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Developing my Penguin Student Design Awards Book Cover....

Although I have had time to explore the book's themes I am designing a cover for ('Noughts & Crosses') to develop a concept of a design which relates to both the contemporary readership and the narrative, I still had a few tweaks to make my design look professional in relation to other books in this genre.

I conducted some research into how other children's genre of book cover and how they use minimalistic style and selective colour. Some examples of these can be seen below.

I have found that each has a design element which alludes to something in the narrative, or a theme which the book covers such as the poppies which make up the horse for 'War Horse' cover. This has reinforced my thoughts that it's important to have the unnerving overlapping watery texture photograph on my rose photos, however, I think this makes it difficult to read the text so I will separate the texture from the type.

The covers all use a colour scheme and repeat the use of colours throughout the imagery and text. I have used this as inspiration in selecting colours from the rose photograph to apply to my text - so it's not just black writing which may seem dull to the child audience, but instead bright greens and red.

Above: My Photographs of Roses to apply to my design

Looking back at Penguin's specifications for this design, I found that it requires any imagery which has been used and not belong to you, to be accredited on the back cover. However, I couldn't find a specific photographer or origin website for the rose images I used. Therefore, I bought and photographed my own images of roses, mimicking the layout I had already constructed in my design. Editing the photographs and altering the Levels on Photoshops meant they look professional and vibrant.

Above are three versions of development:

1. With layout I wanted, but with Rose photos from online which needed replacing.

2. My own rose photos used, but I noticed when I printed a mock-up that the text alignment on the back cover was not even.

3. Final design, this incorporated the changes of alignment so that the back cover text (supplied by Penguin) are balanced and easily legible.

Below: Final Mock-up of my book cover design.

I'm really happy with how this cover turned out, and I feel like, through my extensive cover design research, I have gained a better understanding of how text and image can work together to create an impression of the narrative of the book and appeal to a contemporary marketplace.

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