Lately I’ve been asked to make books look like the ones they sell at Urban Outfitters. So I had to stop and think what kind of book does Urban Outfitters choose to sell. Obviously, it’s not just about the cover, although I’m not sure publishers realize that. If I had to describe their book inventory, what would it be: hip, modern, ironic, trendy, maybe a bit vintage. It’s not too difficult to put that on the cover, but it really ought to be inside the book as well.
Imagine Publishing (whose slogan is “Edu-taining” the book-buying public) wanted fun and funny covers for their Bizarre series, which pulls together strange and outrageous stories from different subject areas. The covers each needed to be unique but still share a family resemblance with the others in the series.
For each assignment, I create at least three cover designs, trying to make them as different from each other as possible, while still following the direction provided by the publisher. Often one of the designs is chosen, but other times the first three only help to refine the vision, and a second round is necessary.