Front cover

I would really like to illustrate the front cover of my book. It may seem like I should have the front cover as a photograph with it being a photography book, I think it would add more charm to it if I can create illustrations of dogs for the front page.

I think I will try out both a photograph and illustration ideas to see which one I prefer

Looking on ( under the searches ‘illustration’ and ‘animals’ I have found this illustration by Katharine Drees which is exactly the sort of illustration style I had in mind… many different dogs across the page all in very simple style. This illustration shows a lot of character, which I think would draw peoples attention to the funny and loving characteristics of dogs we all know and love.

This illustration by Ayang Cempaka ( also shows the style I am looking to create. The repetitive nature of the different illustrations would work well for a front cover, not having a complete centre piece but a pattern across the whole page.

Controversy, an idea I have would be to have a plain blank page, with one smaller illustration of a dog somewhere on the page. As a very rough sketch out, something in this layout (but obviously much better):

I really like the simplicity of this type of layout, and for me personally would immediately make me pick it up from the shelf to open it and see what’s inside. This is due to my fascination with how minimalist artwork says so much while having so little.

This illustration by Pintachan has given me some inspiration to how the actual illustrations could be like. I like this simple but characterful style, again quite minimalist but I think if I go with illustrations then they shouldn’t be very intricate as people will think its an illustration book.

Stating this about people thinking it may be an illustrative book has made me slightly concerned about using illustrations at all on the front page – looking at most photography books that I has researched most have a photograph – **I should ask people what they would think if they saw a book in the way I want it on the shelfWould they think an illustration book?

Practice using photos

By having a very rough quick go at designing a front cove through using a photograph, I have decided that I actually would much rather go with using a photograph of a dog for a number of reasons:

  • Having a photograph tells the audience immediately that it is a photography book
  • Having a really good photograph draws the readers attention to the book

Things I need to/want to consider with what photo to use:

  • The image needs to have enough space that is either all dark or all light for either light or dark text to cross it and be visible
  • The image needs to be one that clearly shows my skills in photography
  • It needs to draw the audience in by 1) Being a good image 2)Being clear in its message
  • The image should be a different image to the photos used inside for the interviews, so either a random dog I have taken photos of or a dog I know that isn’t one I interviewed.

Looking on the website ISSUU for photobooks, I have found that although there seems to be a mix between using photography and graphics/illustratoins for them, I find the message much clearer and easier when the front cover is an image.

I really like this image above ( and its use of a very simple photograph with minimal type. I love the simple style of this and would like to try incorporate this into my front cover, however this may be a little too simple for mine.

Still on issuu, I found this front cover using photography. I like how the image is split and you can only see part of the image and the rest is blank space. Maybe I can use this technique and play around with the text eg with colour using this too.

Although in a magazine style which wouldn’t suit a book, I like the simple layout and in particular the all lower case heading.

Due to my lack of experience in typography I know I am going to have to spend a decent amount of time and practice on getting the right type face – maybe I should ask people their opinions too to get some outside perspective

Another way of splitting the photograph but through a low opacity block of colour is quite effective and maybe something for me to play with. However, this composition does give off a magazine/journal style look which I need to avoid.

This front cover which allows the image to take centre place in the page with the title very small in the corner is very effective. I like the split background to the text from black to white: I could potentially try this with the two words of my book: Analogue and Dog.

Searching ‘Dog photography’ on Issuu I found this book by Gavan Goulder.

The square book dimension is the initial book type I am drawn to, and like how it fits the dog in centre screen here

This photographic front cover has given me some inspiration to potentially play more with the graphics of the front cover if I feel like I want to make the front cover a little more interesting and mysterious. The six squares which make up a full image but are separated allows a bit of curiosity.

A completely different style of book cover idea: Use the image with a white boarder and see how this looks in different compositions, with a larger white boarder or a smaller white boarder? Off-centre or in the middle?

This front cover of a book I found on a dog photography services website has played around with the text and the image. The ear of the dog loops into the ‘O’ of ‘of’ which adds a nice touch and could add a slight bit of complexity to my front cover without doing anything too dramatic.

These two covers found on ( are both quite similar with the dog on a black background which gives a very easy-to-read format. Personally I would prefer to have more colour involved in my cover to draw peoples attention, and to not look like a typical dog photography book.

One thing I do really like about the first book cover by Tim Flach is how the font colour matches the dog colour. I should potentially use this to keep some flow through the cover and keep the aseptic tight and together.

On the same article post I stumbled across this illustrated book cover for a photography book. After looking at all of the book covers that have photography as their cover I now look at an illustrated one and dont think it quite adds up and the photographic covers make a lot more sense.

I would want to play around with the font, eg would I want it serif or sans serif? From this quick try out I can already tell I am going to prefer the book having a sans serif font. I think the previous design I produced had a much more modern feel.

I will keep working on the front cover design as I go through the project, working on font, layout and get the correct image.

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