Book Cover Design Project #20 – Small Wonder


Small Wonder: the amazing story of the Volkswagen (Beetle), written by Walter Henry Nelson. The book was originally published in 1965. My father had a paperback on our family bookshelf and about ten years ago I picked it up to read it. The illustration on the cover was several VW Beetles in red, blue yellow and white. The book was excellent. The story of the Volkswagen Beetle from its pre-WWII conception to its domination of the German Autobahn (as well as U.S. interstate highways) by the early 1960’s. If you find the book somewhere I recommend picking it up and reading it to anyone. Although the book is about an automobile the history and human element are also important aspects to the story which is very well written.

Below is my design using a 1960’s photo and the typeface Futura which is very VW advert. Very minimalist.

My father had quite a few books and other items which related to German cars laying around when my sisters and I were growing up. Volkswagen and Porsche Audi were the primary ones. Dad worked for these companies in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. In the early 70’s he went into business for himself, working on foreign automobiles at an affordable cost for the customer. He gained notoriety  for a brief time attracting clientele from surrounding cities. When his parts supplier went under and he had to raise his fees to make up the difference his business quickly suffered.

The Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi automobiles were very influential in the development of me and my sisters. One of my sister’s first car was an Audi Fox, which she later passed down to my youngest sister. My youngest sister later drove a  Volkswagen Jetta for several years. None of us own a German car today.

I have actually never owned a German car. But I always look at them and consider them when the time comes to buy a new (lightly used vehicle). When the time was approaching a few years ago to consider my next convertible I looked seriously at the Volkswagen EOS hard top convertible. The main influence of my father’s automobile career on me has been to take care of my autos like they are living beings. I have become emotionally attached to my cars and have shed a tear when trading in more than one of them. For me my autos are almost like pets. They are symbols of freedom and liberty allowing me to fly through the world at high speeds. I feel this about driving whether I am taking on a 5hr journey or a trip to the grocery store. I think this is why I love convertibles so much.

Anyway, this is one of the many ways that my father has touched my life. I love driving, I love cars and I love you Dad, and I miss you. I wish you could have met my Mustang. I know it’s not German, but it’s quite fun and liberating to drive with the top down.

Happy Father’s Day everyone.

book cover design project 20 - small wonder

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #19 – Stephen King’s Misery


Today’s design is Stephen King’s Misery. Now before you see the cover illustration I want you to realize something. And all of you Stephen King die hards will notice it immediately. I chose to illustrate an interpretation from the movie, not the book.

In the Book The Author Paul Sheldon is being nusrsed back to health from a car accident, and held captive, by a psychotic serial killer named Annie Wilkes. After some healing time Paul is able to pick the lock to his room and explore the house while Annie is in town getting supplies. At this time he finds a scrap book that reveals that Annie was once a nurse as well as a serial killer who killed her father, college roommate and several patients in several states. Later Annie realizes that Paul has been out of his room. She punishes him by cutting off his foot with an ax and cauterizes the wound with a blow torch.

book cover design project #19 -steven kings misery

In the Movie, Paul wakes to Annie holding a sledgehammer and realizes there is a block of wood between his ankles. As he wakes, perhaps in a haze of pain killers, Annie begins to describe how long ago slave masters would deal with slaves who escaped from the mines but later recaptured. She described a practice called hobbling where the slaves ankles were broken to prevent them from being able to escape again. Paul is then “hobbled”.

I chose to illustrate the basic elements of that scene. They are quite simplistic yet convey the horror of that moment. I used a typewriter font since Paul is being held captive to write a book for Annie Who is a huge fan of his book series Misery.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #18 – Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind


“Out of sight, out of mind” – The idea that something is easily forgotten or dismissed as unimportant if it is not in our direct view. The basic concept behind this expression goes back a long way dating back to the 13th century and beyond. The earliest printing of the phrase is in John Heywood’s Woorkes. A dialogue conteynyng prouerbes and epigrammes, 1562: “Out of sight out of minde.”

book cover design project 18 - out of sight out of mind

Today’s design conveys a basic Constructivist Movement type of feeling. It’s very conceptual but I’m sure you can see the Oval representing a head and the red circle representing the thing that is “out of sight”. The pale yellow triangle represents the field of vision (sight) and the dark impression of a triangle contained within the oval is the mind. The title is set in an Art Deco typeface called Gatsby. I set the portion of the title describing sight just outside the field of vision and the portion describing the mind just out side it’s representative shape. Make sense? If not, let me know.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #17 – Man In The Moon


“Man In The Moon” – It is human nature to see facial features in everything. Our eyes are drawn to the human form especially facial features. In fact when presented with a choice of visuals our eyes will always track to a face first before moving on to other shapes or objects. Where a face does not actually exist our brains will often translate facial features for us. For a visual explanation, I invite everyone to watch this American Express commercial.

