Cover Art for Paksworld Collections

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 under artwork, Collections.

Years back, when I first set up the Paksworld website,  I drew the border design I wanted as a header for it, and then–because I didn’t know how–hired a friend of mine who had worked for Richard Garriott on Ultima Online to render it as a vector image I could use in various ways.   When the notion of doing some short-fiction collections related to Paksworld came up, I immediately wanted to use that design–modified to be a book cover design, not a website header design–on the covers.

Yesterday,  my web designer and I worked our way through the design, fiddling with this and that (she’d already done quite a bit, including flipping the “top” design to make a bottom design) and we mocked up a cover that wasn’t what I originally thought of, but better (in my eyes.)    What I want is something that has the visual look of well-made late-19th c. books.  I have some with pleasant graphic borders (some very complex, some simple) using the elements of the existing website border.

Much of what we did was “fiddle about.”  We played with the corner medallions…would they look better with the interior elements (the white circle, for instance) removed and the background showing through?  (No.  Not nearly as effective.)    Given the requirement for the shape of the image (for Kindles, for instance)  how could we, in this purely graphic design, deal with the amount of plain background?   (We found a way.  You knew we would.  Some of you will guess what it is.)    Would it be better to clone a section of the border to make the sides continuous?  Or something else?   The answer to that wasn’t clear until the title was in place.   What would the border and medallion color schemes look like on different colored backgrounds?   What effects on the font and border had the best results?

We’re not ready to show it off yet…there are finishing touches to be done, such as finding the right leather-texture background (several are being tested with the rest of the design), tinkering with font size and exact placement, tweaking colors up a little, down a little.   But to us, sitting in front of her flat screen,  it’s already looking like a serious, professionally designed cover–intentionally somewhat archaic.   We switched the background color to see how the design worked on the colors chosen for the other three collections…and lo!  there’s the green, the blue, the red, the brown.   Two of the volumes will have subtle (see if you spot them) variations in the border.  The end pieces (1 and 4) will have the original.   Or that’s the plan now.  When a final texture for the background is chosen (and tried in all the colors with the rest of the design)  we might change that.



  • Comment by GinnyW — April 3, 2014 @ 11:44 am


    What a great idea! I can picture these rather anomolous codices in Andressat’s archives already.

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — April 3, 2014 @ 11:45 am


    Designing graphics is fun! Looking forward to seeing the results and the words wrapped therein.

  • Comment by LarryP — April 4, 2014 @ 11:44 am


    Second that.

  • Comment by Fred — April 5, 2014 @ 11:57 am


    GinnyW –

    Thanks for a few pleasurable moments imagining “these rather anomolous codices in Andressat’s archives” – 4 volumes together, as a matched set, on a wooden shelf toward the back of the second room of archives, about eye-height up, held vertical with a ceramic bookend, with the notation in the catalog “foreign alphabet, foreign language, unreadable – but look interesting”


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