I wanted to make the page numbers for the book rather interesting as little aspects like this can really add to the depth of the books design. I based the design of the page numbers on the ‘mario mushroom’ which I traced and used different colours, then inserted page numbers into them. They really go with the overall theme of the book.
For the book that was made it was good to use a grid to align text and graphics on the page. this allows a much more aesthetically pleasing page as the objects on each page have more of a purpose than if it were not to be aligned using a grid.
I have been doing some digital mock ups of what I would like my book front cover to look like, and I am stuck on what typeface I am going to use. I have done some research and I believe that it would be nice to have a thin sans serif font as recent research on book covers have shown that they are used quite successfully with a minimalist design style. As my front cover displays minimalist features, I am going to use something like that. below are a number of examples of fonts that I like on book covers:
From these front covers I used photoshop to crop the type out and then use the website ‘whatfont’ to determine what fonts are out there that are similar or exactly the same as them so that i can download them and use them for my work.
My initial ideas for a book cover were to create a relation to the mushroom family and a human nervous system, giving the message that mushrooms work as a system to keep the forest in tact as one (and if they were not there then neither would be the forest). I developed one of my previous drawings (above, left) compared to the original on the right. I have added more detail, as well as playing around with the creativity of the typography by placing them along the roots of the mushroom.
I created a new design which imitates a spinal chord (as this is an important part of any mammal nervous system) and added the cap of a mushroom at the top as a symbolism of the brain i.e. the central nervous system. If I was to use this I would have to modify the position and location of typography in order to make it work, but I definitely like the illustration being directly in the centre of the cover from top to bottom, giving it a good sense of symmetry.
This book cover idea takes the idea that the mushroom is at the forefront of the forest. The essence is that the mushrooms essentially create the forest ecosystem, and if the mushroom family disappears, then so will the trees as they are portrayed as the shadow of the mushroom, despite being much larger than them in most cases. For this illustration I would have to try and get the perspectives of the shadow inch perfect on illustrator for it to be successful, but the layout is very strong.
This book cover is very minimalist and hasn’t got a huge deal of meaning behind it, but I took some visual research on how triangle shapes and different shades of colour can make a book cover seem very strong and powerful (especially with the use of diagonal lines). I may experiment with this as well as maybe introducing an image of a forest behind the title, and the colours of each section will be soft pastille colours and have subtle opacity drops so that you can see the image behind them.
I have been doing some extensive research on book covers, book styles as well as research on mushrooms, my chosen ‘family’ for my book of families. The Book Cover Archive has given me a huge insight into how book covers can vary so broadly, and you can see in my previous DFP post that I have picked a number that I really like the style and layout of.
The gallery above shows some of my visual research put into action for my own book cover. The mind map shows some ideas for names of my book. I read an article on Oregon Mushroom Stories Which lead to my conclusion of the name ‘Mushroom – Nervous System of the Forest’. From this I have tried to introduce the metaphor into my design style – the first example being the mushroom which has a cap in the style of a brain. The other is an illustration of a nerve cell and mushrooms growing off of the stem. I will begin to develop these ideas and possibly create some digital versions before I find my final creation of the book cover.
Following on from our presentation week where we showcased our initial ideas for our ‘book of families’ it was evident that the most positively reinforced idea for my book was the mushroom families. The idea seemed promising, although it was extremely difficult to pick up ideas of what the content of the book should include to make it more of a book, and not a factual Encyclopedia about different types of mushrooms as this is certainly too literal for the design brief.
To create more of a storyline of a family, I thought that it would be appropriate for me to research how mushrooms work in the environment to get a feel of their connection to each other. The website All About Mushrooms was extremely insightful as it described how funghi transfer their spores through the ground in the form of tiny threads (Hyphae). It is only when two of these meet and the humidity and conditions are correct when Mushrooms are developed. They are essentially the by-product (or flower) of the Hyphae that live below the ground. Not only that, but the two hyphae that meet must be compatible with each other to create mushrooms. I could relate this to soul-mates and the fact that they are constantly searching for their flowering buddy.
Mushrooms have a very specific role in nature. They help to keep the balance equal between small plants and large plants. They also rot and decompose dead objects like falling trees. If this did not happen, then there would be an overflowing mass of product in the environment that would cause busy woodland populations.
This gave me the idea that they are in fact working as a team to cause a balance, and they require eachother for specific needs, like a family.
The website ‘All About Mushrooms” had a nice informative table which described the basic classifications of mushrooms, which I could use to form a basis of what to include in my book and how to transform pure facts into a friendly, humorous storyline.
To begin with developing ideas for my book on mushrooms, I thought it would be appropriate to do some visual research on some interesting book covers so that I can create a few ideas based on my findings. the Book Cover Archive was my first port of call for research as there are literally thousands of pages of book covers from all eras, so there is a broad perspective of ideas. This is allowing me to develop a picture of how illustrators can use book covers to exert an emotion in the reader and give them a small picture of what they will likely find in the content of the book itself.
I particularly liked the ‘Great Gatsby’ book cover above as it cleverly uses the ‘Y’ of Gatsby as the champagne glass of Gatsby. it is extremely minimalist and simplistic, which adds to its value as a book cover as the illustrator clearly has a good ability to constrain his/her typography to a grid.
The front cover of ‘the book of dead philosophers’ is a photograph of the book itself, layed flat on a plain white table. This gives the image of an object like a tomb or a coffin, which reflects greatly with the title.