Throughout human history many cultures have some reference to “The Man In The Moon” Some claim an image of a full body carrying a heavy load (Old European) or here in America where we claim just the facial features. Aside from the trick of the eyes that might leave us seeing the man in the moon many cultures at least have stories and myths which refer to a man in, or on, the moon. Today’s design may require you to squint a little to see him, but I’m sure he’s there if you look hard enough.

book cover design project 17 - man in the moon

I chose to use just the dark areas of the moon on a solid back ground. Although this removes the visual circle of the moon I bring it back by repeating the title in a circular path around the dark blotch. I chose various shades of purple or lilac to dominate the composition, just because the saying is “man” in the moon and I thought it would be too boring to choose anything but feminine colors. Hope you all like.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #16 – Corporate Culture.


“Corporate Culture” –  Is a concept that is studied in a fair amount of detail in the business management world. You would think with all the studies and data regarding corporate culture, organizational culture and organizational behavior there would be few problems in organizations between the business and the people. But we often discover there is usually something that could be done better in that realm.

book cover design project #16 - corporate culture

Today’s design takes us into the cube farm. A typical scene in many very large companies, the cube farm is also the negative stereotype of corporate coldness and lack of personal regard. I used a photo of office cubicles from a vendor website and removed the color information in Photoshop to make it grayscale. Then I adjusted the contrast, blowing out the lightest areas. I was originally going for a photocopied look, but as you can see I decided to go dark. To do this I inverted the image to create a negative image. It gives a bit of a sinister feeling as if the inside of the cubicles are glowing. I set the words Corporate Culture in Helvetica Neue Light. Helvetica is my favorite font, but it is also a plain, sterile type face and is often effective in conveying a cold technical feeling. Here I think it does the job quite well.

Oh, check the comment area for yesterday’s post, Birds Of A Feather to see my after thoughts on that design.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #15 – Birds Of A Feather…


“Birds of a feather flock together” – This proverb dates back to 1545 when Robert Turner used a version of it in The Rescuing of Romish Fox; “Byrdes of one kynde and colour flok and flye allwayes together”. The first appearance in its current English form was in 1599, in the The Dictionarie in Spanish and English, compiled by John Minshue; “Birdes of a feather will Flocke togither.”

It is true that birds of the same species will form flocks. The main reason for this is to avoid predation. Safety in numbers. The expression implies that humans will tend to do the same thing, perhaps for any number of reasons.

book cover design project 15 - birds of a feather

Creating the design I just let the words and the image of the feather guide me and it seemed quite effortless today. The image of the feather is from a photograph (not one of mine). You can view the original here. The red background was created by desaturating the original image using Photoshop and then applying hue and saturation adjustments. I then applied a posterize adjustment to the image, reducing the image to about 5 colors/shades. I chose a typeface called Bauhaus which gives a bit of a late 60’s early 70’s funk feeling. I chose a script typeface with long swashes, called Zapfino, to represent the word feather. I didn’t really think about what kind of book this design might represent while working. I would love to hear what kind of book or story you might be thinking of. I will return later and share what I thought while reflecting on the completed design.

That’s it for today. I think this might be my favorite BCD submission yet!

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #14 – Blood From A Stone.


“You can’t get blood from a stone” – An expression used to describe an impossible situation. It implies you can not get something that is not there. For example, you can’t get the truth from a sales person or a politician. I have always liked this phrase and I don’t know exactly why.

