Cover design of a book collection




Hi, I'm JudithzzYuko, a graphic designer and professional illustrator for almost ten years. In the world of design I feel a predilection for typographic compositions and vectors, but as for illustration I prefer more realistic art, if you want to take a look at what I do you can do it on Instagram:





Through this tutorial we will learn to design the covers of a collection of books with a common theme.

You should keep in mind that I use the English version of the software and that both the captures and the names are those of this version.


1. Choice of the subject.

To start creating the designs of this collection of books you have to be clear about the theme that we are going to choose, in this case in particular the theme of this collection of novels will be decopunk.

In summary, we will say that decopunk is a genre of science fiction that steampunk derives and covers the period between the 1920s and the 1950s in which anachronistic technology is mixed with the aesthetics of art deco and the style of life of that period.


This collection will initially consist of five titles and can be expanded without any problem. For this we will use a title and name generator to create five original novels. For any type of text necessary we will use the “Lorem ipsum” tool to create tablets with lots of text.


Mis cinco títulos y autores son los siguientes:


1. Leviathan of Paris - Terrence Cari

2. The Twisted Cube - Leon Devereaux

3. Heart of Money - Blanche Jeana

4. The Hiding Line - Oskar Gerhard Ulf

5. 1929: The Sleeping Earthbound Bellow - Aleksandr Sinclair



2. Creation of a moodboard.

When designing, especially if it is a collection, you have to be very clear about the elements and styles characteristic of our design that will make, not only that the covers belong to a specific genre, but also that all are part of Same collection.

For this we must look for examples, in our case in particular, of images related to art deco, since it is the main and primary style of our collection of novels. Reference images will vary from architecture; very important and characteristic; Interior design, fashion, posters, typographies and other book designs with similar themes.

An easy way to create our online moodboard is to use Pinterest, as it is a tool that facilitates the collection of images on boards and have the necessary references without downloading them to our computer.


Here you can find the board on which I have compiled several images of art deco and decopunk themes necessary for the design of the covers.



3. Structure of the covers or shirts.

Before choosing colors and fonts we must know what parts the design of the cover of a book consists of.

We are going to do what is known as a shirt, which is used to cover a hardcover book.

This type of design consists of cover or cover, spine, back cover and two inner flaps.

The measurements of our shirt are as follows.


In case you want to use a book that you already have to put on the shirts you have designed, you must take the new measures and change the size provided in relation to your book.


On the cover of the book we will find three main elements, the title of the book, the name of the author and the logo of the printing press.


On the spine will be the same three elements


On the back cover we will place the summary or synopsis of the book, the literary quotation of having it and the bar code.


The inner flaps will be used to indicate the rest of the books that make up our collection and to write the author's biography.



4. Sketches.

Before choosing colors and fonts we must make several sketches to know how we want to structure the hierarchy of the elements that form our covers.

We must bear in mind that we cannot make a design too restrictive since all the covers must follow the same model, even if they use different colors or patterns, that is, the design should give us the freedom to modify the elements minimally and still remain consistent. With the rest of the covers. In this phase we will only make sketches of the structure of the page.


For the design of our covers and based on the references that we have previously collected, I have created several cover models in which art deco patterns are the main thread of our collection.

If we used a very characteristic and individual design, it would not work for our needs since if we make changes, the coherence of the collection could be lost.


5. Choice of color palette.

Once we have the moodboard with all our reference images we can choose which colors are the most characteristic of our theme.


Keep in mind that all titles in the collection must have certain characteristics that create cohesion, one of the ways in which it is achieved is through the color palette. It is not necessary that all titles use the same colors, but the color palette is the same, that is, if we use pastel tones in one of the titles, the rest should follow the same style and therefore also use tones Cake even if they are not the same.


In decopunk there is a clear use of gold and chrome, mainly contrasting with dark colors, so our initial color palette (more black and white) would be as follows:


Once we have the cover design, we can play with the colors to see which ones work best among them.



