Assignment – Your Choice

Your Choice

Your Choice gives 3 briefs to choose from. Brief 1 and 3 sparked no interest for me, so it was an easy choice for me.

Brief 2: Promotional Design.

A youth theatre club is performing a production of Abigail’s Party. Mike Leigh’s tale of suburban taste set in the 1970s and explores middle class aspirations and preoccupations.

You will need to acquaint yourself with the play if you don’t know it already, as they are particularly keen for it to have a 70s feel. The play will be touring local theatres for a month performing every Friday night and Saturday matinee.

Produce a poster (A3 portrait), a flyer (A5 landscape, double sided) and newspaper (A6) to promote this event. In addition they would like their A5 programme cover to continue the design theme.


I was not familiar with Abigail’s Party, so I rented it from the library, and looked it up in Wikipedia.

I made a note of my initial observations.


Next, I googled existing promotional work and my image ideas to expand on my impression of the show and of the 70s (I was born in the 80s, so have no memory of it)


Abigail's_Party abigails_party_poster_large-206ce07d05df4e6198938ec0be62a953 abigails-party sf-playhouse-abigails-party-poster

Decor and hairstyles/fashion were the things that stood out to me from watching the play, so I felt that this would be the direction I would go in.

0255b4f2e552e21201e5864e6fa817c1 hairstyles-for-men-in-the-1970s1970s-hairstyles-disco-23----the-hairstyles-site-hairstyles-for-lmz0r3gb fifties-rock-and-roll-record-coasters-DECO338 VARIOUS C036-(2) 3005736474_8d03709efb_b 1970s_green_border_wide_1920x1200 geometric-wallpapers-58458-4231003 il_fullxfull.392371865_4r1f il_fullxfull.429310657_i8fm polka dot texture fabric 70s orange swirl cloth pattern stock photo_800

Design ideas / Brainstorm

Scan 1

I also felt that the word ‘party’ would need to be strongly acknowledged.

Party -Music/dancing/conversation/drinks

I considered using quotes from the play, so looked up ‘retro speech bubbles’ to see how to make this idea fit in with the 70s theme.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.23.44 Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.23.01

Scan 2

I wasn’t sure that this would be very eye-catching, and thought that bold images with the right colour theme would be stronger.

From here, I decided to make a font sheet and mock up some of my ideas so that I could see how they would translate. At this point, I thought that the ‘faces’ idea was the strongest. I liked the idea that something simple would give the impression of the era.

Font Sheet

AP fonts

Mock ups

I really enjoyed making the characters, but wasn’t sure at any point how it was all going to work together. I liked the hair styles, and I eventually decided that even though this is based on the BBC version, it would become clear who was who. I placed Beverly in the middle, as the centre of attention, but once I started adding other elements, it just didn’t seem to work as well as I had hoped.

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This was a strong image, but it needed to be more than just a record. (Notes below)

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Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 15.10.15

Playing with fonts and thinking about how I would be adding text to the design.

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Notes on Mock Ups.

Scan 3

I had got to this point and felt that I was missing something. My design was not progressing, so wrote some notes to help work out why.

Scan 4

I went back to the research stage.


Sex-Pistols-in-1978-001 sex_pistols_god_save_the_queen_wallpaper-other punk


70-s-dancing-sihlouettes-hi Disco_Ball_3up

I thought that I could use elements from a few of my ideas, I still liked the idea of bold, basic shapes/silhouettes. I tried some punk and disco style mock ups.

I put together another font sheet for my punk idea. The first font sheet was already quite ‘disco’ orientated.

AP punk fontsScreen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.32.30 Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.27.32

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 13.11.12


Scan 5

I decided to go with the images from the last image mock up sheet. They seem like the most fitting route.

I had decided early on (whilst watching the play), which colours I think would be most suitable, so now it was a case of working out which shades to use and an overall composition for each promotional design.

From here, it was trial and error getting all the relevant information onto each piece with a strong hierarchy.

I used the current month and my local theatres to fill in the gaps in the information.

A3 Poster

AP Final A3

A5 Flyer (front and back)

AP Final A5 flyer AP Final A5 flyer2

Newspaper Advert

I adjusted the contrast and converted to greyscale t make sure that it was clear when printed.


A5 Programme Cover

I looked up programme covers. There seemed to be 2 possible routes – A production version or a programme specific to that theatre. Obviously the latter was what I needed to recreate for my cover.

theatre-operatic-programme-printing panto1961 normal_The_Country_Wife hippodrome-2012-big10437209_10152929171909447_669830661_n 10490242_10152929171904447_1947697586_n 10487075_10152929171914447_632368394_n

A5 Programme Cover

AP programme


This assignment turned out well. I’m confident that the design definitely has ‘a 70s feel’ and that each design has all of the required information.

