Designing for the stars, part 2

FROM RAY TO RICHES by ERNEST LEE THOMAS

We’ve created a book cover design for another Broadway star.

Ernest L. Thomas, a veteran of Broadway, television, and film, has the distinction of having a hit television show or movie in every decade since he began his career forty years ago. He starred as the popular character Raj in the popular ABC hit sitcom, What’s Happening, and the number-one syndicated show nationwide, What’s Happening Now. Award-winning director Spike Lee chose him to play Sidney X opposite Denzel Washington in Malcolm X. Millennials fell in love with the character Mr. Omar, a role created for him by Chris Rock and Ali LeRoi for the global hit show Everybody Hates Chris. TV Guide chose him as one of America’s favorites in the issue titled Stars We Still Love.

From Raj to Riches is a motivational autobiography about how to overcome show business and life through faith.

Ernest is still a busy man and there was never much time to consult, but in time we managed to please him with a wonderful cover.

If you want us to create your book cover design too, visit us at MaryDes.

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Designing for the stars, part 1

The power of the Goddess by Marjean Holden

Recently Leon Smith Publishing asked us to create book cover designs for several Hollywood actors.
Marjean Holden is a seasoned actress. She played the role of Officer Carol Flores, dying in the arms of Bruce Willis in the action film Hostage, was also featured in Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World and Jan De Bont’s Speed 2: Cruise Control. Holden is known for such television roles as Arina in the adventure series BeastMaster

She is also a writer, international trainer, and a mom. She has transformed and inspired tens of thousands of students worldwide. Marjean is a certified Sacred Gifts Guide and president of Power of the Goddess, which focuses on the empowerment of women through highly experiential events, online products, and resources.
It was a challenge to create a cover design for her book “The power of the goddess”.  Marjean knows what she wants and every detail was carefully examined and had to meet her expectations. But, the result is eye-catching and we were proud she was pleased with it.

 

If you want us to create your book cover design too, visit us at MaryDes.

Book cover: Beautiful Angel – David Ho

ABOUT THE BOOK

The story has been described as a cross between “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” and tells the story of a successful and wealthy businesswoman who runs into a homeless person whom she doesn’t realize was actually an old high school classmate whom she despised (the homeless person DOES recognize her, though).

Shortly after this encounter, the business woman gets into a near-fatal accident and is taken back to her high school past, where, in order to save her soul, she must help this homeless person (who is now in his teens) avoid his grim fate.

GUIDELINES FROM THE AUTHOR

The story does have a message of not just the “strong” helping out the “weak” and being a mentor to them, but of different people reaching out to help each other. In that sense, I kind of like the logo my friend drew for me with the two hands – one a young, healthy hand and the other an older, more frail hand – reaching out to help and support each other (because the logo could also be interpreted as two “different” hands supporting each other. Not just an old and young).

I see the book cover as, which is a beautiful, glowing Christmas tree, brightly decorated with the beautiful angel doll on top.

The Christmas tree is set inside a small to medium banquet sized room (which is how I see the main room of Westside shelter as). Behind is a window where we can see a beautiful, starry Christmas night and we also see the Westside logo above.

 

ABOUT OUR DESIGN

There are several reasons why it is better to have the angel not on top of the Christmas tree:

Visibility: When your angel is at the top, it is to small to attract attention and even less to see details. When put prominent on the front it draws attention.

Message: When placed at the top, your audience will see an overall Christmas setting, but don’t get the message. People will not understand the importance of your angel in this design.

Marketing: You’ve done a lot of effort in writing your story but your work does not stop with writing, you will need to convince your audience to read your story, therefore it is very important to have elements in your design that can facilitate marketing. The angel on top of the tree will not do this for you, on the other hand, my angel can do this, and, I don’t know if you have noticed, but the character “A” of “Angel” has a pendant on her leg which can be changed to, for instance, the logo. So my design offers many marketing possibilities.

Contrast: My design deliver you contrast. The warmth of the interior against the cold outside. I have learned at school that playing with contrast is very important to grab the attention of the viewer.
There is a lot written on the internet about this:

“When a page is without contrast, our eyes don’t know where to look first or what is important. Contrast captures our attention and forces our eyes to focus on the important elements of the design. Also, it can be used to make headlines and subheadings stand out, therefore, making them more readable. Above all, contrast plays an important role in establishing the visual hierarchy of the page.”
(Courtney Clark, Managing Director, User Experience)

“We designers are constantly trying to establish hierarchies of importance, draw people to certain areas of a page and communicate a clear and concise message at the very heart of our work. Creating relationships between different elements of a design is just about the most important thing that you can do.”
(John O’Nolan in Fully Understanding Contrast in Design)

Font: I have used a Serif font which will increase readability when your cover is presented as thumbnail.
Readability studies have actually found that serif typefaces are easier to read because the added strokes make each character more distinctive. More distinctive letters are easier for the eye to recognize quickly.
The amount of attention a design garners is not based on a typeface alone. It is a matter of color, contrast, imagery and typography. It takes all of these things to grab someone’s attention.

So the design I’ve presented to you is really well thought of.

 

“Wow. These look great! I love the “heart shaped” center on the Angel’s chest.”
David Ho

Thank you David, it was a pleasure working with you.

Look for David Ho’s Beautiful Angel on Amazon.

Check out our other covers.