6. Typography.

In the same way we did with the color palette, we will use our moodboard to find the fonts for our covers. The essential typographic elements for our design are the following:


· Title and author

· Synopsis

· Appointment

· Biography of the author

· Other titles in the collection


Since the importance and function of each typographic element is different we must use different fonts to distinguish these elements.

In the same way that we will not use the same typeface for everything, we will not use a different typeface for each element.

The ideal is to use two fonts with notable differences between them, you have to avoid using similar typefaces since it would not contribute anything to the design, nor do you have to use more than three different ones to prevent the design from being overloaded and losing its main elements.


We will use two well differentiated fonts. For the title and the author, both on the cover and on the spine, we will use an art deco inspired typography, dry stick or sans serif. For the rest of the elements, since we need good readability, we will choose a typography with a serif with a lower weight than the previous one, although to distinguish some of these elements from others we will also use the weight of the typography. Therefore it is advisable to choose fonts that have at least two different weights, regular and bold. Although the Clip Studio Paint text tool allows you to create italics it is always advisable to use a typeface family in which it is already included.


If we do not want to pay for a typeface family there are always free online options such as or where we can find a wide variety of fonts that will help us for our project, either for personal use or professionally. It is important to ensure, especially as regards text pads, that the typeface we choose has all the characters of the language in which we are working.


In this specific case, the two typefaces chosen are the following:

7. Graphic elements, creating patterns.

Apart from typography and colors, the other main element in our design will be the patterns that we will create for each of the titles in this collection inspired by our art deco references.

Each title must have a different pattern, but everyone must have something in common, in this case the design structure will be the same, as well as fonts and colors.


First we will make the sketches inspired by our reference images, but adding elements closer to decopunk without departing from the art deco style.


Once we have the five designs of the patterns we will make each one of them with clean lines and using the symmetric ruler tool.

We will create a file of [500X500px] with a resolution of [150dpi].


To make sure that it is a completely symmetrical and geometric design we will go to the [View] tab and click on [Grid].


Once the grid is visible we will open the [Ruler] tool and choose [Symmetrical ruler] making sure [Line symmetry] is selected.


Thanks to the grid we will find the center of our canvas, drag the ruler to that point and create a vertical line that separates the canvas in half as shown in the following image.


We will make sure that the rule is visible in all the layers we make, for this we will go to the [Layer] window and in [Set showing area of ruler] we will activate [Show in All Layers].


At the top of the screen we will make sure that [Snap to Grid] is also activated so that the next step is much easier for us.


Next, we will place our sketch in one of the layers and lower the opacity to at least 50%.

To make our pattern completely geometric we will use the tools on the [Figure] tab.


With the [Polyline] tool selecting only the line without filling, we will begin to recreate the design that we have sketched only on one side of the image, since thanks to the symmetric rule all the strokes we make will be moved to the opposite side of the canvas.


When we have all the strokes done, we will fill with the [Fill] tool all the parts of our pattern that require it.


When we have finished our patterns, we will open the [Material] tab in the upper right of the screen and drag the layer that contains our pattern.

If you have problems dragging the layer simply select everything, copy and paste in a new layer and drag it to the [Material] tab.


When we do that, we will create a new element, double click on it and a window like the following will open.


We must check the box of [Tiling], select [Repeat] unless the type of pattern we have done needs a different type of repetition, for that it is advisable to try the three different types since once the pattern is created it can be returned to modify here. If we want to have a little more ordered our patterns we will place it in the category of [Color pattern] and if we want we can be more specific and even put it under some subcategory such as [Background], but it will not be necessary as long as all the patterns we believe are In the same category.

To use a pattern we just have to select it and drag it to the layer we want.



8. Creation of shirts.

When we have decided on the design of our shirts, we will make a slightly more concrete design to know exactly where to put each of the elements.


Having all the patterns that we will use for the design of our covers, we will save them and create a document with these measures: 55cm wide, 26’50cm high and a resolution of 300dpi.

The measurements differ from those indicated above since we will leave a space for the blood and for the cut lines, so we will add 4cm both in the width and in the height of our file.

