Monday, April 15, 2013

Beyond the Cover: a cover process revealed

Lets just jump straight in with the money shot of the finished cover that I just received from the publisher:
Published by Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO, in September 2013

When I started the process for this cover the initial problem I fixated on was how to show the boys in a graveyard, close enough to see expressions, but not so close that I couldn't get some eerie graveyard details in the mix. I flipped through a lot of old graveyard pictures trying to get inspiration. Of course I also needed to leave room for those teensie details known as the title and creator credits.

My first stab at it looked like this:

This sketch was well received but the title needed to be in the top third of the illustration for marketing purposes. Oops, back to the drawing table. "What about a wrought iron sign with the boys and graveyard under it?" was one suggestion. I tried this but never did get anything I just loved:

More flipping through pictures of graveyards. Then I came across some pictures of old mausoleums... ah-haaa...

Now we were on to something. First I did this rough:

The creative specs required a 1 inch bleed around the top, bottom and right side of the piece so I filled up that area with good graveyard details. They may not be visible on the final book but I had fun doing them and they make the piece work better as a stand-alone illustration:

Finally the finished piece:

I did my own type treatment also, although the designers at Magic Wagon, didn't use it - theirs is much better!


Rae Ann Parker said...

What a great cover! Thank you for posting about the process. It's fascinating.

Amanda Driscoll said...

Awesome job, Mary! Very cool to see your process. Congrats!!!