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Cover Art

Cover Art

After I had submitted my design ideas for the Inside Flash 5 (New Riders) book cover that I was working on with Fig Leaf Software, New Riders asked if I would be willing to do a cover design for the Inside Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 book. My natural reaction was “Awesome! When do you want it?”. What you see now is my second book cover for New Riders Publishing.

Gathering Process

When they asked me to create a cover for Inside Dreamweaver UltraDev 4, they told me that I could do something abstract. I decided that one of my comps would be to walk about and take photos of objects that intrigued me. Having a previous fascination with streets and signs, I began to collect images of signs, symbols, and devices that are used in daily life for navigation. With about 200 images of street signs, stop lights, cross walks, and so on, I began my process of sifting through all these symbols. After deciding on the street symbols, I decided some texture would be needed. Another trip through the “concrete jungle” and I had images of gravel, brick, steel structures, and dirt to reference from.

Main Elements

The image I chose to focus on was the photograph of a street with a section of a “TURN ONLY” symbol and a pothole cover. I liked the angle of the shot, and from there began changing “ONLY” to “ULTRA”. To do this I used Adobe Photoshop’s Transform and Scale along with the Skew tool to create the right angle to match “ONLY”. After I had it matched, I used the Stamp tool to blend “ONLY” out and fill in the space with asphalt texture. Then I used the Masking function to airbrush in weathered marks on “ULTRA” with various brushes in the palette box.

I used an image of a garage door combined with a construction work light for the bottom texture. I created duplicate layers and set a Motion filter and gave them a medium opacity for a smoother texture. Using various blending modes, I adjusted the image to get the right amount of blending. Then I used another texture that I had from a Metro Station floor and implemented it as a geometric element. To get the right amount of contrast from each texture, I duplicated and gave them various blending modes. Color screens of orange, black, and blue were introduced with gradient masks to help bring out certain colors within the textures.

The Publisher had asked me to include catch phrases that the UltraDev user would recognize. After arranging and designing them into the textured element, I created vertical bars with white and black fills set on low opacity. I used the blending mode set to Overlay, Softlight, and Colorburn to achieve some contrast. For final highlights I used the line tool to accentuate the vertical band.

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