Creative Project 07  – 3 Paperback Book Cover designs

Project Template (3 MB zip file download)

This is a PSD template, with proper guides, template information, industry-standard resolution (300 pixels per inch), and set to RGB, which is the preferred color space for color inkjet and color laser printing.

Book Cover Inspiration Link-o-rama!

Beginner’s Guide To Book Cover Design – Tips, Tutorials & Ideas

50 Best Book Covers Of 2012: Design Observer Announces Winners

90 Beautiful Book Cover Design in Different Style

Book By Its Cover

Excellent Book Covers and Paperbacks | Smashing Magazine

The 50 Coolest Book Covers Ever – Entertainment – ShortList Magazine

The Book Cover Archive

Nigel French Website: Book Design

…some Nigel French Short Talks (videos)

Nigel French on Book Design: Part 1 (2 min. 30 sec.)

Nigel French on Book Design: Part 2 (4 min. 17 sec.)

Steven Heller’s fascinating School of Visual Arts lecture on the book covers of Paul Rand:


A Book Cover Series (3 pieces)


(finished size 10.75” x 8.25”)

BOOK COVER DOCUMENT SPECIFICS (note: Paperback book -not- Dustjacket)

You can do one of two options for the 3 paperback book cover designs.

Option 1. Pick a known book by a known author (I can find them on Amazon). Design 3 completely different designs for the same book title, 3 finished proposals, or comps, for the same book.

An example: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. 3 totally different designs, concepts, looks, but all for “Animal Farm.”

Option 2. Pick a known author who has written 3 different books (I can find them on Amazon). Design 1 cover design for each of the 3 book titles, that have the same feel and match each other in style, typography, size, placement of imagery and type, but differing in actual content, color, and of course the book title. So they all have the same “feel.”

An example: The author is, let’s say, John Steinbeck, and we are doing paperback book covers for “The Pearl,” Cannery Row,” and “Grapes of Wrath.”



Digital File Preparation:

All required techniques are to be completed in Photoshop software with some use of Illustrator allowed also if you know how too.

Your templates will be RGB files, at 300 pixels per inch, with a document size that will include the finished trimmed book dimensions, plus an 1/8” extra area, on all four sides, “the bleed,” and all colors or imagery should go to this edge, so a clean trim edge can be achieved on the finished size.

All required techniques are to be completed in Photoshop software with some use of Illustrator allowed also if you know how too. Final projects are not accepted late – no exceptions.

The flattened PDF you are submitting is a copy of your layered PSD file.
(Note: Make sure YOU always keep a layered PSD file of all your important work, for editing purposes.)

How do you do this?

1. Create your design or designs with the templates provided.

2. Save a copy of your layered PSD file by going to the top menu bar of Photoshop.

3. Choose File > Save As… Name it “yourname-final.”

4. Select “Photoshop PDF” as your file format, and below that, check “As a Copy” -AND- uncheck “Layers”. Click “Save”.

If a little window pops up, click “Okay” and continue…

5. Another “Save Adobe PDF” window opens. Choose the Adobe PDF Preset [Press Quality].

6. In the Options area below, uncheck “Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities” leave everything else as is, click “Save PDF.”

7. That’s it! Your PSD file will stay open, and your flattened PDF will be somewhere you saved it on your computer.

8. Submit the digital file or files to me via Dropbox, Google Drive, or usb drive in class.

9. Get it printed in the lab, full color, photo-quality paper stock.

10. Bring to Class.