Designing the Cover: Part One

Designing a cover for the book has been a hugely rewarding process for me. My academic background is in marketing and I have a particular love for branding. As such, I wanted the book to have a distinct look.

I was very lucky to be working with the amazing Kiri Northam, and all these designs belong to her. Before our initial meeting, she asked me to come up with a scrapbook of ideas. Being a geek at heart, I was inspired by many things and all of them had a sci-fi twist to them.

I compiled a 50-page scrapbook with various ideas. The first thing I latched onto was an Art Deco theme, with the Bioshock video game franchise as the inspiration. The art direction in the three games of the series is both beautiful and eye catching.

The next thing I looked to was starship design. The Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica is one of my all-time favourite designs. The colour scheme of grey and orange/red is eye catching without being overpowering.

Geeky t-shirts were also instrumental. Franchises like Alien, Star Wars and Doctor Who nearly had my head explode with ideas. I loved the simple use of colour and logo design and wanted something similar on my cover. The Weyland-Yutani Corporate logo from the Alien franchise is one such logo. Any geek knows what he (or she) is looking at in an instant, but it is not too recognizable either.

Poor Kiri had to go through all these eclectic ideas, and to her credit she appreciated the fact that I had some clear ideas. The morning of our first meeting was a little nerve wracking. I had no idea what she would come up with and I knew she had been reading a rough draft of the book. It's a strange feeling to meet someone who knows you intimately and you know nothing about them.

Anyway, we met in a coffee shop in August 2016 and Kiri presented me with four designs. Just seeing these covers had me excited. It was the first time I got the feeling that this was really happening and seeing an M3 on the cover was amazing.

Cover 1 had the Art Deco look down and although I liked it, it didn't feel right. Cover 2 was more book-like in its design and it had a traditional appeal that I liked. Cover 3 and 4 are a play on the same theme. Incidentally, I didn't come up with the blue colour. Everyone assumes it is TARDIS blue, but Kiri created this on her own. In the end, it would be Cover 4 that would be the design that we would move forward with and refine over the coming months.

Stay tuned for Part Two coming next week.

Cover 1: Art Deco M3

Cover 2: Many Small M3s

Cover 3: Large Everything!

Cover 4: "Mm, I like the blue..."