The brief was very open, which I think makes it a little harder because of the possible number of avenues that I needed to narrow down, which I struggled with. I felt that I was juggling between waffling on and ending up  with an irrelevant outcome and not exploring enough possible routes. I’m glad that I went back and added to what I had already done, because my final pieces ended up a lot stronger than they would have, had I stuck with my first couple of ideas.

I feel that my process is getting stronger, I’m asking more questions of myself during the early stages of the research, which in turn has strengthened my design process.

Response to Tutor Feedback

I feel that I had achieved the requirements of the brief, but my tutor questioned a few elements of the design that I agree were important to address:

The title, the busy background and the choice of font made it hard to read.

Does the ‘factual’ info need to follow the same theme/font?

The ‘party’ element in my design is clear, but what about the underlying story?


I think that I was focusing on the ’70’s feel’, which took over a little. I wanted to include all of the elements that I had considered, which led to a very busy design. Reflecting on what my tutor had pointed out, and going back to the design after stepping back for while put this into perspective for me. I felt that I could include the elements that I wanted by changing how I put it all together. I also needed to consider how I would add something to the design to portray or suggest the underlying dysfunction of the story.


I referred back to the poster for ‘A Country Wife’.


It shows a clear contrast between the two sides of the story, giving an indication of what the story entails. This is what I needed to achieve with ‘party’ and ‘dysfunction’

I added a crack to the record, and realised that I could add a spilt drink without over crowding the design, because the drink was already there. I wanted to add an element of  dysfunction (the broken record reflecting the relentless arguing between Beverly and Lawrence, and to some extent, the failing/broken hearts at the end of the story) The spilt drink, points to the general dynamic of having this particular group of people together – things that are said and the way they behave towards each other are messy like a ‘spilt drink’.

Next I wanted to make the title a lot clearer. I could put a plain box of colour behind it, but this was my least favourite part of the  A5 programme design, so I decided to have a plain background to the whole design. I could still use the wallpaper by adding it to the label part of the record, therefore not sacrificing what I considered a strong part of the 70s design. This way, I also get to keep my choice of font for the title. I considered adding a drop shadow in an attempt to make it stand out more, but because the font is made up of a series of thin lines, this just made it harder to read.

With these changes in place, I reflected on the font used for the rest of the information. Really, the only other bit of info that should have a theme is the theatre company name. I used an idea from earlier in my design process to create a logo. This can be added to each publication and builds a brand in doing so. This leaves the choice of font open for the rest of the ‘factual’ information. I wanted something more legible than my first choice, I went for a basic script. My reasoning is that people used to handwrite out party invitations. It’s a loose connection, but still relevant. It looks a lot clearer.

My feedback was invaluable and, as usual, I underestimated how much so! I think that reviewing my design and looking further into my research and the meaning behind the images I designed has led to a much stronger final piece.

Final Designs for Abigail’s Party

A3 Poster

AP revised a3 poster

Newspaper Advert


Programme Cover

AP programme

Front / Back A5 Flyer

AP Final A5 flyer AP Final A5 flyer2


Exercise – The French Hen

The French Hen


Newton and Ridley, best known for their pub, The Rovers Return, are opening a cafe/wine bar nearer the city centre.

The bar is designed to appeal to younger women and sophisticated young men. The brewery has identified a gap in the market and wants to provide a ‘sophisticated and relaxed’ venue for the ‘discerning’ drinker. The bar is to be called The French Hen and will be in direct competition with the cheap ‘binge drinking’ venues on the same street. The brewery is also trying to enhance its own image as a respectable alcohol  vendor.

They want you to develop some ideas for a logo, to be used:

  • on covers for the food and cocktails menus
  • in colour on the signage outside, and as a cutout for a window detail
  • on T-shirts for the staff and paper napkins
  • for one side of a beermat, the other will carry advice on sensible drinking

There a many conventions that have been developed around the marketing of both bars and products to this age range. You need to be conscious the whole time of avoiding clichés and stereotyping.

I noted what I thought were the most important points of the brief, and looked up a few establishments that I think fit the same criteria.

Scan 1

Babington House

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The Arcangel

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The George

The George, although very close, is not quite to the standard I was looking for, but I noticed that they had window decals when I visited.

