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Linocut design for book cover concept

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

A few of weeks ago I got an email from a big well known book publishers.

The editor liked my work and I was asked to create a book cover concept for one of their new titles.

There must me some mistake? It must be a fake email?

Well it wasn't!!!

This was on a Thursday. They needed the concepts by end of Monday.

I was having a much need 2 day break with friends in Grosmont. Eeek!!!

I was awaiting approval from the National Trust on my linocut test prints too. Another project with a tight deadline and one I couldn't let slip.

Before I knew it the words came out of my mouth saying YES!

How could I say no after all?

On the Friday I did lots research to understand the target market. Before I went on the Saturday I put together a pack of colour samples and print samples to accompany my concepts in London. Sunday we came home early as the weather was awful, sleet and gale force winds. I curled up on the sofa with my sketchbook and bashed out ideas.

Although I'd not been asked to provide actual linocut designs at this stage, I felt I needed to in order to get my style across. After all it's not every day you get chance to have your designs shown at a big book publishers!

I'm allowed to share this bit. My initial linocut.

I went onto scan and colour the design up, showing how it would look on the cover. It also meant I could show the design in several colourways. There are other elements too that I could layer on top in Photoshop.

Should my artwork be selected there were bound to be changes. I'd re-cut the design and print it in colour, before scanning.

I'm disappointed to say that at the covers meeting the sales team decided to stay with the current in-house graphic style that they are currently using on the authors series. A shame as apparently the editor and top bosses really liked my cover artwork.

Despite all of that, they were a lovely client to work with and is often not the case, paid me for my concepts too. I was down in the dumps and lost my mojo for a bit but a weekend of teaching workshops brought it back. :-)

It's very easy to focus on the negatives. This was their feedback. I need to keep focused on that.

"I hope to work with you again in the future, as the editor and I thought you were super professional."