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In this project, we need to choose one word from two lists of word at random and produce a fictitious title for a book. Using this title we are asked to produce abstract imagery for the cover in reaction to this title. We will explore the innate

properties that different materials and mark-making contain. They not only give instructions and information to the reader or viewer but they convey subtle conceptual messages through their construction.

FASCINATING CLOUD First, think about how I can make it abstract but not too concrete. Analysing these two words, I would probably focus more on ‘cloud’ to design the background. ‘Cloud’ is a noun, an object that people can think of something real. For ‘fascinating’, it is an adjective that we could have some

emotional thoughts of this word. But it is still some feelings, it can not be touched. For this reason, there is some handmade skills or some special materials I would use to tell its ‘fascinating’. Let me start with a clearer idea of how to design a book cover.

The front cover is really significant, because when people see this book, firstly and directly they will be attracted by the front cover. So a front cover should be visualized strongly. A front cover includes: Title of the book, name of an author.

Not all the books can be shown its front cover for a long time on book shelves. So a good spine will simply let people recognize the book, the information that spine provided is the key of design. A spine includes: Title of the book, name of an author, the publisher logo. The back cover can be designed as a spread with front cover. The back cover provides more details of the content. Most importantly, it includes the barcode and publisher information as a product for sale. The reason why I choose Laurence King to be the publisher is Laurence King publishes books related to creative industry that is perfect for my book. A back cover includes: Shortly introduction, barcode, publisher information, price.

IMAGES SOURCE [1] Front cover: [2] Spine: [3] Laurence King’s Logo:

The spread of this book cover is really beautiful and cohesive. The colour scheme, the flow of shapes are inspirational for me.

The special skills shown on the front cover is eye-catching. Maybe I could do something handmade on front cover too. It would looks more ‘fascinating’, isn’t it?

There are two typefaces used in this cover. The hand-writing typeface on the front cover is also applied on spine and back cover to show its hierarchy.

The fish without its head leaves enough imagination for readers, also the color on the spine separates the cover into three parts.

IMAGES SOURCE [1]Bristol short story prize anthology: [2] One flow over the cuckoos nest: penguin-book-covers/ [3] Twenty five:

One of the workshop is to design a modular typeface with certain shapes as the image on the left shows. I’m thinking of the feelings that ‘fascinating cloud’ take to me, it’s soft, warm and flush. Without any sharp corners, I decided to design the font with circles, semi-circles and quarter circles. The image on the right is a font I copied as practise before. This font and the font I’m designing are really similar, so I use this font as reference. I played with the partial circles, and finally I had a draft of the letters I need as the name of book.

This is the final outcome after I edited the font in Adobe Illustrator.

At first, I would like to put all the distinctive letters on the spine, but it’s too difficult to read. Considering the spine, I designed a logo consisted of ‘F’ and ‘C’ to make the spine more recognizable.

This is the basic layout of the book cover with all required elements including the exact size and the information.









1. Photograph by brainiak005 on Reddit 2. Photograph by Agathman 3.Photograph by NASA Satellite Image 4. The Storm Behind the Hill Photography By Carlos Gotay 5. Photograph by Derrich 6. Photograph by Agathman 7. From 30,000 ft. POV Photography by Chaluntorn Preeyasombat 8. Photograph by Alan Light

After the layout of the book cover has been designed, I could get some inspiration from photographs and choose the main theme of my cover. Looking at these images, they are so wonderful and pretean. The cloud can be represented by many different kinds of material.

1. COTTON Because of its texture and colour, cotton is one of the most related thing people can think of cloud. Everybody knows when we are on the airplane, we would describe the cloud as cotton candy. So it is not a bad choice to have some cotton and take some photographs. 2. VOILE Like some night cloud, comparing to cotton-like cloud, this would be lighter and softer. And of course it’s completely different from sunny-day cloud. However, it could be more fascinating with night-cloud colour with slightly orange. 3. GRADUAL COLOURS For most people, cloud is always with blue sky. Maybe a small range of blue can be perfect to describe cloud. Using different kinds of material or special skills can fascinate the cover. It can be watercolour painting, sewing yarn, chasing paper (or other semitransparent paper) and so on.

Obviously, they are photographs of cotton. So my first experiment is to do with cotton. I tried a few styles of lighting and slightly different colour tones in Adobe Photoshop, finally they come out with a mild style.





It’s a fascinating collection of abstract cloud-like design work using visual language with basic design principles.







£ 35.99

ISBN 978-1-86207-995-3

9 289012064313





ISBN 978-1-86207-995-3

9 289012064313


£ 35.99


It’s a fascinating collection of abstract cloud-like design work using visual language with basic design principles.

As the name of the book ‘Fascinating Cloud’, I decided to experiment with some sewing skills to create its fascination. Firstly, a sponge is used to create the cloud-like background. It is more textured with a little sand in the pigment. Also, the edges of text area are painted more so that it looks more organized. The tracing paper covered on the background is cut into natural shapes, edges of text are decorated with sewing white string. All the smooth shapes create a kind of atmosphere of peaceful, delicated, simple style.

This is another experiment with sewing skills. The four kinds of different blue strings try to illustrate the complicated layers of cloud. The sewing area around the book’s name is more random that it sets up an abtract concept of ‘Fascinating Cloud’. This is what we required to convey in this project - find a abstract way to present the work. To a great extent the handmade part increase the attraction of cover, and it is unique.

The feedback of all experiments helps me to improve the cover to final version. Experiment 1 and 2 look too details for cloud that is not abstract enough. So combining the basic design of experiment 3, here shows the final outcome.

Since the designed font doesn’t fit the whole cover well, I decided to change a font.The new font, James Tan Dinawanao, looks more flexible, emotional and imaginative in this case and more readable. Play with the handmade part of experiment 3, the background layer becomes more and more interesting. The negative book title makes a distinctive 3D effect with navy drop shadow. The easy-read font

can be used on spine now. On the back cover, insteading of retype the name of book again like a mirror, there is a longer text of introduction on back cover that people can quickly get into the book. For a real printing one, I would like to choose some textured papers, so the image of finished piece shows the idea of using selected papers.

Designed by Cancan Huang All rights reserved, 2014

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