Book Cover Design Project #10 – Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – This is another “fan” submission from the Facebook page. This expression is long lived and dates back to the 1600’s. The phrase implies that one should not focus all his or her attention, or efforts, toward one goal in the event that the goal can’t be achieved. A more current interpretation is not to isolate one’s assets in one place. This is easily applied to the financial world where people are encouraged to keep there money safe in multiple types of investments (diversification). Being a computer guy I often think of this phrase when backing up my data to a second hard drive. A while ago I learned the tough lesson to not keeping all my digital eggs in one basket.

book cover design project 10 - don't put all your eggs in one basket

I was feeling cartoonish when conjuring up this design. Sort of Looney Toons if you will. My first idea was to have an Anvil falling from the sky toward a basket of eggs. I found a really nice image of a bowling ball and chose to go with that at the last minute. I used a font called Modern 20 to set the message. It is a somewhat informal font and I thought it complimented the cartoon-esque nature of the design. The font set in red and rotation of the words sort of puts a Dr. Seuss vibe on the composition as well. That’s all for today. Hope you enjoy.

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.

Book Cover Design Project #9 – The Grass Is Always Greener…

“The grass is always greener on the other side” – This expression was submitted in response to the “be careful what you wish for” post from a few days ago. They go hand in hand as both phrases warn of the potential ills of gaining what we do not have. The grass is always greener implies specific wants of someone in our proximity. I believe the phrase may have originated with the rise of suburbs during the mid 20th century (I’m just guessing here). I believe it refers to one  person admiring what their neighbor might have and feeling that they have less by comparison. The car in the driveway, the house and perhaps even a lovely, well manicured lawn might seem better on the other side of our fence but in reality they is probably little difference. The important thing to remember is that often people might appear to have everything but that does not necessarily mean they have happiness. This conjures additional phrases such as “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” and “money can’t buy happiness.”

book cover design project 9 - the grass is always greener

Going along with my suburban interpretation, I used simple shapes that resemble blades of grass to illicit the feeling of a lawn on the greener side of the composition. On the other side I used neutral brown and tan to imply that things might not be so green there. The fluctuations in color I feel are fairly obvious when garnering meaning. I used the font Cooper to typeset the message. The decision to use Cooper was random. I like the font but rarely find a situation where I feel it conveys what I want in a design. Here I think it works. Not sure why. That’s it. Hope you like it.

Reminders: I am always accepting submissions for words or phrases. If you would like to see me design something around yours, please submit something in the comments area below. Also, If you are on Facebook please add Circadian Creative’s Facebook page to your “liked” pages. You can leave comments there too. 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.

Book Cover Design Project #8 – Under The Wire

“Under The Wire” – Another common expression meaning to complete or achieve a goal at the last possible second. The phrase originated from the sport of horse racing. Prior to the invention of the cameras a wire was tightly strung above the finish line in an effort to assist stewards with calling a close race. The horse whose nose crossed under the wire first was the winner.

book cover design project 8 - under the wire

Today’s design was also done under the wire. Meaning I waited until the last minute to complete it. However, don’t be fooled by the use of white (empty) space and the simple black and white color scheme. I usually work in black and white and/or shades of gray to get a design started and only add a color scheme toward the end of the process. After figuring out the general composition here I decided to leave it black on white. I really like the look. Really. I’m serious. Hope you like it too.

See you all tomorrow.

Book Cover Design Project #7 – Be Careful What You Wish For.

“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” A common phrase warning that there could be unforeseen consequences to acquiring certain things. Sometimes we are simply given what we need and that should be good enough. Sometimes getting what we want rather than what we need is more of a burden or responsibility than we initially perceived.

book cover design project #7 - be careful what you wish for

All I could think of for this design was an image of a birthday candle waiting to be blown out. Make a wish!

Reminders: still accepting submissions for your your word or phrase that you would like to see me design something around. 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.

Book Cover Design Project #6 – In The Belly Of The Beast.

Today’s book cover design uses the phrase “in the belly of the beast”. It was thought of yesterday as Colleen and I entered our local Wal-Mart which is similar to entering the Cantina bar in Star Wars Episode 4. It’s just a mad house and filled with seedy characters. As we entered we simultaneously said, “now we’re in the belly of the beast.”

I did a little research and it is quite obvious that the phrase originates as a tribute to the biblical story of Jonah and the whale (or giant fish). In a nut shell, Jonah defies God’s request to travel to the evil city of Nineveh to preach to the people. Jonah runs from this responsibility by jumping a ship heading in the opposite direction. Soon the sea’s become violent and a storm surrounds the ship and Jonah realizes that he must jump ship to save the crew and passengers. At Jonah’s request the crew throws him over board and the storm quickly dissipates and the seas calm. Jonah is consumed by a giant fish (or whale) and spends three days repenting inside the belly of the beast. By God’s will Jonah is released from his situation and travels to Ninevah as God originally intended.

book cover design 6 - in the belly of the beast

The moral of the story is basically not to run from your responsibilities. The implication of being “in the belly of the beast” is that one has shunned his or her responsibilities. Contemporary implications are more political. For example a spy who has infiltrated an organization in order to undermine it from the inside. This is the interpretation I attempted to illustrate in today’s design.

