Character Development: ‘Princess of the Mountain Region – Daphne’

Princess Daphne is the daughter of the ‘evil king’ of the mountain region. She disagrees with her fathers destruction of the peace there had been for so many years and so leads a secret rebellion against him in order to stop the war and save her father from whatever has befallen him.

Her character is very headstrong and stubborn and she is slightly spoilt. Her clothing is was meant to reflect her rebellious nature, however also comply with the idea of her being a princess and the theme of steam punk which makes the mountain region.

foto20foto21These are the initial sketches when trying to come up with her clothing.

foto15As for her facial features. Daphne is very beautiful and feminine with long wavy hair to emphasise this. The image above shows her facial appearance.

foto16This is the first sketch of Daphne as a whole. Her dress with its corset and leg and breast flashing gown reflects the character the girl is supposed to have. She is very confident and will use her looks for her advantage.



The Final Piece

Following is the final submission piece for the 2013 Puffin Design Awards.

The idea behind the design is that after every adventure rat and mole always return home together. By using the back of the book to represent the ending to a day of adventures and the front for the return and the beginning of a new story/ chapter, the book not only gets a less static feeling to it. Through the movement the viewer gets the impression the stories never end and the characters themselves enjoy the happenings and willing reenter the book day by day. Furthermore the colour scheme is very spring-like and friendly. This was especially inspired by the beginning of the book where the mole suddenly decides to give up spring cleaning and go out into the world, leaving his dark hole behind. Furthermore I still wanted to keep the element of the story being a classic and so reflected this in the hand-drawn, more realistic than cartoon-like characters.

All in all I am very pleased with the final result and can say I enjoyed its development very much.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.35.56 PMStand-alone Cover.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.36.20 PM

Full Book Sleeve View.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.31.42 PMScreenshot of Submission Confirmation E-mail.

Feedback Session

After having tried several different typefaces and still not reaching a satisfying result I continued for the time being on perfecting my layout, colours and images. In our next lesson I then was able to gain some feedback from my tutor and help with the typography for the title. After playing around and trying different typefaces the decision soon fell onto Adobe Caslon Italic. Then by moving and tilting the text around it was able to gain a much more less static flow to the cover, perfectly working together with the imagery which also breaks away from the classic static positioning of the illustrations on the cover. For the text on the spine of the book the same principle was used. To move away from the straight text and make the spine work well with the rest of the design the text was written in a wave shape.

Development: Choosing Type

Following is a test of typefaces that could suit the cover design. After typing out some examples of serif typefaces I highlighted the ones which I found most appealing, that in the next step would be applied to the design itself. The reason for the choice of a serif typeface is due to the traditional look I am trying to preserve.

The highlighted fonts from top to bottom are:

Bernard MT Condensed

Book Antiqua

Hoefler Text

Lucida Bright


Development: Logo

Building on my research I know began sketching out layout ideas. Following shows the different types of logos. Some are solely text others have imagery within them. After deciding on one logo design I liked I sketched it beneath in more detail and created a quick photoshop mock up. However I realised that it still was not quite what I wanted as  in my head I wanted imagery within the logo, such as with games like Final Fantasy. I continued to look at my logo and came up with the idea to let the two dragons of my story engulf the world not just two clouds of black and white. Below is the process:

 foto17Initial sketches with the further developed logo on the right.

mockupQuick photoshop mockup.

foto1Further development and integration of the dragons.

Research: Game Covers/ Logos

To gain ideas and inspiration for what I was imagining for my game I first had to look into game covers I liked.  I had to ask myself the question whether I wanted it to be imagery heavy or simply show the logo of the game? Following covers are examples for the different styles I looked into.

First of all I looked into covers with simple type and graphic heavy covers. I realised most of the imagery on such covers are retouched 3D images. As 3D modelling was not an option for my i decided to experiment and see what it would look like if I hand drew an image and digitally painted it.

assassins-creed-2-box-cover-ps3Assassins’s Creed II

heavy-rain-us-cover1Heavy Rain

tomb_raider_reborn_ps3_game_cover_2_by_anniecroft-d4oblkyTomb Raider

My second idea was to design a cover where the logo would play the main role combined with some small imagery. A logo on a dark background which would make it standout seemed to be the best option although I was willing to try a digital painting first.


re5_ps3_front_bbfc__uk_only_Resident Evil 5


Shivering Isles


XIV_PS3_coverFinal Fantasy XIV

Development: Book Layout

Following are some of the initial paper layout ideas and what they look like in inDesign. The layouts show different arrangements of text and images. These were selected keeping in mind the concept they will work for. The book will have chapters that not only through text, but also through its images speaks. Chapter by chapter it will introduce the characters, their stories and relationships.

foto-1Sketchbook Layouts.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 3.59.03 PM Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 3.59.14 PMinDesign Layouts.

Further Book Cover Research

Following is a collection of contemporary book covers for classic stories. The hand drawn, simple in layout and limited in colour range of the penguin series appeal to me, however there are also some examples (such as the tom sawyer) which are exactly what I am trying to avoid. I want the book to stay classic with a touch of a new freshness and not create another brightly overly cartooned disney-like style. To me it is very important to have the hand drawn images as the centre of attention (e.g. the winnie the pooh cover).