We must ensure that the unit of measure is centimeters and not pixels when we create the document.


If we plan to print the file in print we will have to change the color mode to CMYK. This is not necessary at this point, but keep in mind that colors will vary when we change the file from one color profile to another. Later we will talk about color profiles.

To make this change we will go to [View] - [Color profile] - [Preview settings] and select the basic CMYK profile from the drop-down list.


The next step is to create the cut lines and edges of our document, about which we will also talk more in depth later.

From the [View] menu we will open the [Crop Mark / Default border settings] window from where we will configure our cut lines.


The first group (selected in red) is the one that will indicate the cut lines, that is, the lines that limit our design, everything outside those lines will not appear in the final print, but will be used as a security measure to make sure that there is no white border left when we print and cut the document for possible mechanical millimeter errors. The measurements will be those indicated in point 3 in the case of width and length, for blood we will leave 0’50cms.


The second group will indicate an interior margin in which the main elements of our design will be contained, we should not place logos or texts in this margin since being very close to the edge we could run the risk of losing them. In this case we will leave a centimeter of space within the design area.



The document will be as follows:


The blue line indicates the bleeding of the document, the red line is the complete area of our design and where it should be cut once printed, finally, the green line indicates the inner margin from which we will work on our design.


The next step to follow is to divide the design space between the two flaps, the cover and back cover and the spine with guides. Simply dragging from the rules (if disabled go to [View] - [Ruler]) on the top and right to the position we want, we will take into account the extra centimeters added to our canvas when placing these guides. We can activate the grid in the [View] - [Grid] tab to help us with the position of the guides and the rest of the elements.


Now that we have the canvas ready, we will begin to transfer the elements of our sketch to this document. If necessary we will add more guides to find the means of each part of our book shirt or to mark any other distance we need.


We will start on the back cover where the pill with more text is found along with the biography flap.

On the back cover is the synopsis, the appointment and the barcode.

We must take into account, not only in this part of the design but in all, that at the edges between two sections there is always to leave a space of at least half a centimeter to ensure that the fold of the shirt does not interfere with our design .

With this in mind we will begin to position the three elements on the back cover.

According to our sketch, the weight of the back cover is at the bottom, where we will place the synopsis, the quotation, the appointment and finally the bar code in this order.

We will make sure before placing the text that [Wrap text at frame] is activated in the text tab on our left.


We will leave the same space on both sides when placing the text box of the synopsis of a centimeter and a half, we can also be guided by the number of frames of our grid.


We will place the quotation under the synopsis, aligning it to the left and leaving a space of approximately one centimeter between both elements. To make the difference between the synopsis and the quotation, we will make the latter in bold and the name of the newspaper of our invention in bold italic.


Next, we will place the bar code separated from the bottom edge by at least one centimeter in the lower right.

All the measures given are relative and can be modified depending on your design since it should not be exact to this.


As shown in the sketch, in all the text boxes we will put a colored pill underneath to separate them from the background which will carry one of the patterns we have done before. So when placing the boxes, keep in mind that we must also leave room for these color pads.


Before we start editing and perfecting the texts we will make the text boxes of the flaps of our shirts.


In the left tab we will place all the titles of the collection, in our case there are five. We can, optionally, not put the title of the book on whose cover we are working, but in this case we will include it to add cohesion to the design of all the covers.


We have decided to align all the texts to the right, this is a stylistic decision that can be modified, the important thing to keep in mind is to always leave a margin on both sides of the text box and especially in the lower and upper part since there We will place the pattern we have created for our cover.

To create a separation between the titles we will add the number of the collection and write in bold both this and the title of each book.

We will align this text box at the bottom by matching the border with the barcode on the back cover, for this we will use the grid and guides.


For the right flap, we will center the design horizontally and align it below, limiting the same bar code guide we were talking about before.


In case we want to put the image of the author as it is our case, we will leave a space at the top enough to be able to insert the image later. If we do not want to add the image, we will align the rest of the cover designs with respect to the above-mentioned guide simply taking into account the necessary margin, both above and below, to include the pattern design as in the other flap.