The words are arranged in a way that creates a small void in the middle of the phrase. Within the void I placed a red skull shape. Both the color and the shape indicate a feeling of danger. The belly of the beast is a dangerous place to be, no matter what the reason for being there. In thinking through my imagery for this phrase I came up with several ideas for designs. I might revisit these ideas and post additional designs for this phrase in the future.

Have a great day! See you all tomorrow.

Book Cover Design Project #5 – Urban Jungle

Urban JungleThe city. The term refers to its streets, alleys, subway system, inner-city neighborhoods, playgrounds and schools. Usually a metropolis characterized by densely packed residential buildings, businesses and a decaying industrial sector. In the 1970’s, the urban jungle was referred to as “the street”. Also known as “the concrete jungle”. This is a broader term that encompasses both The Hood and The Ghetto.

book cover design project 5 - urban jungle

Ah, the Urban jungle. My initial impressions of this design is that it is a complete failure. First, the design goal for this series was to try to create very basic imagery and combine it with simple typography. I wanted to keep everything very simple and in that effort create designs that are reminiscent of 1960’s penguin books or designs that resemble those of Saul Bass. I have not accomplished this here. Today’s rendition of “urban jungle” is more 1990’s bookstore, coffee house than 1960’s paperback.

Aside from not meeting the design assignment’s criteria, I think I’ve created imagery more appropriate for a book about architecture than what the term Urban Jungle might imply. The top and bottom area of the design come from a photo I took of the ornamental top portion of a decaying pillar. The center of the design located behind the words urban jungle come from another photo I took of a modern architectural feature. The over all composition appears too decorative or sophisticated to say urban jungle. Perhaps the book could be about cities that contain a wide variety architecture. Or architectural changes that have taken place since the rise of cities in America covering classical and modern and all other types of architecture in between. Maybe that’s an urban jungle too, right?

Reminders: If you would like to submit your suggestion of a word or phrase for me to design something around please leave it in the comments field below. If you are on Facebook add Circadian Creative to your pages here. Be sure to click “like” to add it to your pages!

See you all tomorrow!

Book Cover Design Project #4 – Golden Hour

Golden Hour In Photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, especially in cinematography) is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day, when a specific photographic effect is achieved with the quality of the light.

book cover design project 4 - golden hour

Today’s book cover design pulls me back into the original intent of the this particular daily design series which is to use basic imagery and typography. Today I use typography in conjunction with the illusion of long shadows which are characteristic of the “golden hour.” Also utilized is the obvious bright and warm color palette, which is characteristic of sunrise and sunset.

The book could be about anything. I am imagining a murder mystery where the clues to finding the suspect are found during sunset, because that is when the crime originally took place. Perhaps I’ve been watching too many CSI Miami reruns.

Reminders: If you would like to submit your suggestion of a word or phrase for me to design something around please leave it in the comments field below. If you are on Facebook add Circadian Creative to your pages here. Be sure to click “like” to add it to your pages!

See you all tomorrow.

Book Cover Design Project #3 – Inside The Beltway

Inside The Beltwayis a phrase used to characterize parts of the real or imagined American political system. It refers to the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495), a beltway that encircles Washington D.C., and is meant to invoke matters that are important primarily within the offices of the Federal government, it’s contractors, lobbyists, and the media which cover them.

Today’s book cover design is based on the expression “Inside The Beltway.” As I was reading through my list of words and phrases Colleen instantly said that I should use that one. So here it is. I was not sure I was prepared to take this one on quite yet but I gave it a go and I am glad I did. I am pleased with how it turned out. I actually feel like doing some modifications but perhaps I will save the ideas for another day.

The thought process leading up to this one was exciting for me. Initially I could not shake the idea of using a highway. Way too literal and not creative thinking by any means. As I forced myself away from all thoughts of using a road or a highway the idea of a circular barrier stuck with me. I of course thought of the monumental buildings which are prolific in our nation’s capital. I thought about the capitol dome and utilizing it’s curvature in a design. “thats a circle, at least in part.” I thought. I considered placing imagery inside the capital dome which would symbolize the thought process inside the political arena. Outside the capitol dome I would place imagery that would symbolize America, or “We The People.” Of course these two ideas would be in stark contrast and juxtapose one another. I thought and I thought…

book cover design project 3 - inside the beltway

Then I had a spark. I thought of my website momentarily. I use photo of a cheap souvenir paperweight on my website. The paperweight is a diamond-esque shaped, clear acrylic piece. Contained within is a three dimensional silhouette of the our nations capital featuring the Capitol building and the Washington monument. Shortly after conjuring this image I thought of a snow globe, which is circular in shape and separates whats inside form the outside world. “I found the perfect metaphor I do believe,” I thought to myself and began working on the design.

The metaphor – The idea here is to illustrate how the atmosphere inside the beltway is worlds away from the people it ought to be supporting and representing. We all look at our nation’s capital with an idealism that seems to be lost in reality. Inside any snow globe is a magic, perfect world. We gaze into it and delight in whatever magic and perfection we perceive to exist there. But after the snow has fallen we always come to realize that it is artificial and we must return to our real world outside the bubble.

