Front Cover Design – Author’s Input

by Susan K. Younger on September 14, 2012

It did not take Bella Guzman long to come up with 3 concepts for the books cover after our first call. All 3 lovely ideas sketched out noted to let me know about font, color and any detail that would be developed further in the next step.

One concept spoke to me clearly the image I wanted more than the other two. It combined the photo of wooden spoon on a narrow shelf against white wood vertical boards, like the back of an old cupboard. The title would be against the wood background and below the shelf Bella was suggesting a fabric background behind the subtitle and my name. The fabric in her sketch, a kitchen towel, white with 2 red stripe crossed at the corner.

The fabric made me think of towels that could have been in any kitchen and bought at any store. My memories of kitchen towels from childhood were towels made from flour sacks or white toweling embroidered and or edged with tatting or croqueted edges made by my great aunt Bertha. I have saved many from her old cedar chest. Towels saved because they represented the love she put into the handwork on something used everyday, embellishment to brighten a kitchen and something to keep hands busy, all the time.

It’s Bertha’s kitchen and cooking that inspired me to love being in the kitchen.
For that reason I wondered if we might substitute a photo of something I still had of her handwork instead of a machined design on the fabric.

I pulled several piles of towels and pillowcases from my linen cabinet and found most embroidered with fruit or vegetables that did not fit the simple fabric suggested but there were 2 pieces I photographed and sent back to Bella as option to consider. One was toweling with rick-rack worked into the tatted edge in the golden yellow of a sunflower, the other a white pillowcase with elaborate lace like edge. I slid a red napkin between the layers to allow the detail to show up in contract because of the red background. It ends up looking like a lace edged table cloth or napkin.

We explored adding yellow to the cover design because of the golden edge of the toweling. We needed to decide if one trim added more pop to the cover than the other. The red was bolder and more cohesive in the concept. To see the text in different colors and fonts allowed it easier to see what was the most readable against the background and by using only 2 fonts kept the concept consistent and clean. The choices became easy because Bella so clearly put great options together from my suggestions and feedback. She was able to take my thoughts and make a great visual with pop and simple structure.

I’m very happy with the final product!

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