Escape Key Graphics – Illustration and Maps

The Design Process of One Book Cover
Graphics Illustration

The Design Process of One Book Cover

Book Cover Illustration

step by step process of a book cover from concept to completion.

Sketch1

Sketch 2

Sketch 3

Final Proof

Final Product

Back in 2003 I was contacted by friend and author, Jay Humphreys, saying that he had just written his first novel and would like me to create a cover for it. The transcript arrived a day or two later and I read it immediately. It was a very visual story, so this was going to be fun. It was called Uncle Sam’s and set it in the 1930s in St. Augustine, Florida.

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How Book Covers Are Created
Graphics Illustration

How Book Covers Are Created

Custom Book Cover Illustration

Book cover I designed and illustrated
for “Phillip Singer An Accounting”.

See more of my book covers in my illustration portfolio.
This article is to help inform anyone who wants to hire someone to produce a book cover for them.

I’m going to break down the development process into three steps. In some outstanding cases steps can be skipped or modified, but this is the method I have used for almost every book cover I’ve developed. It has worked well for me and my clients find it efficient and helpful to them as well.

  1. Concept Development:
    In rare cases where the client knows EXACTLY what they want and have supplied all imagery etcetera I may skip this step, but it is very rare.

    Book cover I designed and illustrated about Florida Marine Biotechnology for Florida Sea Grant.

    This is the stage where a clear concept of what the end result is supposed to look like is established. Normally this starts with deciding whether to use illustration (a drawing or painting), photography or text only on the cover. This is a joint process done with the client. This usually doesn’t take long (it can be one email sometimes), but I have to know what the client wants or what decisions they are willing to allow me to make regarding the look of their book cover on my own. It is at this point I provide a quote.

    I have to know what a client wants in order to provide them a quote. Keep in mind that doing an oil painting, for instance, takes a lot more time and materials than pasting a photo in the middle of a book cover in some software package, so I have to have a clear idea of what the desired end result is to make a quote that is fair to myself AND MY CLIENT.

    If the client would like me to make proposals of my own concepts I usually go through whatever has been supplied to me by the client first. This includes ideas that the client has and any photos or examples that they may have supplied. If at all possible I read the manuscript thoroughly at this point as well.

    Whether it’s my concept or that of the client I now make sketches of what the final product should look like and submit them for approval by the client.
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The Painting of a Mural
Graphics Illustration

The Painting of a Mural

Painting a Mural

Step by step process of the creation of a mural

By John Potter


Finished sketch


Ensuring proper measurements for the space


Final product

See a gallery of the creation of this mural Step By Step
When I bought my home there was a huge blank wall right at the end of my swimming pool on my patio. It made you feel kind of like you were swimming into a wall, or you were in some kind of compound. This was the perfect place for a mural.

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