Seraphim: Vampire Saga - Cover Art Process

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Seraphim: Carpe Noctem
Reference project & cover case study

Final version of  Seraphim book 1
This project started out with a simple briefing and ended up being a complete jacket -design assignment, including the layout, typography and coverage of promotion material such as bookmarks, business cards and placards.
Back to the actual briefing, I was asked by a local book publisher to do a cover for a novel.
This novel should depict the female main character, a vampire, in a mere local setting.
Without wasting much time, I depicted several roughs as “thumbnail-sketches” to have the author and publisher chose from. These sketches are often rough but I keep the aspect of leaving space for later typography at all times in mind.
Initial sketches

The publisher and author were all for the last rough and decided to make me do a different take on this one. Another 2 roughs were worked out before I got to do the detailed drawings as seen below that depicts all the important parts of the briefing.

Book 1 process sheet

The key elements were the unusually and eyecatching red hair, full moon at early morning and a typical local background, a roughly 2000 years old Roman ruin that is called “Kaiserthermen”.
In the process of developing this illustration, it clearly changed often, the first idea was to put the 2 characters on a handrail, but later we decided to do a setting at a gate to a park that is near the ruin, not exactly the same perspective, but that is what illustration is all about: showing things in a way photography isn´t capable of.

Another good example of things that illustration can do is the brightness, that is evident through reflecting mist, which was added as element of creating a mystery. Its clearly not possible to do such a setting with photography.

Font layout and typography


The typography part was something I learned while collaborating with design agencies in the past. Being specialized in doing book covers shows it advantage here. The font had to be elegant and also recognizable enough, as a series of other books is planned with the title Seraphim as well.

The book layout from cover flaps to
front, back and spine -design

This is the final layout which was delivered for print as xpdf file. The CMYK conversion matched the screen exactly even the tiniest shades of dark clothes were separated, a word of praise to the printers here.

All in all it was a very successful collaboration work, the layout above was for a 5-sided booklet, as seen in the printed and finished product shot below.

Final print accompanied by business cards and bookmarks

More informations about publisher and the book is available here: www.kleine-schritte.de
Be sure to check out the facebook page of author Sandra Baumgärtner
Project inquiries regarding book cover designs and cover artworks are welcome, please visit my portfolio first or directly use the contactform below to get in touch.

Book 2 and 3


The book above is the first in a series, below you see the next in line, book 2 and 3.
Important to not is the coherence in design that was as much guideline as hurdle to the development process.

Seraphim: Mea Culpa - Book 2
Book 2 Process sheet

Seraphim: Veritas Obscura - Book 3

Book 3 Process sheet
Side-by-side view of all 3 books (Example of a flyer)



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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook

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