It's been a cover reveal kind of week this week on the blog, and today I have one of my most recent designs to share with you. I've admitted to my love of illustrated covers before, both as a reader and as a designer, so I'm especially excited about today's Flourish!
Author Amryn Cross came to me wanting an illustrated cover with a strong type treatment, something to catch the eye as well as create a brand for the series, and I may or may not have tripped all over myself in my hurry to get started. There's very little that makes me happier than perusing font sites looking for the perfect typeface for a particular design, and when I came across the one you see below, I knew I needed to look no further for this project.
I started with the title since it was going to be the primary focal point, manipulating the individual letters to make them fit together in a way that made the title an illustration in and of itself. Once I was happy with how the letter shapes flowed together, I moved on to the rest of the illustration. Illustrated covers tend to take me quite a bit longer than photography-based covers, so I sometimes like to submit rough versions of a layout to my clients to make sure I'm heading in the right direction. I thought it might be fun for you guys to see the in-progress black and white version of The Broken Crown before taking a look at the final cover, so below is the proof I sent to Amryn for overall concept and font approval:
I was madly in love with the type treatment and the crown, and luckily for me, Amryn gave her enthusiastic approval, but there were still some things that needed tweaking. I felt like the title and the crown were too separate, something that became even more apparent when I started adding color and texture, so I sought to make them visually relate to one another a touch more in order to unify the design. I also simplified the cityscape at the base of the crown to make it more recognizable at a smaller size, and redrew a number of the flame shapes in the background. A few additional adjustments were made to the title, and after working and reworking the overall color scheme a couple times I arrived at what ended up being the final design:
Princess Emilia Aurelius was only seven when she watched her mother die at the hands of her father—martyred for believing in the God of the Atlas Empire’s Insurgo rebels. At seventeen, exiled to a military outpost where no one knows her true identity, she’s vowed to leave her royalty behind and explore the truth of the Insurgo rebels her mother loved.
When the Emperor of Atlas summons the princesses from each of the provinces to the imperial city to choose a wife for the crown prince, Emilia must leave her military life behind to join a royal court rife with cunning and intrigue. Navigating the waters of court politics and budding love are treacherous on their own, but Emilia fears for her life should anyone learn of her Insurgo sympathies.
With an unlikely ally in the captain of the emperor's guard, Emilia must uncover the truth of the Insurgos, start a revolution, and learn to become the princess she’s vowed never to be, all while protecting her heart from a prince who could sign her death warrant.
Find The Broken Crown:
(releases May 23rd!)
You can check out more of my cover design work at Seedlings Design Studio!