Behind The Scenes: Designing Our Cover

Last week I posted the final design for the cover of the Hic & Hoc Publications anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends (to be released very soon!). I thought I might show you guys the process of creating that design with a little behind-the-scenes action.

First I drew tiny thumbnails of a handful of (mostly terrible) designs and wound up with two that we liked. One was somewhat inspired by Jenn Woodall’s submission, and the other one was less specific and had a bit more of a noir feel.

We weren’t exactly satisfied with either design though, fearing that one of them was perhaps to similar to the cover of another Hic & Hoc book, and also wanting the cover to bear some thematic resemblance to our original call for submissions poster. The poster was super Edward Gorey inspired, so I started looking at Gorey book covers to get more ideas. Then I found this:

This one caught my eye because one of our designs had a house on the back, too. Really, a big spooky house just screams “mystery” and that’s what we were going for. With that in mind, we determined to put the house on the front instead, and make the cover wrap around to some sort of simple silhouette design on the back. So, hooray! We finally had a game plan for the cover! Then all I had to do was to go to The Internet to find a house that looked spooky enough. I thought this one fit the bill:

I stuck pretty close to what I had in the reference photo, only tweaking a few minor things for design purposes or to make it slightly easier to draw.

After I inked the image, I Photoshopped it up real nice with a few different color schemes to see which one we liked best.

We finally settled on the turquoise, and I took it back to Photoshop to add in some text, a fancy hand-lettered title, and all that jazz. You can’t tell at this size, but that boat logo has two teeny, tiny pirates on it.

And so, voilá! A cover! I don’t know if behind-the-scenesy things like this interest you guys, but if you like it I could do more. Or less. Whichever. I am trying to post more often so that I just don’t drop off the face of The Internet every time I’m working on a new project. We sent this book off to the printer last week so I should have a release date at some point soon. I am super excited to see this book in print, and hope you are too!