I want the main background color to be dark, in this case we have chosen the color # 222632. We will create a new layer, fill it with this color, then we will change the color of all our text from black to white (#ffffff).

We will also place our logo centering it horizontally on the bottom of the spine, to center it vertically we will use the top guide that marks the bar code and the edge of the bottom margin. We will do the same with the cover logo but in this case we will align it horizontally to the right leaving approximately one centimeter of margin.


9. Cover.

Now we will focus on the cover design. As we have seen in the previous sketches, our cover consists of a central aisle with geometric motifs and the text separated into at least two lines, that of the title of the novel and that of the author.


The first thing we will do is find the center of the cover and create a horizontal and a vertical guide to place the color pill.

We will make a blood-colored pill on the sides, that is, touch the edge of our cover, without leaving any margin, inside it we will begin our geometric design, in this case we will leave a margin in the golden frame so that it does not get lost our design

The color we are going to use will be the same as that of the patterns we have created previously, in this case # 9d7a14.


As we did to create these patterns we will use the symmetry rule, in this case the number of lines should be 4 instead of 2 and the angle will be 45º.


As before, we will drag the ruler from the center, in this case not from the canvas, if not from the center of the cover. In this way the canvas will be divided into four symmetric zones and using the [Figure] tab the [Polyline] tool will create our design as we did in point 7.


In another different layer in which the symmetry rule is not activated we can start working with the text.


Depending on the number of words in our title we must create more than two lines. The important thing in this case is to give greater importance in the hierarchy to the title than to the author of the book. Normally, if the author is not well known, the title is always what first attracts attention on the cover of a book. If, on the contrary, the author were well known, his name would be the element whose weight would be greater in the design of the cover. Whether we choose one or another option, we must keep in mind that the same design rule must be met on all covers.


The typography of our title and our author will be of art deco inspiration, since although the readability was a little more difficult in this case, being a size larger than a normal reading text such as those found on the back cover or flaps, the length of the text to read would be very small and therefore the effort would be minimal. However, a typography whose reading is almost impossible should never be used.


The color will be the same as the pattern and graphic element that we created previously.


If we have chosen a typeface with several weights we will use a higher, bold weight in the title of our novel and a regular one for the author.

In the same way letter size should be clearly higher in the title, occupying even two lines, while in the author it will occupy a single line and will be lower.

Both texts will be centered and justified among themselves to the extent possible.

We will separate both texts with a golden line to reinforce the separation between the two elements.


When we have the most author title set, we will focus on the page about the graphic motif and the color pill that we have created before.


10. Loin design.

We must bear in mind that, although we see the whole design of our shirt, once it is placed in the book each element will be seen separately, therefore there should not only be a relationship between all the elements of the shirt but also a Once viewed separately, they must also be placed correctly in the space in relation to the rest of the elements of that space.


In the case of the spine, the logical thing would be to focus it in the same way that we have done with the title of the cover, since it has the same elements, but since the space is much smaller the elements work differently and therefore we must do certain adjustments to make it visually correct.

When we create the element of the title and author for the spine we will take into account the free space to center it on the spine, but not the space that the logo occupies, since if we did, even if it was centered in the space it would look strange.


We will leave a margin above the logo equal to the space below it. From that remaining space we will find the center horizontally and vertically, and we will use guides to mark them.

Using the symmetric rule again in the same way we did with the graphic element of the cover we will create another element for the spine, inside which we will place the text.


In the case of typography on the spine, since there is not much space, it will be placed, both author and text on the same line and we will separate both elements with the color since the weight and size of both will be the same. We will use gold for the title and white for the author and center both elements together leaving margin between the graphic element and the text.


If we have many guides and hinder our work, we can eliminate them once we have finished using them.


11. Patterns.

To add the patterns in our design we can do it in several ways. As what we want is to add the color pads behind the text and be able to move them in case we want to modify the design, what we will do is apply the pattern to a complete layer.


