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Connie Nelson started writing her first novel as the world stood still during the start of the COVID pandemic. As she came closer to finishing her first novel, she contacted us to design the cover of her book and support the launch.
The process started before I first met Connie, familiarizing myself with the story. Connie's true-crime memoir, Cavalier, The Story of An Unsolved Murder In a Small Town, shares the story of her friend's death, and suspected murder. Though I did not read the whole manuscript, I started on the first page and kept reading until I felt I had a good sense of this story.
The next step was meeting Connie, getting to know more about her and her hopes for the book and its style. After gathering ideas, motifs, and imagery that might be used, I set out to create a few samples that could guide our next step.
Connie chose the most minimal cover design, featuring a snowy backdrop, a scene she felt captured the setting well and conveyed the sense of mystery surrounding this cold case.
From there, it was a matter of making adjustments based on Connie's feedback, with multiple updates to text, positioning, and colors used on both the front and back cover. This was a back-and-forth process that spanned a couple weeks as the manuscript was finalized and final changes were made. Just before the final approval, Connie asked for a pop of color, and I added in a crimson red color we had worked with, adding it as a frame on the front cover and making it the color for the spine. I think this will make the book stand out on any bookshelf and gives the cover a good amount of energy to combat the somber grey colors throughout.
See the final cover below!
Working on this cover was a lot of fun! It was a big responsibility and I appreciate Connie's trust.