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From here, I started to think about what kind of image would fit into the requirements set out.

Scan 2 Scan

My original idea was to digitally enhance an illustration, for a rural / rustic look. I ended up creating images in illustrator, because I thought it looked sharper/more professional.

Below is a vectorised photo, parts of it are unclear, and it was not what I was trying to achieve.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 07.27.05

Below is my version drawn in Illustrator, I made a silhouette and a line copy, with a view of experimenting with negative space on a solid colour background.

hen Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 20.19.37

Next I looked at typefaces.

french hen text

Again, I already had an idea of the kind of typeface I wanted to use. I wanted the most simple san serif font I could find, something similar to the one that Babington House uses. When I looked up fonts, I searched ‘french’ just to see if there were any interesting ones that may inspire me to broaden my ideas. There were a few script styles that may have worked.

Next I tried to put the elements together.

french hen sign ideas

At this point, I emailed this to 3 people (2 of which are graphic designers) for feedback.

Scan 3

In response to this, I went back to the image and tried to stylise it and remove some of the more realistic parts.

style hen copyScreen Shot 2014-06-02 at 21.28.14

Then added it to the fonts and layouts ideas.

french hen sign ideas 2

From here I could see that the calligraphic stroke was not going to work when the image was made much smaller, so I chose the stylised silhouette. I also noticed that my original preference of a simple font, gave more of an afternoon tea and scones feel than a sophisticated wine bar.

With my choice of image and font made, I moved onto which colour I would use. Again, based on my perception of the impression the company wants to give, and my research, I had a rough idea of a possible palette. I wanted one colour, plus black and/or white. No gloss. Something that gives an impression of high standards and something that would wear well with day to day use, without looking dog eared.

hen colourshen colours2

I chose the dark grey. Grubby finger prints and spilt drinks (on the menu covers and t-shirts) will not show up on it, also, chalk boards with specials options/menus would not look out of place as the colour scheme would fit in. I didn’t consider black, it’s just not as classy 🙂

Scan 4

Final Pieces

Menu (front and back)

FH menu FH menu back

Cocktail Menu (front and back)

FH cocktails FH cocktails back

Napkins (front and back)

FH napkins FH napkins back

T-Shirts (front and back)

FH Tee front FH Tee

Window Decals 

FH window decal

Outside Signage

I wasn’t sure how best to address the layout of the sign. My options were to keep the image above the text as I have done throughout the exercise, or to move the image down beside the text, making it a more ‘above the door friendly’ arrangement.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 20.35.11

In this shallow space, the image looks cramped, and ‘f’ looks like it’s poking the hen’s bum. I chose to go with the second option.

FH sign


I’m really pleased with this exercise. I’m happy that I was thorough with my process, and the feedback was incredibly valuable. I am also confident that I have fulfilled the brief to a standard that would work well for the client. My only concern would be that the colour may not fit their scheme, but this would be easily remedied.

Response to Tutor Feedback

Overall, I was very pleased with my feedback, the only thing that I feel needed reviewing was the choice of typeface for what are essentially subheadings (‘menu’ ‘cocktails’ ‘cafe and wine bar’). When I was originally designing these, I took these words as part of the headings of each item, but looking back a more legible, simple font not only separate the logo/brand from the information (contents of the menu etc) but also create a cleaner, bolder design with a clear hierarchy. This font can then be carried on inside the menus.

I chose a very light basic, san serif font, partly because I think the contrast creates a strong design and partly because it continues the modern theme that I had set out to create in the first place. I am glad that I made these changes, I think the designs are much stronger and I have clarified a secondary typeface that is clear and legible to use throughout the menus or any other body of text.

Reviewed Final Pieces

FH menu FH menu back

FH cocktails FH cocktails back

FH sign

FH window decal

Exercise – Chance Housing Association

Chance Housing Association


The Chance Housing Association has been set up to help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder and they want you to develop a brand image for their stationary.

It is important to them that the is seen as being different from other local housing associations – more modern, more helpful and definitely welcoming young people wanting to buy a house.

They want to use their logo on their letterheads and office stationery and it will also be used somewhere on the sheets that hold the property details. It also needs to be reproducible in the local paper and professional trade magazines.

I started by looking up local housing associations and letterhead styles, I made some notes on my first impressions.