To do this, we just have to create a new layer and, from the [Material] tab, drag the pattern design we want to use and drop it on the canvas. We must make sure to place this layer below all others except the one with the background color.


Once the pattern is placed we can modify it to fit the size we want.


To create the color pads under our texts we will create a new layer and using the grid we will select the different parts of our design that we want to fill with the background color.

This layer should be located just above the layer in which we have placed our pattern.


To make the next step it is advisable to hide the layer of the pattern and activate the grid so that it is easier for us to make the selections since we can help ourselves by the squares of the grid.

In the case of the loin we will select, thanks to the guides, the space indicated by the green lines of which we speak in point 8.

In the following image, the space that our color pill will occupy is marked in red and in green the one that will occupy the pattern on the spine once printed and cut, regardless of the extra bleeding space.


For the text of the back cover, we will join the synopsis and the quotation in the same tablet and leave a margin around that will be the same on all four sides and that will coincide with the right edge of the barcode.


The two flaps will have the same color pill size and will occupy the entire flap except the lower and upper space that will be equal to the spine, in that part our pattern will appear.


To select different spaces at the same time we must press the Shift key while making a new selection using the [Selection Area] tool.


When we have selected the color we want to use, we will simply use the Alt + Delete key combination and the entirety of our selection will be filled with the chosen color.


12. Text boxes.

Now that we have almost finished our design we will perfect the text boxes. The ideal is to do this step at the end when we have already thought about where everything is going to be placed and we are not going to make significant changes.


The text on the back cover and the flaps should be between 9 and 13 points. It is not advisable to be too small, especially if it is a white letter on a dark background since the background can be eaten typographically depending especially on the type of print we choose, but it should not be too large as it would be too coarse.


We will align the text to the right before making other changes to avoid having to repeat certain steps later.

To prevent rivers from appearing in our text boxes, those blank spaces that can be seen with the naked eye when we look at a long text, we will use the [Word space] to refine the spacing between letters and words, adjusting to prevent certain words from being cut and so that a general image is much more neat. It is advisable to play between the values -0.5 and 0.5 but try not to exceed those figures since the difference would be quite noticeable, we have to manage to adjust the text without noticing that we have done so.



13. Photo of the author (Optional).

Once we reached this point, our design would be complete, however, we can optionally add the author's photo, in this case they will be copyright-free images found on the internet.


Simply we must have the image with the size that we want, all the photos that we will use for the rest of the shirts must have the same size, we will drag the image from the folder in which it is located to the layers tab, where we will create a New layer with our image on it.


We will put it in the right flap, over the text of the author's biography, adjusting it to the width of our text box.

If the image is not the correct size, we will select the space in which our image should occupy with the [Selection Area] tool and being in the image layer we will create a mask layer by clicking on the [Create layer mask] icon that We can see in the following image.


At this point we would have finished the design of one of our covers and this would be the final result.


14. Duplicate pages (available in the EX version).

To make the rest of the pages it will not be necessary for us to do the whole process again from the beginning. Using a tool that is normally used to create manga pages we will create our first design as a template so that the only thing we have to change is the content of the text boxes, the title and the author and the background pattern, but maintaining the position and the characteristics of all the elements.


In the [Story] tab we will select [Duplicate page] to create an identical page to the one we just created and that we can later modify.


A window will appear where we will put the name of the project and where it gives us different options to align the pages. In our case this is not important since we will only use this option to unify all the files and to create duplicates.


When we have created a new page they will appear in a tab on the left with the thumbnails, if we do Control + click on the thumbnail we can add another page, duplicate it or delete it.

From here we will create as many pages as we need and we will modify each of them by changing the texts and images.


Once we have all the covers, we will make sure we have saved the joint file that encompasses them, a folder will be created so that we can open the entire project or open each cover individually.


This would be the end result of our shirts:


15. Preparing to print.

There are several things to keep in mind when printing our covers, we will talk about the basics to know how to modify our files depending on where we print them.


