Designing a cover

Untitled-1 cover-idea coverpencil2 coverpencil


Designing a cover is always great. Following from the Frank Millar style of artwork, I knew I wanted a text free cover. Black and white is always a good impact, very contrasting, catches the eye and can give great illusionary effects. Plus as the comic noir style runs through the comic, its only natural to have it on the cover.

I went through a few different designs. I was happy with the first one (above, first picture). It is a cast shadow of jack, looking over his right shoulder, with a smile. as you can see also a knife in his hand. I felt this looked creepy and abstract and interesting, however, when asking people what they thought, no one really knew what they were looking at. Therefore the illustration was not working. I wanted to keep with the creepy smile, so I drafted out a half shadow sketch of jacks face. However I didn’t feel like this would be a strong cover, plus I felt I wanted less detail.

I then took inspiration for a previous drawing I had done in my sketchbook, with just a hand in shadow with a knife. I started to draw this out in various positions and at different angles. I then moved from this idea in a sort of double image in one image approach. I took two designs from pages of the comic book and put them together. I did like this idea, however, I felt it did not communicate the inside of the book to its fullest, and I was unsure about using design within the book on the cover.

I jumped back to the hand and knife idea. Rendered this out fully and applied some detail. After doing this I felt I had a decent cover. Mysterious enough to convey the inside. A hand and knife suggests horror, especially in black and white. Also after finishing off the drawing I noticed that placing it on the top right of the front cover, it looks like the letter ‘J’. Which was a bonus!

I am glad I planned out various covers, and did not stick to my original. The feedback from people was most helpful and pushed me to illustrate a much better outcome. Producing different ideas is crucial to my practice as a visual communicator, as something might not work for someone else, I always need to compromise and adapt to different approaches. A cover for a book is a very important thing to behold and design, and it is vital it is done correctly.


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