Cover Design Challenges

Sometimes, the biggest cover design challenges are presented by the stock art, especially on the front cover, but not this time. The biggest challenge with the back cover layout for any book involves ensuring that text will be legible and clear over the background image. This turned out to be especially true for R. Marshall Wright’s newest book, Laura, Don’t Run!
R. Marshall Wright–Dick to his friends and family–has written another exceptional story. Here’s the blurb from the book:
Laura Don't Run by R. Marshall Wright Laura Don’t Run! A Story of Healing, Redemption, and a Second Chance
by R. Marshall Wright

All Laura ever wanted was her happily ever after. When she’s released from Hobbs Mountain Detention Center, God makes her a promise. But, the idea of a Heavenly Father who cares is something Laura can’t understand or accept. So, like Jonah, Laura does what Laura does best… she runs. She runs from God, herself, and Stone Whitcomb. God gives her room to run but He is still watching over her, protecting her, waiting for her to return.

Stone Whitcomb has accepted the call of God upon his life. He trusts God with every breath he takes. God made a promise to him also, but it was hard to accept. With a broken heart and a law degree in hand, he travels to Joshua Creek, Mississippi to expose a system that imprisons the poor.

What will happen as Stone trusts God and Laura continues to run from God? Will God refuse to give up? Will Laura get her happily ever after?

It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? You’ll have to read the story to find out how it all turns out.
But what I really want to discuss here are the challenges this cover design presented.

Sometimes, simplest is best.

The cover art for the front of this book was fairly easy. Although I experimented with different backgrounds because Dick said he wanted a lake, it turned out that he didn’t like any of them. He chose to stay with the original as it worked best with the model–he really wanted to use this model. I did a little color touchup to cover a reflected bit of green light that looked a little odd, and–that was it.
Once again, finding the right fonts and colors for the text was the larger part of the challenge. It tickled Dick’s fancy when I showed him a font named Poor Richard. He just had to have it. The other font is Oz Handicraft. In the course of choosing fonts, we had a discussion on what constitutes a feminine font. Not every feminine font has to be a script font.

Back Cover Design Challenges

The back of the book presented the greatest challenges as we wanted to use the other half of the image, which mostly consisted of sky, leaves, and green lawn. Brown and green leaves and branches broke up the lighter colored sky. And, shadows thrown by the tree across the lawn made parts of it too dark to use behind small black text. Fading out the entire image just made it look faded. That was never going to work.
My solution: I lightened the leaves until they were just a pale suggestion of themselves. Then, I resampled and rearranged the lawn so that lighter colored grass backs all of the text, and the shadows still look pretty natural.

Do you need a nice cover design* from an experienced cover designer? Contact me to share your vision.
*I specialize in Christian/clean fiction and non-fiction covers.

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