 4 of my book cover and at the point where I have re-read the brief umpteen times and am starting to doubt whether or not I am on the right lines. This seems to be becoming a habit with me.
I have pursued my idea of a guide-book on Shetland and am fairly happy with the images I took for this. One thing I didn’t consider when I was taking the photographs though was the size and format of the image or images I would need and I’m now having, not just to resize, change the format and in some cases, discard the images because the don’t really work as they are and I would lose too much of the meaning to crop them to say, square.
I talked in my last post about my first attempt seeming very cluttered and disjointed. I wanted to use the main image as shown here, extended the sky at the top so that I had more room for the title, but felt that this alone did not say enough about Shetland so added the other images to the bottom. It didn’t work though as the small images at the bottom looked out of place.
My second idea was to use a plain background with the main image to one side and the others placed along the bottom and under the text. Again I did not like the result, partly because the blue doesn’t work with the blue of the sky in the images I had selected but it also looked clumsy and disjointed.
I tried to simplify things for number three, changing the colour of the background as well as the main image and simplifying the layout at the bottom and although I was happier than with the previous attempts, it still wasn’t right. I do prefer the top half of this illustration though so the next step was to create a panel made out of four images for the bottom of the cover. This meant going back to ‘layers’. I don’t know why I find this so incredibly difficult, I follow the guidance religiously but is seems as though it is in a foreign language.
However, after many hours and more by luck than judgement, I have a panel with the four images I wanted in it.
So far so good, however when placed into the illustration, the black is much too heavy so I need to go back and try it again with a much narrower border, maybe a dark blue to match the text would work better, or maybe a white or just transparent so that the background shows through. I will need to experiment to see what works, also think about what, if anything else might need some space on the cover, e.g. the author of the book.
I do feel as though I am finally making some progress though and am starting to believe that I might actually finish the course.