Tips and Tricks: Cover Design

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You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but most people do…

How many times have you picked up a book because it looked interesting?

Make sure your creation makes a lasting impression with an attractive, well-designed cover. It’s a great way to attract and pique the viewer’s interest and make your book stand out from the crowd.

With these helpful guidelines, design the cover that will showcase your book in an extraordinary way.

Before designing you cover you should:

  • Identify the target audience: Consider their interests, reading levels, background.
  • Determine the purpose of your message you want to present and plan your cover layout around it.
  • Select appropriate typefaces and organize the text and graphics.


Remember that you are not designing for yourself; you are designing to communicate to others. Take the audiences needs, skills, and abilities, into account when developing your design.


Decide what you want the reader to see or read first and position it accordingly, then decide what you want the reader to read or see next.
Make the most important element you want your readers to see the largest and the least important element the smallest. A few ways to do that is to:

  • Establish a hierarchy of type sizes for headlines, subheads, etc.
  • Be consistent with formatting.
  • Use lines to organize information.
  • Outline a photo or separate it from other elements. The use of space (negative space), is very important as it gives the eye a visual rest, makes a layout easy to follow and can drown attention.

Color on a book-cover can convey moods, create images, attract attention, and identify objects, among other things. When you choose colors – think about the following:

  • Highlighting important elements such as headlines and subheads.
  • Attracting the eye.
  • Creating a mood.
  • Provoking thought or emotion.

Red – Energy, Passion, Power, Excitement Orange – Happy, Confident, Creative, Adventurous
Yellow – Wisdom, Playful, Satisfying, Optimistic Green – Health, Contentment, Harmony
Blue – Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthiness Violet – Mystic, Beauty, Inspiration
Brown – Easiness, Passivity Black – Finality, Transitional Color


Key tips: Choose a font that embodies the personality of your book or theme. Aggressive, Violent, Peaceful, Confusion……..You should use two typefaces but make sure they are very different. If you decide to use only one font, choose one that has different variations.

Images and Graphics

Your Cover: the first impression on your readers. Once you have decided what type of feeling you want to create, choose an image. Don’t forget, unusual shapes can be used to attract attention. There are basically three types of shapes: Geometric shapes (a triangle), natural shapes (a being, plant, pet etc.) and abstract shapes (an illustration)

If you don’t have your own image and you are looking for one, check out public domain, royalty free graphics web sites or subscription graphics online services that charge a membership fee for unlimited graphics downloads….
Here are some some sites with open access images:
Negative Space

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