Trusting your gut

I am a huge fan of design. Those who know me, know that I majored in communication design before I moved completely to illustration. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to further my design practice along with my illustration and am now able to find balance between the two disciplines. In NY, I sharpened my design skills while working at Bloomsbury Publishing. I mainly handled paperback conversions, but I also had a chance to work on some title treatments for covers and a few picturebooks. When I work on my own books, I think about the design as much as the visual narrative.

I recently delivered cover art and a few black and white interiors for a really fantastic YA novel. When the editor sent me a cover comp, I had a few issues with the design—mainly the type treatment. In the beginning of the project, I pictured the jacket with a hand written title and expressed it to the editor, but when I delivered the art I didn’t have time to explore it. After seeing the cold computer generated font that was chosen, I knew a hand lettered font would have much more impact and personality, so I went ahead and made one.

the original type treatment

Showing is always better than telling.

I drew over the original type treatment and added my own embellishments and adjustments. I then scanned the drawing into photoshop, created paths and imported them into illustrator where I was able to clean and kern until it looked less like casual writing and more like stylized letterforms. Once I was satisfied with the weight and spacing, I pulled it back into photoshop and embossed it. The editor really liked it and is using it on the cover. 🙂

type by Shadra 😉

Many thanks to my editor, Christina, who supported my vision for this project. I can’t wait to share the book with you!