In this cover design and illustration I depict that there are ways to get blood from a stone. This cover might be good for a story about a murder. I know I am bringing up that topic periodically but please do not read into it:) I am a big fan of all the CSI shows and Criminal Minds. When I think of a good fiction I think of mysteries that involve uncovering a murder and bringing the suspect to justice. The cover design here might be good for a story where the only evidence is a stone that was used as the murder weapon. You would think that would be the key piece of evidence to solve the crime but perhaps that’s all they get to solve the crime. No finger prints, no motive, nothing else.

book cover design project 14 - blood from a stone

Color and Illustration: I deliberately used shades of gray for the entire composition (except the blood) to give a monochrome (black and white) appearance. This gives a basic feeling to the viewer that something is missing. The splash of red is the only color which adds drama to the composition. The appearance of the light gray stone on the dark background provides an indication that a dim light is being shined upon the stone.

Typography: I simply love helvetica. Here I use Helvetica Neue Extended. It is basic, modern and easy to read. I feel that it compliments the composition rather than hog attention. In the previous few designs I have chosen display type that draws attention to itself. Here the overall minimal feeling of the design is supported by the choice of typography rather than created by it. The visual impact of this design comes mainly from the color red. Without it you would be looking at a stone. Although that might seem to be mildly interesting subject, the indication of blood on the stone really startles one’s attention and creates a realization that what you are looking at is the aftermath of something serious.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #13 – Beware The Green Eyed Monster


“Beware the green eyed monster” – We just keep rolling without the fan submissions! This phrase is one that warns of the ills of envy or jealousy. The two emotions are distinct but similar. The color green is often associated with jealousy or envy ( the phrase “green with envy” is quite well known). One source I located references William Shakespeare as perhaps being the first to describe jealousy with green eyes as well as referring to a “green-eyed monster” in Othello.

book cover design project #13 - beware the green eyed monster

I see jealousy and envy in two ways. They are first a childish notion born of immature insecurities. We all experience these insecurities to some degree and can generally deal with them healthily. Secondly, when we do not deal with them healthily and allow the emotions and notions of these insecurities to consume us we become subject to their ugliness which grows into a monster. Today’s design and illustration attempts to capture the childlike cuteness of the monster. But don’t be fooled, it is a monster and if it is not controlled it may eventually become something ugly or dangerous.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #12 – It’s Always Darkest Just Before Dawn


“It’s always darkest just before dawn” – Today I submit to you another “fan” submission. It seems we are in an inspirational trend here. This phrase was difficult to research. The implications of the phrase are fairly obvious, things get worse and perhaps quite dismally worse before they get better. I had trouble finding an accurate origin for the phrase. Every culture seems to have claimed it as their proverb. Writer Carlos Castaneda claims it as an old Spanish proverb. I have also seen it claimed as an old Irish, and English proverb and found several slight variations in the wording of the phrase. So who knows.

book cover design 12 - its always darkest just before dawn

Today’s design gives me a bit of a twilight zone vibe. In the background illustration I attempted to capture the feeling of the break of day, or the crack of dawn. I imagine what a person might see at the very first glimmer of light on the horizon. The moment where one may have given up any hope that a dark night may ever end. Just then they see the line of the horizon begin to glow and know that a new day is just about to begin. That’s it for today! Have a great one.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean

Book Cover Design Project #11 – Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining


“Every cloud has a silver lining” – Yet another “fan” submission from the Facebook page. Thanks to all of you who are contributing new topics. Like yesterday’s expression, this phrase also dates back to the 1600’s. The term “silver lining” was coined by John Milton in 1634 in his writing Comus where he refers to “a sable cloud” and a “silver lining”. Hence forth, clouds and silver linings have been referred to often in literature. The phrase as we know it today implies that there is a good purpose, or result, in everything. Even when things seem to be dark and dreary as in the case of storm clouds, eventually rays of sun must shine through. Thus casting a silver lining on the dark clouds before they disperse all together. The phrase is one of inspiration.

book cover design project 11 - every cloud has a silver lining

Today I attempted to illustrate the emergence of light after a dark storm. I often make use of clip art when creating imagery but I will be sure to point out when I create imagery and illustration myself, which is what I have done here today with the background image. The typography is a display font called Teaspoon. The font elicits a soft “puffy” feeling, sort of like a cloud. The color scheme utilizes varying shades of gray highlighted by bright pale yellow which creates a contrast of darkness and coldness with the onset of light and warmth. With that I will leave you with the words of John Milton. Have a great day.

I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud

Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, submit it in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. If you log into Facebook and do a search on Circadian Creative it will come up at the top of the list. I update the page daily after each post here and I have also archived the daily designs by month in the photo section.

See you all tomorrow.
Sean