Hi! I’m Linda Boulanger. Welcome to Originality by Design. As both a book cover designer and an author, I have the privilege of choosing which of those I will share with you, and I’ve chosen to take you with me into the world of cover design.
Tell~Tale Book Covers is where you’ll find me when I’m wearing my award-winning designer hat. That’s where I get to team up with bestselling authors, debut authors, and everyone in between, and in every genre. It’s an amazing job that allows me to couple my love of books and the writing world with visual creativity, while working with others to achieve their dreams.
All book covers have one job and that is to grab the attention of a potential reader. The key element for grabbing that attention is, of course, the image. That’s what design is all about, whether the image is a photograph, illustration, mishmash of different elements, or even the visually pleasing arrangement of words.
Most of the time, I use a design technique known as photo-manipulation. That basically means I use the mishmash approach, taking numerous images and manipulating them into one completely new and unique image. That also means I spend a lot of time searching for the perfect stock images on various stock sites. Finding the right images to go into the creation of a unique book cover can take as much time, if not more, than the actual final design.
Sometimes in my Facebook design group, I like to play a little game called “How Many Layers?” with certain covers I’ve designed. The image below was created using seven different images. Can you look at it and see each one? I like to think of a cover as a bit of a torn paper collage. Anyone remember making them? The dragon in the final image is a great example of this. I wanted him wrapped around my awesome couple, so I had to take him apart and rework him quite a bit. I think it was the perfect touch for this romantic cover.
The 35 Layers mentioned indicate the number of Photoshop layers it took to mishmash those images into one that I felt truly reflected the story inside. This cover is sold, but the book has not released yet – that’s why there’s no text. I did have the author’s permission to use it.
Protectors of the Realm, shown below, is a recent pre-made cover I designed. It doesn’t have a book yet (though all my Tell~Tale pre-made covers are on sale through the month of November in celebration of NaNoWriMo!). It was a fun one to mash up, and started with me stumbling across the image of the woman with the bow and arrows. I really like her, but didn’t want to use her exactly as she is. We see her image a lot in designs. I wanted to change her up a bit. I also liked the idea of putting her with someone else… and the final cover is what you get when the wheels inside a designer’s mind start turning.
Surprisingly, even though Protectors of the Realm only has 20 layers, it actually has 7 images, just like the first one (I don’t have the sword shown in the Concept Board).
Whether you’re an author, a reader, or just like artwork, I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief glimpse into one book cover design method. Next time you look at an image that’s most likely a product of photo-manipulation, think about what might have gone into creating it, and remember: originality is limited only by one’s own imagination.