Politicians do not have this luxury. I believe that most politicians gaze at the snow globe that is “inside the beltway” early in their careers honestly believing that if they could just get inside they will be able overcome the facade and make a change for the benefit of the people. However, once they get inside they are trapped by a glass dome that is made up of lobbyists, special interests, bipartisanship and other agendas designed to centralize money and governmental power (not what the founders intended). The more powerful those centralized forces become, the less powerful “We The People” become. Every election cycle we get the opportunity to shake the snow globe, but what’s inside never really changes. Once the snow flakes settle we come to realize that nothing is changed.

The rest of the Design – I used patriotic colors – red, white and blue. However, I tried not to read into the colors too much. Of particular interest is the title. I chose to subtly repeat it in the background, much like the phrase is repeated in our media. We hear it constantly in the background noise of our lives but never think about what the words mean. When we do stop to think about politics, it is almost like we need to step back and strain ourselves to understand. This feeling is indicated where the title stands out in white by forcing the reader to read the words from right to left instead of left to right. This is unnatural and uncomfortable. After struggling to read the title, most of us will simply rest our eyes on the image of the White House inside the snow globe and stop thinking about the words. To be sure, trying to stay on top of the facts in the political realm is tough work. The above aspects of the composition corresponds to how politicians and biased media outlets make the truth so difficult to understand that most of us simply learn to ignore and become complacent regarding politics, even if our individual liberties were to become jeopardized somehow.

Perhaps the thesis of this book could be a study of the above phenomena throughout our nation’s history. Perhaps an examination of how the founding fathers might view today’s Federal government.

See you all tomorrow.

Book Cover Design Project #2 – Paranoia

Paranoiaa mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. Suspicion and mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification.

Oh the details I could share about my inspiration here. But I can’t and I won’t. Call me paranoid, but this website is actively promoted and who knows who might stumble upon it;)

book cover design project 2 - paranoia

So I will stick to the definition above and the design analysis below for my description. Perhaps you all can write your own book from personal observations. I chose the image of eyes as the symbol for paranoia. After all those who are paranoid often feel they are being watched. The bottom set of eyes look stressed and vigilant as though they are on the look out. The top pair look as though they are critical and judgmental, disapproving of what ever it is they see. Note that they are watching each other. Which pair of eyes do you interpret as belonging to the paranoid?

Another dynamic of this design is in the typography. I chose to set the word “paranoia” in a grungy distorted typeface (called Magnesium, Grime). The typeface makes the word look as though it has been worn, damaged or deteriorated. Another interpretation could be that it has been set in a careless or hasty manner. However you might see it, my chosen typesetting reflects many aspects of the underlying mental state associated with paranoia. I repeated the word and offset each instance of the word to further convey the disorganized or uneasy feeling.

Color. I used muted dark colors except for the primary instance of the word “paranoia,” which is colored pale yellow, and the whites of the eyes where I used a pale yellow gradient. The overall composition is dark. It creates an uneasy spookiness. In the minds of most paranoids this is the alternate reality they create for themselves. They are usually paranoid because they can’t honestly assess their own shortcomings in a healthy way. Rather than face those insecurities, they create a world in their heads that is dark and sinister where they are being persecuted and victimized by external factors rather than accepting the fact that they have normal strengths and weaknesses like everyone else.

So, what was your answer to which pair of eyes belong to the paranoid? At first I designed this piece based on the bottom pair of eyes belonging to the paranoid. I placed them at the bottom to establish their stature as lowly and overpowered. However after reviewing the composition I realized that paranoia goes both ways. The top pair of eyes represent paranoia by a person, or group of people, in power. Perhaps exaggerated self-importance or superiority, perhaps genuine but misguided authority. Imagine the lower pair of eyes belonging to a less powerful person or group. Imagine that person or group feeling that they are being monitored in every conceivable way, they feel persecuted. Then imagine the top pair of eyes of the one, or ones, in power looking critically and mistrustfully at the individual(s) below them. So the answer is, either pair of eyes could be suffering from paranoia. As the artist I say both are paranoid and feeding off of one another, creating a vicious cycle that might escalate itself to a breaking point.

There’s the thesis. I’m sure each of us can plug in the details and write our own stories.

See you all tomorrow.

Book Cover Design Project #1

OK, this was an interesting experience for me. I have been so looking forward to this “book cover” project but had a tough time getting into the groove for this first post. The common expression “the eleventh hour” was the phrase that I chose to design around. The imagery came fairly obviously to me. Perhaps too obvious? Perhaps too literal? you be the judge and let me know what you think here. Personally, I do like it but know that I can do better in terms of stretching the creativity. I may revisit this phrase and design around it again. We’ll see.

book cover design 1

Now that you all have had a chance to see the basic concept for this series of designs, please feel free to submit your word(s) or phrases and I will attempt design around them as if they were the title of a book that needs a cover design.

See you all tomorrow!