Glose Books Covers
ILLUSTRATION, TYPOGRAPHY, Photography
Glose is an ambitious startup creating a social reading platform. Their goal is to connect writers and readers through books. This platform is a great place to share ideas, knowledge and engaged reader communities. They're offering a large catalogue of books both on mobile and desktop and I was hired to design some of their covers. No need to say that the passionate reader inside of me was more than excited by this challenging project.
Story & challenge.
Glose contacted me to design e-book covers for their product. They needed they own book collection as they offered free books to their users.
The deal was: 1 month, 110 covers.
At that time I was a full time employee in a web agency, so I took this project as a freelance designer. Even if I was excited by the project, the number of covers requested with this tight deadline scared me a little at first.
But my love for books took over my doubts and I was ready to take the first step!
Creating a collection.
I had to be efficient and fast, but my main concern was to create something not only consistent (to establish the idea of a giant book collection) but also with various styles (to avoid visual redundancy between the 100 covers). So there it is, how can I satisfied my client's will for diversity while imposing a discrete identity mark?
I decided to be subtile and to keep the same layout: Author's name on top, logo 'Glose' at the bottom. And in between? Well, creative artworks with different styles. I had to use diverse techniques and work fast because I had a pace to keep up!
Process & research.
One of my favorite part with this project was the research phase. Even if I already knew a lot of great Classics, I had to make some analysis to identify the main topic and the atmosphere of the story. I wanted each cover to represent the book itself with a simple idea or small details of the story. I focused on the reader's need to understand with one glance in what ambiance they would dive into.
After that I chose the most appropriate technique for each book, depending on the ideas I had and the context of the topic. I used mainly 4 styles: Patterns, Illustrations, Photography and Typography.
Patterns & women.
I've made an entire series composed of floral and feminine pattern. I wanted to create a consistency between those novels about strong woman and induce a kind of book collection.
Those ones helped me to be quick and to save some precious time. I had to respect my deadline without compromising the quality of my work. It was really hard to spend more than 2 hours creating a new cover. Patterns turned out to work out pretty well, especially with the use of good typography and ornaments.
Photos & editing.
The main challenge with these particular covers was to propose an accurate visual support for the stories. Using photos can be a way to empower the message but no need to say it's hard to find the perfect image. For this reason, I sometimes used photo manipulation, bringing all my basic visual skills from school, from background removal, to photo treatments, through lights & shadows adjustments.
Vectors & illustrations.
Working with illustrations is something that I love to do when it comes to graphic design. Creating book covers allowed me to have fun while letting my imagination play its part.
That's probably my favorite kind of cover because I had to create everything from the scratch. It was important to think about the concept before even considering the style, the colors or the pixels.
Typography & lettering.
Even if I chose a specific font to reflect the story's tone for each cover, in some cases I pushed it a little bit further. I played with letters and words to create a harmonious compositions and give more strength to the message.
Of course, photos and illustrations remain essential to support the visual effect, but the goal was to focus on the title.
The Shakespeare series.
At some point they wanted me to design a whole series for William Shakespeare.
I had to create a strong consistency between each book. I determined a style using a unique font for the title, a main color, a grunge effect and a simple illustration.
I took care of details and every cover matches with the story of their book.
On the screen.
Designing covers for printed books is one thing, designing covers for screens is totally different. First, the medium is the phone or the computer, not the book itself. It's often hard to create an sensitive experience without tangible material, but this was another good challenge.
I worked in collaboration with the UI designer to make sure the covers would blend smoothly into the app and the website. I wanted the readers to have the best discovering experience possible with a complete immersion in the universe of the book.
One of the needs after implementing the covers in the app, was to give them more impact and to add interactivity to the screen.
After a rich brainstorming, we decided to try an experimentation by adding subtil animations on the cover. It was an original way to present books in the app. Glose hired an animator to give life to my artworks.
I really loved the idea.
After the success of the first batch of covers, Glose decided to keep going with my services for a while and I had the chance to design more than 180 custom covers. I truly loved working on this project, using my passion for design and books.
It was impossible to show all the covers in this case, so here's a selection of my favorites.