Since I talked about the cover of Dance in Shadow and Whisper, I thought it'd be fun to go into the process of this cover. The process was actually a bit different from how I though together the first cover, because now I had to think about how to carry the same theme of the first to the second.
An important part of covers for series is that they have to look cohesive. There's got to be some visually unifying devices that clearly identifies this cover as definitely part of the series.
I mean, that's totally daunting. Let me tell you.
When Victoria and I took our trip to Pittsburgh, I photographed everything. I got every angle of different buildings and cityscapes so that I had a wide range of pictures to choose from. Here's what the original base image of the cover looks like:
On its own, it's painfully ordinary, right? But, by the end, I had transformed the base image to look like this:
Up close, the building basically looks like a vector, but for Pittsburghians, the PPG building is easily recognizable. The building is such an awesome design, so how could I resist using it for this particular cover?
What I ended up doing was making a "sketch" of the second and third covers to make sure I could manage some key similar characteristics (yes, that means I've thrown the first draft of the third cover together already too!), so here's what the sketch looks like:
Welllll, I got the basic idea down, and that was the point. One of the first noticeable differences, of course, is that "web" was originally sketched out. I ended up scrapping that halfway through drawing out the letters because "web" was just hogging way too much of the composition. The letters were very heavy, stealing so much of the spotlight that the other letters seemed almost out of place.
So I decided to use regular Georgia for "web", and in the end it worked out well because I was able to place the series name much better-like.
This time around, I also decided to use an image for the back cover, since Fracture the Spider's Web has two sides. Here's the image I took out in the middle of Nowheresville:
I took a bunch of pictures of these trees, but the clouds were moving so fast that each snap is different from the next. I loved this one in particular (the first one I took, actually) because the cloud shapes mimic the shape of the trees, forming a lovely composition on its own. Here's how I transformed it:
It's TOTALLY distorted by this point -- and also flipped. I did this so that the colors matched the front cover as closely as possible, and I flipped the whole image in its final form to get the right kind of symmetry.
Like this, the picture doesn't look very cool. At all. Looks like novice Photoshop farting around. BUT, with all the other layers on top of it, here's what the final product looks like without text:
Textures really make a difference! And the sunburst? Well, you'll have to read and find out!