Dawn DeVries Sokol


Hop To It

We’re continuing today with our Art Doodle Love Blog Hop with a visit to Aimee Dolich’s Artsyville. Aimee shows what she did in her copy of Art Doodle Love!

Today here on dawndsokol.com, I want to show you the start of the Art Doodle Love cover design process. If you are new to my artwork you may not know that I am also a book designer. So I design all my own books. Lately, I haven’t been doing much design for others’ books, but I’ve designed Jenn Mason’s The Art of the Family Tree, Holly Harrison’s Mixed-Media Collage, and Lisa Engelbrecht’s Modern Mark Making, just to name a few. Seems like I’m just too busy with my own books, and that’s fine with me!

I used to design the cover of a book first, with a few interior pages for the publisher to evaluate and approve. Covers are so important because it is the first thing the consumer sees. With my own books, I’ve been designing the interiors first and then moving on to the cover once the interiors are close to final. I used to base the interior design on the cover look, but now it’s the other way around. Honestly, it’s nice to get the cover out of the way, but it’s also nice to have the interiors finished to the point the cover becomes the only focus. Either way, it’s definitely a process.

With Art Doodle Love, my publisher (STC/Craft, an imprint of Abrams) signaled it was time to think about the cover so I emailed a simple design to them.

This is what I emailed to my editor:

“The black tape over the spine makes the colors pop. I tape a lot of my journals with the black tape over the spine like this. I want to try to make it like one of the covers of my journals but more simple. I am going to send you some scans later of those just to give you a sense of what they look like. I need to play with the title more.”

By looking at this cover, you’d think that we are pretty close to being done. (And looking back at this, I’m pleased to know that the actual cover wasn’t far from my original vision. That doesn’t happen that often!) But there are some minor details and background issues that are yet to evolve. My editor liked the direction I was taking but wanted to see some options. And that’s any cover process. Options are needed! So I set to work on varying it up with suggestions from my editor:

Here are my notes I emailed to her with the above cover roughs:

“I am attaching four covers. I did experiment with all the book cloth and even threw in a couple of my favorite tapes. These are the strongest ones that came out of that session...I think the first three covers are the strongest of the four...”

Come back tomorrow for more on the cover process and make sure to visit Aimee at Artsyville today!