After doing some initial research into semiotics and aesthetics associated with the theme of the book, I got to work developing my conceptual ideas that had begun on paper. I did a number of basic sketches in my sketchbook which I translated digitally by scanning them in and converting them to vector artwork using the live trace tool in Illustrator.
I converted the sketches into vector artwork to keep the designs clean and fresh. I didn't see hand rendered artwork being entirely appropriate for this brief. The brief specifically asks to design a classic book cover, something that will translate into print and digital outputs. I saw vector artwork as offering the solution here. I am not usually a fan of working exclusively in Illustrator, however, a goal of mine for level 05 is to improve my skills in this software, so that is the justification behind my process.
I developed the sketches by manipulating certain areas and lines. I also began to introduce typography into the designs, experimenting with composition and placement. I wanted the type to subtly compliment the confident lines, integrating with the shapes created. I wanted to avoid using bold, dominating typefaces, because I thought that would contradict the overall theme of femininity. I noticed in a lot of the classic Penguin cover designs, sans serifs such as Gill Sans or Futura were used consistently. This prompted me to experiment with a range of more contemporary sans serif alternatives to these classic, timeless typefaces, I thought that by using these typefaces, I would be catering to the needs of the brief whilst also staying true to the book and the author.
Caitlin Moran is a modern woman and spreads messages about modern day femininity in her books, so I knew that I needed to keep my designs minimal and fresh and draw a lot of inspiration from modernist design principles in order to achieve a design that is striking, effective, functional and true to the content of the book. On top of experimenting with composition and type, I began introducing some colour. I looked to use colours which were quite neutral and not stereotypically feminine as such, or whatever that means. After looking at a number of colour combinations, I decided to revert back to a monochrome palette. This was a concious conceptual decision for a number of reasons, the most important being the colour of Moran's hair.