October 2, 2014

Turned out to be a best-seller

The covers

The covers

What began as freelance project to illustrate a book cover turned into an opportunity to design the entire book.

The owner of a small start-up publishing house, who is familiar with my work and has also bought a few of my paintings, asked me to illustrate a cover for a book she was putting together. She had held a contest, inviting local writers to submit short stories about their experiences revolving around a beach house — any beach house — in the Rehoboth Beach vicinity. She planned to publish the stories as “The Beach House” — a book people could take to the beach (hence the subtitle, “Beach Reads,” which is also the name of the writing contest).

Since I needed to make the illustration fit the format, I offered to design the entire book. This way, I would have some control over the look and feel. I worked closely with my client, making numerous pencil sketches, selecting fonts, adjusting type sizes and line spacing until, finally, we arrived at a design we were both comfortable with. I also designed the cover with the flexibility to swap out the illustration, the book’s title and background color and still maintain its integrity.

This first book was very well received, and excitement for the next book seems to be picking up steam. I took this project on as a challenge to work on my watercolor painting and also to add to my skill set in long-form design projects. The process helped me become a better and more productive designer. Looking forward to another challenge — maybe even write a short story.

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