 

Book cover: Abraham Frost – The Cup of Jamshid by Andrew Old

author_andrew-old

What Andrew Old, the author wanted:

I’m looking for a cover for my book, Abraham Frost – The Cup of Jamshid. This is the first of a series of eight novels, all about Abraham Frost and his friends, aimed at children aged 12 years and up. The series is contemporary fantasy initially set in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, and Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains, but will cross the globe, travelling to locations such as Mount Olympus, the Pyramids of Giza, Persepolis, and the fabled Asgard.

The cover will need to work both as a physical print book (hence the blurb on the back, and ideas around what I imagine on the spine) but also as a thumbnail on amazon.com

CREATING THE COVER

First let’s analyze the order:

This book addresses children, so the cover should be adapted to their age but not childish. It is part of a series and therefore some branding should be done. And the cover should be still nice looking in thumbnail format.

In other words: no adult references, full of contrast, high recognizable design, detailed but not overloaded.

In order to get the branding right we wanted to work with replaceable elements? The subtitle of this book is “The Cup of Jamshid”. It was obvious that we would use a cup as main element placed on a reusable background for branding reasons. This background was formed with the Wheel of Runes together with particles and light effects to enhance contrast. This would give the book a more mystic appearance. It would also allow us to easily change the background color to any other depending on the subtitle. This way we could give every book of the series a separate and unique atmosphere but still keep the branding.

A lot of branding was done on the spine too. The series is about Abraham Frost, a boy with freezing capabilities and therefore we used an ice crystal as top icon with the name Abraham Frost beneath it. This will return on every book in this series. Followed by the number of the book in the series, the subtitle, name of author and a representation from the front element as icon on the bottom. This way you even don’t need to read the subtitle on the spine, you just recognize the book by it’s icon.

the-cup-of-jamshid_branding


“This really is amazing work, I’m so glad I found you. I couldn’t be more impressed at the beautiful cover and banners you’ve made.
I’m extremely happy we teamed up!”

– Andrew Old –

Also:

Look at the book trailer we’ve created.

More about this book.

Want to know more about our book covers and other services? Visit our website.

 

Book cover: Death on Paradise Island – B.M. Allsopp

We are proud to announce that we have created a special cover for B.M. Allsopp’s first book Death on Paradise Island, as part of a new Fiji Island Mystery series.

Our mission according B.M. Allsopp:

CREATE A BOOK COVER FOR BOTH E-BOOK & PAPERBACK (front, back, spine)
Death on Paradise Island is the first in a series of police procedural novels set in Fiji, featuring sometime saviour of Fiji rugby, Inspector Joe Horseman and Sergeant Susila Singh.
The cover needs above all to convey a sense of place – a boutique native materials resort on a tiny coral island. Elements should include a coconut palm, azure water, white sand. I’m not sure whether any building or figure should be included, or whether the image should be a drawing or photograph.

Design should be strong to display well in thumbnail format. I see it as overall bright and light – perhaps a threatening element could be storm clouds if you think that’s necessary to establish genre.

 Creating the book cover

After doing some research on Fiji Islands, a place we’ve never been before, and searching for the right pictures we came up with this design.

The palm tree is creating an arch which makes it possible to play with contrast: threatening dark clouds broken by sunlight beams Illuminating a heavenly tropical island. Thumbnails do not ask for many details, but when a design is in normal format it may not lack details. This is why birds are flying over the azure sea and you will see footprints near in the sandy beach near the title and disappearing after the palm tree. This contributes to the mystic atmosphere without the need of dead body’s or blood. Contrast is also created with fonts. The serif font makes it also readable in thumbnail format and the red colour draws the attention of the viewer. However: nothing of what you see is real. The sand, the sea, the beach, the palm trees at the distance, the palm tree in front, the little shack, the footsteps, birds, clouds, all are separate pictures merged seamlessly and enhanced with colour and light effects, as if it was real.

MaryDes has designed a terrific cover which will attract readers to my book. She has excellent English communication skills and responded quickly to my many amateur comments with revised designs and explanations. Maryna is a talented perfectionist who is generous with her time and expertise. Next time I will ask for MaryDes.” – B.M.Allsopp

Death on Paradise Island is shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Writers.

Since cover creation is only one aspect of all designing work that needs to be done, we also helped her out with her marketing issues. We’ve created social media banners, flyers, business cards, bookmarks and book trailers for her.

We wish Bernadette a lot of success.

See her book trailer on YouTube.

Visit her website at: http://www.bmallsopp.com/

Order her book at Amazon

Want to know mor about our services? Visit our website ar www.marydes.eu.

Book cover: ReStart

“Unleashing your potential starts with overcoming barriers to success.”

Chad Goldwasser  (Austin, Texas,USA)

Chad Goldwasser, the number 1 ranked real estate agent, lives his mission every day by efficiently and effectively guiding real estate professionals through the path to success, financial freedom and a better life. He does this by empowering them with easy-to-implement methods, systems and tools.
His new book, “ReStart” is out and we are proud to have created the cover design for this book.

He wanted us to create an epic book cover about the 7 key system the author used to become the #1 real estate agent in the world.

By analyzing his wishes we extracted some key elements: real estate business and the 7 key system.
We wanted this cover to enhance the professionalism of Chad Goldwasser, build trust and invite to read.

The city nightlife enhanced with some visual effects was used to create the background, but the most important element was the picture of Chad himself which really needed to show maturity, professionalism and dynamism. We did not like the original picture he delivered, but together with his contact, Joshua, we found the right image that could convince every reader.

Thank you Chad for giving us the opportunity to create this design for you.

Website of Chad Goldwasser

Check out more covers at our website.