Scan 2

Screenshots of housing association websites – A look at colour themes, logos and typefaces.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.15.20 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.14.32 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.14.09 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.13.30 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.13.02 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.12.31 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.11.26


OTC Printing Letterhead 9 Letterheads letterheads-13 letterhead20 creative-letterheads-04 batman(1) RUBRF-00026984-001

I set about mocking up some letterhead layouts. It seemed like an obvious place to start, but without a logo (it’s shape and size) it was hard to gauge whether the layouts worked. so I put them on hold and set about designing a logo, with a view of arranging the letterheads taking the logo into account.

layout2 layout1 layout3


I was confident that a ladder, using the H as the legs and rungs were the direction I was going to go in, but as I put the idea together in Illustrator, it didn’t look very good.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 22.00.21 Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 22.00.34

It wasn’t clear that the ladder was the H and overall, it just wasn’t interesting to look at.

I opted to have a letter in each space between the rungs.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 22.00.46

Although I wasn’t completely happy with the logo, I decided to try it on the letterheads to see how it worked. At this point, I was happy with my choice of typeface.

layout8 Layout7 layout6 layout5 layout4

I was happy with one of my layout ideas (layout 8, more balanced), but I think that the logo looks cheap, I think needed more to it in order to add more colour, make it more eye-catching without making it complicated or difficult to reproduce in other sizes or black and white. I wanted to play more on the term ‘property ladder’

Scan 1

new CHA logo

It was at this point that I felt that I needed to change my choice of typeface. The new logo could look like two different things – a house and an upwards facing arrow. The straight lines of an arrow don’t fit with the cursive font of the previous idea. I think the slanted perspective of the top version emphasise the climbing of a ladder, so I chose to use this.

Stationary with chosen letterhead layout.


CHA Business card2

CHA Advert

I needed to make sure that the advert would photocopy clearly, this gave a strong indication as to whether it would work if printed in a newspaper. I’m happy that the image and text is clear enough to use for this purpose.

2014-06-04 13.07.36

All the stationary set out together.

2014-06-04 13.08.44


Looking back over this project, I’m not sure that I’m that pleased with it. Although there is development of my idea, (I struggled to get past the idea of a ladder, there could have been more variety) I don’t know if the image is a clear enough indication of what the company does. I am happy with the reasoning behind my ideas, colours, typeface choice, and I believe that my reasoning is relevant. Overall, I think I followed the correct process, but think that maybe it’s just not very eye catching, I can’t quite put my finger on which element I’m not happy with.

Response to Tutor Feedback

My tutor suggested that I refer back to my research with this exercise, specifically Selwood Housing, who’s logo was more suggestion than an image of something in particular.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 20.15.20

This is a very simplistic logo, it serves it’s purpose, but in my opinion, it’s a little too basic. Although looking at it made me really think about what wasn’t right about mine. Mine is too heavy/overpowering. It’s bold colours and thick strokes create something bigger than is necessary.

I was happy with my process and idea, so went about making the image part of the logo less overbearing. I changed the stroke and way I used the colour (again, I was happy with my colour choices) I used the colours as the outlines and removed the fill colours. I added a chimney shape too, because I felt it clarified what the triangle was.

Final Stationary



Business Card

CHA Business card2


CHA Advert

Research Point – Logos


How many logos can you name? MacDonalds? Nike? Apple? All huge multinational corporations with millions to spend on building brand recognition. Have a look at logos and see how they work – pay attention to the colour schemes and single designs. You will probably also find that, although you couldn’t recall them immediately when you see them you immediately recognised them – banks, shops and products.

How many can I recall?

Facebook, Twitter, Laughing cow cheese, Pringles, Robinson’s squash, Volkswagon, Skoda, Transformers, Disney, Fox, National Geographic… (lots)

Facebook-logo twitter-logo  20110117_TLC pringles-logo Volkswagen_1 Skoda-Logo-psd51121 transformers-logo Disney-PNG-LOGO1 Fox_logo2 Foxlogobig national geographic logo

These would all be recognised in both black and white and colour (the transformers and VW logos are often seen in blue) All of them use letters/words, but there are many that do not need this to be recognised.

audi_logo playboy-logo new_twitter_logo

Colour palettes are limited, so they can be simplified even more – the Audi logo would still be recognisable without the shading. And they can be used at any size.

Exercise – Poster and Flyer

Poster and Flyer


This exercise is about how you deal with two different spaces to work in.

You have been asked to design an A3 poster and an accompanying double sided A6 flyer to promote a singing course run by an organisation called SingOut (all one word). They have very little money so want to print these posters on their black and white photocopier. You can use colour paper if you want.

