Rethinking

 

Design is always and will be a process. Even finished designs are not complete at times due to the nature of art.

One of the most important skills of a graphic designer is to be resourceful when you are limited in resources. 

3-Minute Einstein is a perfect example of restrictions. The image of Einstein was way out of budget for our publishing house. We could have reused the previous images but we didn’t have access to them and this book was already back ordered. 

front cover

The beige cover was the original cover that another designer did, it was dated and needed a face lift for a more refreshed audience. It was still a great source of inspiration for me.

Since we didn’t have the budget to purchase the image, I had to do a live trace on Einstein and vectorize him. 

concept3

Thus a new cover was born. A face lifted version that I believe is more enticing then the previous one. It’s edgy, modern and the colour composition is attractive. Bringing Einstein back to life was not an easy task but the final product is rewarding. 

If you are interested in purchasing a copy click here (amazon.com). 

Dumb Luck

The best days are snow days because books become your automatic best friends. And today is one of those days. The whole publishing house was sent home due to extreme weather conditions. As I sit here panting and wondering what I should do with my afternoon, I figured, this is a good place to start.

This was one of my first books that I had to design where I was the model on the front cover. Even though there isn’t much to see, it was still a good one. The story begins with a boy falling off a tree. He gets sent to the hospital for treatment and is told that he is lucky to be alive, like they all say. He buys the lottery and wins a ton of money. Through this, he goes through a lot of phases of who is his real friends and who just wants to be friends with him for his money.

The composition here is basically design 101. The idea of having certain elements from the book (boy, tree and lottery) and pasting it on a canvas to create a directional story. The upside down tree represents falling and confusion. The boy is dumb founded about where his life is going and to make matters worst, the lottery ticket represents obstruction. The direction starts from the top of the tree then leads the eyes down the book for the rest of the elements.

The interior stays consistent and remains clean for the eye of the beholder. Dumb Luck is one of the stronger novels in the Red Deer Press book list and continues to be a time less design. 

You can purchase Dumb Luck by clicking here (Amazon).

Bye, Bye, Butterflies

Ever since I was a kid, I have always said that picture books are the easiest books to read. Till this day, I still feel the same but designing them is a whole different story. This was one of my first picture books and certainly not the last one of its kind.

I love the fun illustrations and the engaging story about how butterflies come to be.

When I first laid my eyes on the artwork and rendering, it gave me a very comfortable vibe. The chosen palette of colours was so vivid and soft. The drawings were very unique and fresh. What it was missing was interactive typography.

The interior stays true to the cover artwork and has an abundance of playful characters. I designed the story in a way that compliments each illustration, making it more fluent and adventurous!

The most challenging part was designing the activity at the back of the book. Children would get a chance to educate themselves and share fun filled games with friends. It was challenging because there was so much information to micro manage and I needed it to be clean and informative.

If you are interested in buying the book. Click here (Amazon).

Pies Anyone?

Aside from designing and sports, I do have a culinary side of me. I really like to bake macarons and cook for my friends and family. When I received this first project of re-designing a cookbook for my publishing company, I was ecstatic. I already had the vision in mind on what type to use and an idea of the type of composition.

This is Pies. A book filled with colourful, warm and detailed images of many different pies. Throughout this design, I wanted to keep the images to dominate most of the composition. In my opinion, it wouldn’t make sense to box the beautiful full images and not give it a full bleed effect.

The instructions are clearly divided in two. The highlight black column is the essential ingredients that you need in order to bake the pie, which I found very important. Contrasted with the black is the white column, which highlights the instructions. The crisp san serif type really reminds me of the flaky crisp crust that a pie has and I wanted to reflect that meaning through the use of the san serif typefaces.

I am very proud of my first cookbook design and this is actually a series of books. On the way are more cookbooks from the same author that I am currently working on. Actually, its at the printers already. I will fill you in once I receive my copies!

Carbon Rush

Every designer’s dream is to do good work and of course, design for a special cause. I have finally been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of something awesome. What is this book about?

I quote from The Carbon Rush website:

Hundreds of hydroelectric dams in Panama. Incinerators burning garbage in India. Biogas extracted from palm oil in Honduras. Eucalyptus forests harvested for charcoal in Brazil.

What do these projects have in common? They are all receiving carbon credits for offsetting pollution created somewhere else. But what impact are these offsets having? Are they actually reducing emissions? And what about the people and the communities where these projects have been set up?

THE CARBON RUSH takes us around the world to meet the people most impacted. They are the least heard in the cacophony surrounding in this emerging “green-gold” multi-billion dollar carbon industry.

The aim for this design was to portray a greedy, harsh environment and industrial feel. It was achieved with the help of textured typography, married with a splash of envy green.

The interior of this book carries a lot of high resolution images that can be recognized from the film, making it an interesting and easy read. Typography dominates in areas where points of interest arises and is almost the bench mark of all chapter headings.

You can purchase The Carbon Rush here at Amazon.com

What do you think of the book? Let me know and leave a comment below.

Thanks!

Born Ugly

Born Ugly was my first book that I have ever designed. As I review and share this book with you, I have to admit it was a time of exploration I was still new to the book design genre and explored many different possible ideas.

Still to this day, I refer back to this cover design because of the powerful, simplicity and effective nature of it. This young adult novel talks about a teenage girl who gets bullied at school, she experiences verbal abuse and loneliness. All of these emotional states will drive anyone up the wall and force you to hide herself from the world.

With the story line in mind, this gave me a perfect opportunity to utilize the idea of The Ring girl imagery. Having lots of hair draped in front of her face. I topped it off with a layer of funky looking typography. This not only showed how she wanted to disappear from everything but it also portrayed her as a very insecure school girl.

The spine of my book is always one of my favourite parts. I feel that it should always stand out from the front and the back because this is the part of the book that viewers see first depending on how the book is shelved.

And it’s always nice to see your own name in your work. Remember to always give credit where credit is due.

If you are interested in purchasing this book click here.

So You Want to Write a Children’s Book

This book was one of my first published designs from Red Deer Press. I was very excited when I first got the project because it was targeted towards a more mature audience. Thus, my aim was to design a book that focused solely on typography.

20131229-P1050536

The cover design was challenging. I have to constantly ask myself, what image or composition would represent all the children’s books out there without making it look amateur.

I went through several design concepts that involved vector drawings of kids playing in a playground, coupled with beautiful san serif type. Then I had the idea of dissecting typography and identifying each detail of the letter as a term in the english language.

All of this was very complicated, I decided to go back to the basics and think about what really makes a children’s book. Then it came to me, magic was the solution.

I drew up some sketches and came up with the idea of having an open book, flaring out stars or magic dust. My inspiration came from the endless Disney movies that I watched when I was a kid.

20131229-P1050537

20131229-P1050538

The interior I felt was a breeze, it contained a lot of quotes and short lists of information. This gave me an excellent excuse to use my pull quote designs to give it a clean approach.

I have many books to share with you, so please check back next week.
Cheers.