And as a designer, they're super fun...and rather challenging...to find an image for!
Jill Williamson contacted me about designing such a box set for her and 6 other authors of inspirational young adult novels. The genres in the set range from contemporary to fantasy to science fiction. We have both male and female protagonists. Very different themes and styles. The thing they all have in common is that they focus on a turning point in the characters' lives.
That's the title of the collection: Turning Point. And here are the front covers of the 7 books that are a part of it.
~ A road
~ A crossroad sign
~ A shot of someone wearing Converse shoes, standing beside an arrow drawn onto the road
~ A gate
The authors were open to either a graphic style or a photographic style, so my options were wide open. I played with a few of these ideas, like so...
So off I went on the hunt for teen silhouettes. I found these 3 at the beach.
So there's the main image. Now for the font. I wanted the title to be a huge part of this design and tried several different fonts before I found one everyone liked. We ended up with Pretzel.
Looks pretty standard, right? But it has nice, thick letters, which was important to my plan. Because, you see, I wanted to turn those words so they looked like they were sitting on the road too.
The only thing left for the front was the subtitle!
Now, in some of the box sets like this I've seen, each title is written in the same font...but I thought it would be fun to match the font used on each book's cover. Fun--but a bit of a challenge! Luckily, I've become graphic-design-minded enough that I'm always taking note of fonts and trying to identify them, so I already had mental notes on what a few of them were. A few of the authors knew what font was used on theirs. One I actually hand-drew, LOL. Otherwise, I found exact or very-near matches on www.dafont.com.
I then took that sunset-y street image to use as a background for the spines, dividing it at regular intervals. I put on the titles, the author names, and the thumbnail of each book cover. Then I flattened the image, selected each 1/2 each spine segment, and saved it as a separate file. Here's an example of one.
Then off I went to my 3D software that lets me create a box. After determining the right sizing, I built 7 books into it, adjusted the widths correctly, and put each spine onto one of the books. Here's the result!
I had a lot of fun on this one, and my hope is that I managed to capture the personality of each book with those individualized spines, and yet draw the all together with the vague but compelling cover image...and give it little extra twist with the treatment of the title font. What do you think?
Pre-order Turning Point on Amazon!