You may want to include an image such as an drawing or photograph, but be very careful with photos as they tend not to reproduce well on a photocopier particularly if they are colour photos. You will need to check by printing off your design and/or photocopying it.


I set about thinking about how the two items will be linked. If I set a theme, then I just needed to work out the hierarchy (which would vary slightly on each time) My first thought was to use a similar layout to the film and entertainment posters I found in my last research point.

IMG_0916 IMG_0914

I then occurred to me that I didn’t know which age group I was aiming to attract, if any.

Scan copy

I tried to my own version of the 60’s/70’s posters.

lovetosing1 love to sing1

Although the san serif typeface is more fitting, I prefer the poster on the right, it looks more interesting and feels more fitting to posters you would see for musicals.

Bearing in mind that I am not sure of the age group of my audience, I decided that this might limit my reach. I decided that I would likely use a font that would give an informal feel, in the hope that it would appeal to a wide age range. I also felt that I needed something stronger to link the poster and the flyer together, like an image/logo.

Scan 1 Scan

I wanted to make a logo out of the name using the mouth as the ‘o’

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 11.55.08

I thought that the font I chose here would appeal to younger people, also the illustration doesn’t fit well with the text. I created the mouth in Illustrator, and played around with the perspective. I liked the idea of it getting bigger, as if the word was getting louder.

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 11.40.02 Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 11.41.01

I thought the font was a bit too uniform, so opted for script.

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 15.52.13

I chose the hierarchy of the information based on the info I would want to know.

I chose the typeface because it is easy to read and the curves on the lower case letters make it a little less ‘strict’ looking.




Print Print


I’m pleased with the logo that I designed to tie the two items together. I found it hard to make so much text eye catching and legible, I think that strong hierarchy is the key with this and I think I have arranged the information effectively.

The design can be clearly photocopied, it’s my intention that they get printed onto coloured paper.

I’m happy that I have achieved what the brief has asked of me, and appealed to a wide age range to compensate for the fact that I do not have that info. Knowing that there was a more specific audience may have swayed my design in a different more specific direction.

Research Point – Posters


Posters have a long rich history documenting everything from boxing matches to Bollywood films, the Soviet Revolution to punk, encouraging young men to join the army to persuading women to buy bras. There are many collections in books in museums and galleries and on the internet. Find out more about your own areas of interest.

My interests are in old product adverts and propaganda, but I didn’t want to limit my research to this. I went to the library to look for other potential subjects of interests.

Scan 14

Images from

A Century of Posters, by Martijn F Lecoultre and Alston W Purvis 


IMG_0936 IMG_0935 IMG_0932

IMG_0931 IMG_0930

IMG_0929 IMG_0928

IMG_0927 IMG_0926

IMG_0925 IMG_0924


 IMG_0921 IMG_0920 IMG_0919

IMG_0918 IMG_0917

Collecting Prints and Posters, by Janet Gleeson 

Art Deco

 IMG_0912 IMG_0911 IMG_0910 IMG_0909 IMG_0908 IMG_0907

Film and Entertainment

IMG_0916 IMG_0914

Russian Movie Posters

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Propoganda posters from the war museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (My photos)



Exercise – Birthday List

Birthday List

For this exercise you are going to make up a poster list for yourself. It is intended that you keep it pinned to a noticeboard or wall to remind yourself of the dates and, as it will be there a long time, it needs to look good.

Start by collecting all the birthdays of your friends and family. You’ll need their name and birth date, to decide whether or not you buy them a present or just send a card, text or email.

Reference Material (Google)


What should I include?

Scan 13

Once I had written down what I wanted to include, I needed to think about how it would fit onto a page without looking too cluttered, as each month would need 7 columns and I wanted to allow 10 rows. Because of this I decided to make it A3 and keep it as a simple table, repeated for each month of the year, then everyone was there at a glance. Alternate row colours make it easier to read.

Birthday Listv2


I’m satisfied that I have fulfilled the brief, it’s a neat, functional design, but not necessarily that attractive/interesting to look at. This was my second version, I needed to adjust the width of the columns to allow for the length of the names, which I only noticed when I went to fill it the examples.

Exercise – Giving Information

Giving Information 


Find some example of information graphics, for example bus timetables, city maps, diagrams or representations of of statistical data. Look at the way they are designed and try and work out the decisions the designer made. What can you learn from them and when would it be appropriate to use a similar solution?

For this exercise you are going to describe your immediate surroundings using information graphics; this could be a plan of your desk, layout of your house, the arrangements of objects in a cupboard, or your morning journey.

