Good Cover Design Tips

Harlen Malkowich
Nov 03, 2016
By

Contrary to popular belief, we always judge books by their covers. Because of this, and because the marketplace is so competitive, your cover can often make or break your publication. The cover of anything is important because it's the first thing a reader sees. You want to have a design that grabs their attention and portrays an accurate idea of what your publication is about. So here's a few tips on good cover design. 

Cover Design - Magazines (no title)

Make everything count

If you're going to introduce a graphic element, text, or photograph make sure it helps you communicate with the reader. Try not to be too literal. Look for something that expresses mood, aesthetic, direction, or overall tone of the publication. You want the cover to entice the reader into the publication without explaining it all. Stay mysterious and eye-catching. The more simplistic your cover idea is, the more likely you'll be able to create a successful design. If your cover idea is too complex, you may have difficulty creating a design that looks professional.

Utilize colours and the background

Really think where your publication cover will be seen most. You may want to avoid certain colour backgrounds which will disappear on customer's white screens or retailer's shelves. Use a color, a texture, or a background illustration to stand out from the rest. If you don't feel comfortable picking colors, look at some of the color palettes available online to get a selection of colors that will work well together and you can start from there.

Cover Design - Books

Make your title large and readable

Reduce your cover design on screen to the size of a thumbnail and see if you can read it. Can you make out what it's about? If not, it may be best to simplify. Also you should use a title font that's easy to read. There's no sense using a font that's unreadable from far away. Particularly watch out for script typefaces, the kind that look lacy and elegant at full size can often disappear when small.

Cover Design - Albums

Get inspired and be creative

Check out lots of covers! You may not be able to copy all their techniques, but the best publication covers are great sources of inspiration. Don't be afraid to stray from the norm, some of the most intriguing covers are very different from the publications content. Contrast in colours, concepts and ideas is what attracts us to pick something up and engage.

Book cover design continues to evolve as an amazing commercial art form and powerful business tool. And now it's time for you to use it to your full advantage! Get out there and make some headlines, kid!

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