I realise that I haven’t posted anything in a while. Here’s why.
For the final assignment of Computer Application class (aka Computer Graphic Printing Procedure) we had to design a book cover with a dust jacket for a storybook. (It could be from an existing story or a made up one) I chose “my own”, created within a short period of time.
I was rushing to finish this assignment since I first got it. I faced some difficulties because my initial design, not these, were “too abstract” and the lecturer wanted it to be “less Fine Arts”. Lol, his words, not mine. He wanted something that can be easily understood, since it is a cover. Because I was still in the process of moving houses, everything was so chaotic and I didn’t have any materials to draw on. Thankfully, because I was moving house, there were some cardboard boxes. So I drew on that.
The story I made up was titled “Devoured, Deflowered”. It’s basically about a rape victim who will be executed because she was raped. And it seems she was related to a crime in the 14th century. She has to prove her innocence somehow or she will die.
Before showing the actual cover, I will show the process first.
As you see, I was a stupid kid, I drew the book cover with the “imagined” dust jacket first, with the red portion of the cover in a separate piece.
(WHY. I guess I was panicking too much)
I was supposed to draw the red silhouette with the picture and background, and have the brown silhouette as separate, but I did the opposite!
Anyway, first picture was drawn fully with watercolour pencils and the second with ball pen. For the third picture: I then added a sky digitally using my own photos, and made the cover how it should be (with the red silhouette instead of brown). I also cleaned up the shapes and the silhouette where the die cut would be. Last image shows how it would be theoretically with the dust jacket.
You will understand what I mean by this by seeing this final product image:
The first image is with the dust jacket and the second, without. As you see, the brown silhouette is the dust jacket. Requirements for dust jacket: Must include a die cut shape of any kind.
Going to a print shop to ask them to print is a serious challenge. Thankfully for me, I had a classmate follow me so that we can both derp derp and print together. (With whatever little knowledge we have on printing.)
The guy at the print shop actually taught us a little bit about printing, papers, and binding types. For this one, my cover was Sandgrain Diamond 250gsm and the dust jacket Mapple White 140gsm (which was, in the end, still too flimsy for a jacket.) The binding is perfect binding, which is common for books!
The book cover was cut shorter at the width than where it should be, making everything seem more to the edge. (printing shop people problems) Somehow the dust jacket flap (inside the book, not shown) was much longer even though the digital file was precise. I cut the die cut (building silhouette) on my own by the way! 😀
Inside the book is actually just a preface, followed by empty white pages. This is just a “mock up” or “prototype”. I spent RM45 for the printing and binding. Because my book spine is thicker than most other people’s it’s more expensive (by ~RM8) For a spine of 1.7cm, it’s about 156 pages.
Here’s the original cover art:
What I learned from all of this:
- When printing, equip yourself with basic knowledge (like the keywords, preparing your work in CMYK, adding bleed and crop marks) and also cash.
- Know the measurements of the thing you want to print, in cm and inches! Because they can’t seem to stick to one unit! Pick “easy” measurements, don’t manually size it according to how it looks on screen. Choose easy stuff like “20cm” rather than “18.764895cm”
- Choosing paper types. Some papers end up making your work more saturated. For mine, I didn’t use that one because it’s not suitable with my idea. Some papers are more difficult to cut if you’re cutting them up with a normal scissors like I did. Also, don’t get too excited with textures on papers. If your design is detailed, printing it on textured paper can be risky and may look chaotic.
- Link images in Adobe Illustrator (File>Place) so that when you edit the images, it automatically updates.
- Avoid Serif fonts because it’s hard to read if the font size is small.
- The title of the book is also part of the design, arrange according to focus. Don’t make everything too grand or too bland. When sketching, put in the text as well. Don’t be like me! I relied too much on my artwork and forgotten the text completely.
That’s all I can think of. Those may sound basic, but I didn’t know any of that when I started working on this. That’s how bad my knowledge in this field was.