October 7, 2013 by bck1402
There were points during writing, and especially during editing, that I wondered what the covers to the books would be like. I did a few sketches, trying to put into a visual, the ideas I had about Syndi-Jean and The Facility itself. What did I need to reflect the story that I had written?
There was a sketch of her sitting under a tree with her console on her lap, she’s typing away… and in the plain background, there’s a scribble – “cityscape from high” It would look like she was in a garden in the clouds. Well… not that high, really.
That felt kinda busy, and seemed like she would be writing about the city. So, scrap one.
And how would I have to visualise The Facility itself? Corridors and classrooms? The cafeteria where she meets her friends over lunch? Typing away at her desk in her room? The garden or the pool, maybe? Locations where the story would take place, essentially.
Then I figured that simplicity might be the key. There’s a series of light novels that I have been following as best as I could (not every book got to the market here) and I love the cover design. For each of the books, there is a different color, different icon at the top (reflective of an element in the story) and the title design varies while the core section of the title remains intact all across, complete with a silhouette of the main character- Haruhi Suzumiya. The original (Japanese) versions featured a different character gracing each of the covers. Of course, that’s tied to the illustrations within, the manga and the anime (season one is highly recommended, Season two is good, but may test your patience especially the Endless Eight arc). Yes, Haurhi does get name dropped in the Syndi-Jean stories too.
Anyhoo, since my original three novel structure got split apart to a trilogy of trilogies (nine books in all), the concept of having a figure on the cover vary from book to book seemed feasible. The main title could be sprawled across the top, the subtitle hovering around the lower third mark and off to the right (figure on the left of it), and a different color for each book. And so…
The first figure was a sketch in pencil while the following figure, was rendered in pen for a finer line. They really are two different drawings.
The middle one (Green) was shared on Facebook with a select few for feedback. The color was an issue, so blue was picked instead, which was more positive. The font was also called to question, but it wasn’t clear which font, despite asking for clarification, so I kept her name as is and changed the rest. I thought the title design fit the idea, having her name be loose and free while “The Journal” carry a more formal style. But while there was no clarification from my little focus group, I threw together a few more, less rigid (i.e. computerised) designs for the title.
There are ten there and, while I got some (very little) feedback, the seventh one got more than one notice. (The cut-off figure to the left was the idea for the second book.)
Granted I could have more cover concepts and design, and maybe I will, but all this is really just for a test print for the first book. So, now, I reach out to you, writers and artists of this lovely community… Any thoughts or feedback? Which title design do you think would work?