Design Process: Redesigning book covers (fanjob)

Most people who know me, know that I am an avid reader and will happily digest 1-2 books a week. What a lot of people don’t know is that the book series that got me into reading is the “Obernewtyn Chronicles” a hugely popular series, written by an Australian Author.

The last book in the series came out about a year ago, at the time the author, Isobelle Carmody  had organised an launch event to celebrate with the long time fans. Part of this involved a fanart display from the online fansite community – which I’ve been a member of for a decade or so.

With the final book out I decided to give the series a cover refresh. I’ve always loved these light water colour versions of the harry potter covers, and they were my starting point conceptually. I took the idea and decided to do a cover focused on a specific animal for each book, the first book features Maruman – the protagonist’s old, one eyed grumpy cat friend and guardian
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This was created from an existing stock photo of the grumpiest cat I could find, then photo shopping out his eye and adding the scar, then applying a number of filers to get a black and white almost vector effect. I capped it off by adding bright yellow to his remaining eye – a key trait for the character.

I followed this up with a series of covers for each of the other books in the series keeping in theme.

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(fans of the series should be able to identify each character on each cover!)

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I printed the first cover and glued it on to a copy of the book (here’s a print ready PDF if anyone is interested) with the intention of getting Isobelle Carmody to sign it. Alas I missed my chance at the launch event and had to wait almost a whole year until the next comicon where I could get her to sign it. I got my chance this weekend and it really completes the design!