Dawn DeVries Sokol


Over the Top with a Hop

Hello, hoppers! I hope you’re having a GREAT day! We are on our next to last day of the Art Doodle Love Blog Hop. I have been enjoying all the great pages the artists are showing on their blogs!

Today we have artist, designer, and author Jill K. Berry. I finally met Jill in Seattle last spring at her book signing downtown. She’s so innovative and inspiring! Go on over to her blog and show her some love!!!

And here on dawndsokol.com, we’re going back to the cover design process. Last time, we left off at a point where I had just sent many covers over after more feedback. And I told my editor that I really liked cover #2. Here’s what she said:

“#2 is our favorite, too. I think these are just about ready to show! Of the ones below, I think 1, 2, and 3 are the strongest. On 1 and 2, however, I wonder if we need just one more element on the spine to break up the solid black. I don't think we should bring back the numbers…but can you think of any other subtle detail we could include here? Maybe a fine line of white dots? Or just some sort of delicate scribble?”

So I emailed back with this:

“Does something like this work? (right) These are "scribbles" I used on interior pages toward the back of the book...

If you like this, I will put it on the second cover, too and send that over.”

After that, I sent over the other one with the scribble:

My editor sent back this request:

“These are looking great! ...We think we only want to present the pink version and the blue version (not the green one with the linen spine from before). I think we'd like to present the two you just sent exactly as is, and then we also had a couple of other variations in mind. One idea is to use words or some sort of meaningful scribbles on the spine instead, something that you could imagine a person writing or drawing in the journal, like "Last night I dreamt that…" or "when I was young, I wanted to become…" (or anything else you think would work better). And then we'd also like to try a version of each with maybe one or two less paisleys on the backdrop, just to see a slightly simplified design.

I have to say, I love how the backdrops now look like gorgeous sunsets setting behind those houses. Such a cool effect. We love how it's coming together!”

When your editor and publisher are this enthused about the cover design, you know you’re on to something great! This kind of vibe happens quite a bit, but as a designer, you want it to happen EVERY time you design a cover! I’ve had a few design projects in the past where it was a REAL struggle on all sides. Things just wouldn’t be jiving either way. But when it’s strong, you just feel it and I felt we were going in a great direction with this one!

So I sent back a few more covers for my editor to present to others at Abrams (click on to see larger):

This was right around July 4 and we were working on finishing up the interior files. Here’s how my editor responded to this set:

“Also, the covers are looking great! I think we're at a good stopping point. I'll be showing them to our in-house designers next week (almost all of our senior staff is gone this week), and we'll move forward from there. It's okay if the cover releases a few days behind the main book.”

Come back tomorrow to learn about the team’s selection and suggestions and make sure to enter the Mega Giveaway below!!!