• Book Cover Design • Adobe Photoshop + InDesign • Teacher’s Notes

T y P o G r @ P h Y


* N O T E S : Book Cover + Photoshop + InDesign (Step-by-Step Instructions)

* Photoshop = best for Digital Imaging
* InDesign = best for sharp, clean text + page layout

Compositional Thumbnail Sketches (x 4) >


Starting the Book Cover in Photoshop >

Open Photoshop CC.

PREFERENCES > (Menu Bar: Mac/Photoshop >, PC/Edit >) Units & Rulers > Rulers > Inches

Go to FILE > New > Width/9”, Height/7” (Front + Spine + Back Cover – Left to Right of Book )  >


Grab the ‘Move Tool’ (Top Left Corner of Toolbox) > Click and hold on rulers to drag Guides into place (for 1/8” Margins/Bleed Edges each + ½” Spine), automatically designating the left (Back) and right (Front) Book Cover (*standard of a “Mass-Media” Trade-Paperback-Book”) >


Go to FILE  > Save As > “YourFirstLastName_BookCover_FirstDraft.psd” > Location > save it to your ‘flash’ drive > continue to save multiple drafts…

Go to WINDOW > Layers (Panel/Palette) > double click and re-name background to ‘Guides’ (this will also “unlock” the background layer).

Working From Your Original Image File (Image Library) >

Open your saved Image File Folder > (allow the creation of original Image Files to become a creative habit) of .jpeg’s/.tiff’s (make use of your original artwork: “continuous tone art” – drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, collages, scrapbook materials, surface textures… elements that you plan to ‘collage, montage, decoupage’ together, as separate layers in Photoshop)… save, scan and download from your digital camera as well, from your sketchbook, portfolio etc…

*Example: ‘Image File Folder’ samples: (Drawings + Watercolor + Colophon, Typeface (spelling “DUNE”… and I included my ‘Letterform’ as well/to use as a framing device), shown below in Bridge >


– On a MAC: drag the images (one at a time) from your Image File folder (on your desktop) > into the Photoshop Icon (on your ‘Taskboard’) to open each in their own layer.

– On a PC: Go to File (Menu Bar) > Open > Find each file on the desktop, in the folder.

*In either case: Grab the Move Tool > Click on the Image > ‘Drag and Drop’ it onto the Book Cover > where Photoshop automatically creates a layer for each.

Organizing and Naming Layers – Keeping it Simple >

Go to WINDOW > Layers > Re-Name each new layer (Drawing I? Line Art? Image 1? Texture 1? Photo 1, 2, 3? etc…)

*Step and Repeat for all the textures, images, elements… you plan to ‘collage’ together

(as shown below) > each layer has been created by ‘dragging and dropping’ each new file, and re-named after that image/file (as shown below) >


Hiding and Showing Layers: as you work from one layer to the next click on and off the ‘Eyeball Symbol’ for each layer.

Drag layers above and below other layers to ‘re-order’ them (this is especially important when creating effects, such as blending modes… between layers.

*Order “Key Image/Background Image” layers at the bottom/base of the panel.

Typing a passage will automatically create it’s own layer.

New Layers can also be created by clicking on the ‘New Layer Icon’ in the bottom right of the Layers Panel/Palette, or by opening the pop-up menu in the top right corner of the same panel.

Line Art (Tracing) Layers >

Creating Line Art: create a new layer (to be placed above an image layer beneath) where you plan to trace with the “Line Tool,” which is excellent for creating line art on it’s own layer. Go to the Tool Box > Line Tool (Hiding under the rectangular shape tool), and choose a pixel thickness (1 or 2 pixels, which can later be made ‘thicker’ through: EDIT > Stroke).

When using the line tool, check to ‘Content Panel’ (at the top of your screen – which will add options for every tool selected) – to change the ‘Stroke’ (outline) color of your line, while you are drawing/tracing >


Each line you draw is considered an ‘object’ and will automatically create it’s own layer.

When you have made changes to individual lines, and know you are ready to ‘merge’ all these lines/layers into one ‘line drawing,’ hide the ‘eyeballs’ on all the other layers that are not ‘line layers.’

With only the line layers made ‘eyeball’ visible – Go to LAYERS (on the menu bar) > Merge Visible… to compress all the line layers into one layer (one drawing). Title/re-name this layer “Line Art.”

More Layer Panel Options >

Duplicate/copy layers by dragging a pre-existing layer into the ‘New Layer Icon’

Discard/trash a layer, by dragging it into the “Mini Trash Can Icon’ on the same panel.

Change the transparency/opacity of a layer, by using the ‘Transparency Slider’ at the top right of the Layers panel.

With a chosen layer already selected: lock and unlock a layer by clicking on and off the “Lock All – Icon” near the top left corner of the Layers panel.

Manipulating Image Layers: Photoshop Tools, Filters and Effects >

Select an image layer (one at a time), and turn off the ‘Eyeballs’ on all the other layers.

Only one selected layer should be ‘Eyeball’ (visible) – to get started.

*With a “Key Image/Background Image” at the base of the Layers panel, select this image to make changes >

Grab the Move Tool from the Tool Box (in the top left corner) to move the layer into position.

Go to: EDIT > Transform… in order to >

EDIT > Transform > Scale
EDIT > Transform > Rotate
EDIT > Transform > Skew
EDIT > Transform > Distort
EDIT > Transform > Perspective
EDIT > Transform > Warp

Try these transformation tools… to “undo”… go to: EDIT > Step Backward.