Before you start, you will need to think about scale and about how you will break down the info for your design. Create a graphic that represents a ariel or front on view of your location. Be mindful of hierarchy of the elements in the composition and dynamics needed to draw the viewers eye from one stage to the next. Use typography, numbers and colours to describe what is being represented. You may want to produce a key to help us understand what is being shown as well as a title to put things into context.

Reference Material.(Google)

bmi-body-mass-index-chart-main.gif How_to_Make_a_Decision how-to-make-a-record-cover-art-flow-chart2 One Page  flowchart 1 Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 20.21.42 Six-Flags-America-Theme-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing_532b11ad4760e_w1500.png WorldMapLiteracy2011

Scan 8

Ideas based on my surroundings – school run.

 Scan 10 Scan 9Scan 11

I thought the most interesting visually would be the route to school, done in a similar style to the Thorpe Park map. So I started to put the elements together.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 22.20.02 Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 22.18.57

But once I had the basic map, I  noticed that the route was a very small part of the image, and the linear shape, leaves the overall image unbalanced, even with the unnecessary roads removed.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 22.32.32 Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 22.52.32

I went back to my initial ideas and decided to try a flow chart for leaving the house. I noted down a few things that I felt could be included and my reasoning – colours shapes etc.

Scan 12

Are We Ready to Leave the House Flow Chart

Flow chart


I am pleased with my final design, I stuck to my ideas of primary colours, basic shapes and chose a typeface that implied that it is by/for a child.

I would have preferred to do the route to school but I was struggling with the layout and am still learning some of the skills I need to complete it to the detail I would have wanted. I also feel that, had it been a circular or winding route, it would have flowed better.

Exercise – Judging a Book by it’s Cover.

Judging a Book by it’s Cover


Choose a book by an author you’re familiar with. You are going to design two different covers for it, one using illustrations or photography and the other using just type.

Design the whole cover, including the back and spine. Include the title, the author’s name a brief description of the story and any other information you think is necessary.

As you are working, remember that your design is intended to help the reader know what the experience of reading the book will be. Is it a serious text book or an off beat funny novel? Are the readers expected to be young women or older men and does it matter ? Is it an east read or an itinerary? Does the publisher have a house style you need to be a part of?

I chose to design book covers for an author called Kate Mosse. My favourite of her books is Labyrinth, the first story from her Languedoc Trilogy.

I thought about the audience and what imagery/colour scheme this might suggest.

Scan 6

Below is part of an info graphic about colour preference based on gender. The colour of the book cover is turquoise, so I chose to use purple-the next favourite.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.15.36

Next I looked at any specific style the publishing house (Orion Books) had.

The Languedoc Trilogy by Kate Mosse.

Languedoc Trilogy

Other books published by Orion Books

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Next I needed to think about what I wanted to include in both versions of the cover-possible images, typefaces and layouts.

Scan 7

The cover with image/s.

I wanted to achieve a specific look, the story is divided over two 2 timelines, so I wanted to use an image of a relic. It needed to look old, with the contrast of the 2 ages showing in my choice of font.

Another thing I wanted to consider was the something I noticed in a lot of covers by Orion Books. The backgrounds of the covers are rarely a plain colour. There is generally a basic 2 or 3 colour theme, with a subtle theme coloured image in the background. I decided that the background was how I was going to incorporate my chosen colour, I just needed to make it look a little more interesting, without taking away from the main image.

I used images of floral wallpaper and papyrus to give the background some texture.



Possible imagery…

I decided the the old coins were the best option. The other images are too ‘clean’ looking.

(website references for images at bottom of page) Classical 7-Circuit Labyrinth etsy

Book Cover (with image)

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After looking at some covers without images, I felt that it wasn’t necessary to fill the space with text to make up for the lack of images.


I wanted to use a ‘textured’ background, in keeping with the publishing house, but removed the floral element, the papyrus image has some faint text on it, which I thought worked well. The most important element was my choice of font, I thought that something decorative was appropriate.

Print spine w text cover w text


Visually I prefer the cover with just text, but in response to the brief, I feel that I have achieved it with the other version. The image version gives a better indication of what the story might include, it also looks more modern than the text version, which is in line with the 2 timelines element of the story.

Relic images found on the following websites:

Research Point – Book Covers

Book Covers

Many hundreds of paperback books have been produced over the years. Look at as many variations as you can find to see how different publishing houses designed their covers and how covers fit together as a series. Select a particular publishing house and describe their style in your learning log.

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 Scan 5

Julia Donaldson

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Nick Sharratt

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