If we are going to send our files to print we will always do it in four-color (CMYK) and with a resolution of 300dpi whenever we use four or more inks, that is, if we are going to print full color images we must use CMYK. In case of using if we used flat inks like Pantones the process would be something different. If our design consists of only two colors, ideal and cheaper would be to use Pantone. In that case we must ensure that the colors appear as Pantone and not as CMYK. If we use a mixture of CMYK plus a flat ink, we must ensure, in the same way, that it appears as a fifth ink and is not passed to CMYK.

Pantone are opaque inks so they can be printed on dark colors without any problem.


The ideal is to have a Pantonera to know how the colors will be once printed. If our print run is unique, for a personal job, printing in CMYK could have the same cost as in Pantone or lower, it is advisable to talk to your printing company so they can advise you about it.


If we are going to print at home or copy shop since it is a personal project or something of a very small print run, our file will be in RGB and a resolution of 150dpi will be more than enough.


In both cases, whether we print at home or in print, if our design reaches the edges of our established size it is ideal to leave an extra bleed, as we have already done in our design, of about five so that at the time of cutting never there is a blank space in case the cut is not 100% perfect.


To be able to cut our design we must add the cut lines, which we already did when creating our file.


Make sure that we send the file in the correct format, again, in case of doing it at home or copying a .jpg or .pdf will be enough, in a more professional case the .tiff format would be much more appropriate.


In the event that our printing company folds the shirts of our books, it should be indicated with dashed lines, it is always advisable to consult with our printing company since sometimes they need a mockup or mockup to make sure they are making the folds and cuts in the right places


If we are going to print at home we will simply go to [File] - [Print Settings] and select Crop Mark to print with the cut marks from our printer. It is important to keep in mind that the size of the shirt will usually be larger than the size of a normal folio, so unless we have a printer larger than DinA4 the ideal would be to print in copy shop, if we want to do it in house we will have to print the document in at least two pages, for which the cut marks will help us to join them.


If we are going to send our files to print we must make sure that the color profile and resolution are correct and that the cut lines will appear before sending the file.


Opening [Batch export] from the [Export multiple pages] menu we can save all the files in our document separately.

A window will appear in which we will have to change the format to .TIFF and select all the pages or indicate the range in case we want to export only a certain number of pages.


In the next window that will appear we must change the color profile to CMYK and make sure that the scale is 100%.

Here you will see the option to select the cutting masks, if this option is not available it does not matter since it will save the file with the marks as long as they are visible in the document you have created.


16. Digital version.

If we are going to upload our images to social networks or to our online portfolio we must take into account that we do not want them to weigh too much. We will always use RGB since they are light colors and we will use a resolution of 72dpi, enough not to lose quality and that the file does not weigh too much.


If we want to upload them in our portfolio we can use the deployed shirts, but to make it visually more striking, the ideal would be to upload images of the shirts already printed and placed in a book.

If we do not want to print them we can use a mockup, which will explain what it is and how it is used in the next point.


17. Mockup.

A mockup, in the case at hand, is an image of a real blank object that is used to falsify a digital design as if it were real.

We will need a photo of a book, whether on the internet or on its own, in which the book covers are blank.


Once we have these images, we will open them in Clip Studio Paint, we will also open the images of our covers and add them to a new layer.


In the layer of our cover, we will go to the [Edit] - [Transform] - [Free Transform] tab and edit the image to fit the size and shape of the image that we will use as a mockup.


We can work with the complete cover or divide it into parts, whichever is more comfortable when transforming it.


If we need to curve the image of our cover so that it fits better to the mockup we will use [Mesh Transformation] in the same previous menu. This will allow us to modify interior points of the image and will give us more freedom when adjusting the cover.


Once we have adapted our cover to the mockup, what we will do is select using Command + click on the cover layer and we will create a mask by clicking on the icon indicated below.


Selecting the mask, we will modify it, drawing or erasing, until the size fits perfectly to that of the photograph.


When we are done, we will change the layer mode from [Normal] to [Overlay] to make it more natural and the texture of the photo is visible through our layer.


We can repeat the same process for the rest of the covers, even using the same file.

This would be the final result:




New Official Articles