Example of EDIT > Transform > Distort >


Change Colors:

IMAGE > Adjust > Color Balance
IMAGE > Adjust > Hue/Saturation
IMAGE > Adjust > Curves
IMAGE > Adjust > Photo Filter
IMAGE > Adjust > Channel Mixer
IMAGE > Adjust > Vibrance

Change Value + Brightness + Contrast:

IMAGE > Adjust > Layers
IMAGE > Adjust > Brightness/Contrast
IMAGE > Adjust > Vibrance

Change with Image > Adjust Effects:

IMAGE > Adjust > Posterize
IMAGE > Adjust > Invert
IMAGE > Adjust > Equalize

Change to Grayscale (warning: this can change the color-mode…)

IMAGE > Adjust > DeSaturate

Limit your entire palette to 1 or 2 colors: (warning: this will cause other limitations)

Step 1 > IMAGE > Mode > Grayscale
Step 2 > IMAGE > Mode > Monotone > Select Color/Picker/Pantone + Black
Step 3 > IMAGE > Mode > Duotone > Select Colors/Picker/Pantone + Dark Color

Change with Filters:

Filter the Key Image Layer:

*Make sure to keep filter options ‘subtle’ so that your key image does not ‘scream’ of the ‘plastic wrap’ filter, for example. Don’t allow filters to dominate your layers, making your project “too Photoshop obvious.” Keep it simple:

FILTER > Filter Gallery > or…

FILTER > Blur +
FILTER > Distort +
FILTER > Noise +
FILTER > Pixelate +
FILTER > Render +
FILTER > Sharpen +
FILTER > Stylize +

Combining Layers >

Reversing the light/dark/color value of your “Line Art” traced layer, select that layer and go to: IMAGE > Adjust > Invert (where light lines can become dark and vise versa, or blue lines can become orange/color-complementary, and vise versa).

With your ‘Key Image/Background’ Layer in place… see what it looks like with a “Line Art/Traced Layer’ above it >


Select 2 Layers to Create Blending Mode Effects (Between Layers) >

Order two image layers above/below one another on the Layers panel.

To select both layers: select one layer first… + holding down the ‘Shift Key’ …select the second layer as well.

With two image layers selected, go to the top of the Layers panel to the drop down menu that says ‘normal’ – this is the ‘Blending Mode/Effects Drop-Down Menu.”

Blending Modes: are different from Filters. You can try different Blending Modes, and still return to the ‘normal’ effect (before ‘saving’ your project file).

Some Blending Modes will work with your images… and others will not.

Here is an example of the ‘Darken’ Blending Mode: creating an effect between two layers (one ink drawing and one watercolor) >


Creating Compositional Guides for Type, the Colophon and Other Visual Elements (to pre-visualize compositional placement) >

Make sure rulers appear on your screen: go to VIEW > Rulers (Rulers still not in inches? PHOTOSHOP > Preferences > Units > Inches)

Using the ‘Move Tool’, drag guides from the rulers, onto the page, where you envision placing your title, the colophon and other visual elements.

At any time, with the Move Tool, guides can be dragged into another position, or off the project and back onto the ruler (to remove guides).

Adding Visual Elements + Adjusting Guides (Refer to Book Cover Sketches) >

Make ‘eyeball’ visible:

– The Colophon Layer

– Original Typeface “Title” Layer

– Create and add a simple UPC symbol for fun… (using the line tool, with different pixel weights, making only the lines visible, in order to LAYER > Merge (just the lines) – onto a transparent layer) >


– Other Textures (to ‘blend’ with type layer/s, for instance…)

*Using the same transformation tools, effects… position each new element (and adjust guides to fit new placements)… arriving at the ‘First Draft” >


*Add more key images, change compositional, textural and type placements to achieve multiple drafts > See: Teacher’s Demo.

Finishing the Book Cover in InDesign (… if text is blurry in Photoshop) >

Save a copy of the Book Cover from Photoshop without its layers of electronic type.

Open InDesign CC.

PREFERENCES > (Menu Bar: Mac/InDesign >, PC/Edit >) Units & Increments > Horizontal + Vertical > Change to: Inches

Go to FILE > New > Document, Change: Width to 9”, Height to 7” (Left to Right of Book )

Go to FILE > Place > and find your version of the Book Cover without its electronic type layers > placing the file in the window > move/nudge it into place.

If this image looks blurry in InDesign, go to > VIEW > Display Performance > High Quality Display.

From the rulers: again drag your guides into place.

Go to WINDOW > Layers > to rename your first layer “Key Image”

Create a ‘New Layer:’ and name it “Text”

Draw: ‘Rectangle BOXES’ (on the new ‘Text Layer’ selected): where you would like to type your new ‘Electronic Text’ (*InDesign Reminder: always create a ‘BOX (or polygon)’ where you plan to place images, text, drop quotes etc…).

Type into ‘Text Boxes.’

Rotate ‘Text Boxes’ (as needed).

Change Color of Type: Create and Save – ‘New Color Swatches’ (as needed)

InDesign Book Cover Example >


*Reminder: multiple drafts of this Dystopian Novel Book Cover are available in the next submenu – listed under “Book Cover Drafts • Digital Imaging + Composition • Teacher’s Demo” …

Questions? EmailAM32@sunywcc.edu

Project II Notes – Mrs. Cruz