Despite the fact that I design stuff on a daily basis (and get so much praise for it that sometimes leaves me uncomfortable), I have the hardest time to come up with designs for my own things. There have been moments when I nearly asked my designer friends to take over. I know what I want, but it takes a hell of a long time to actually look like it. And lots of research. I wanted something minimalistic (1), vaguely retro (2) and it should work without any photographs. I think I finally managed to put all of this into one cover:
You might’ve noticed that it says “Book One” there – as it is growing into a full book, I think it deserves its rightful place where it belongs in the series: At the beginning. 😛 Speaking of growing into a full book – I decided to keep writing through all of June, edit and proofread in July and publish early in August. For once I’m wise and don’t put down any dates, as I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know me…
Well, I guess I better use my remaining vacation time to give the short stories matching covers now too, the Prologue is way overdue for a relaunch anyway.
(1) Mostly because opulence is a lot harder to pull off well.
(2) The whole thing is set in some sort of alternate 1950s after all… although I still struggle to make this visible, as books are not, uhm, movies.
It just came to me that Meadow Junction has a pretty interesting offering on restaurants, diners and nightclubs for such a small town attached to an airbase. My next thought was: How would their logos look like? And why don’t you design them for reals? Sometimes I listen to my stupid ideas…
Because my brain is stuck in a dark, swingy night club at the moment, I did the logo of The Marmoset first. The monkey looks like a disgruntled Yoda, but oh well… for a quick scribble, this is okay.
I think I need to put bike shops on the list of stores I’m not allowed to enter – right next to book and home decor stores. It has the potential of getting a quite pricey experience. But you see, as I was window shopping with a very good friend yesterday, I fell in love. Badly. This is what caught my eye:
It’s an Electra (1) Loft. It has everything I like: classic frame and a great colour. Oh boy, the colour is even better in real life, a gorgeous teal. I requested a test ride, against better knowledge. Of course, it delivered – it’s a beautiful, quick and nimble ride. Also one to climb up a steep hill or two. Which is something the Townie is absolutely not made for.
I didn’t even think. I was in heart-shaped eyes bike dreamland, and I knew if I wouldn’t buy it now, the chances that I’d find another frame-colour-speed-match were slim. I bought it. Right then and there. But of course, having already other plans for the evening, I couldn’t take it with me. So back to town it was today, to pick it up. Unlike yesterday, the weather was wet and cold, and I really didn’t feel like getting drenched on the way home – so we had a little adventure: Riding the train with a bike. Thank goodness it wasn’t too full.
The Townie is already a head-turner and comment-enabler, with it’s unusual frame. The Loft certainly even more so. We were slowly making our way across the cathedral market as a lady from one of the flower stalls exclaimed (2) “What a beautiful bike!” and even called her colleagues over to show them, and wanted to know where I bought it.
Of course, now I can shop for a new lock, new reflectors and a set of lights and other things to make it really “mine”, but that’s the fun part, isn’t it? Finally I have an excuse to buy a new bright LED light… *heads to the big river of things*
(1) Coincidentally my favourite bike company. I still want one of their candy coloured cruisers.
(2) Really. She was over the moon. It was quite cute.
It was just a matter of time until I would find flaws with my initial branding. Too big. Too colourful. Too dominant. Yadda yadda yadda. Doing stuff for yourself is always tricky, because you’re the only one responsible – there’s nobody to bounce around ideas or to brainstorm with. Luckily I don’t put anything into print at the moment… Anyhoo, I redid it and incorporated the (awesome) wings I once did for a United Space Force Badge.
Here’s the logo, all bare-bones and nekkid:
It also looks quite nice as outlines:
And because I needed a cover for the upcoming short story anyway, I tested the whole design immediately. I decided to ditch the traditional “sci-fi” look (1) and also go for a more minimalistic approach this time. The story plays in huge Hunter class space ship under attack, meaning lots and lots of dark corridors and without giving away too much, it’s nothing like the fluffy stuff I’ve published before. It’s grim. Gory. I’m actually a bit scared to write it, because I fear I’m going to give myself nightmares. I wanted that mood on the cover – tell me if I succeeded?
By the way, it still weirds me out to see my name on the cover.
(1) Thing is – I’d love to have elaborate illustrations with futuristic cities and space ships and everything on the cover, but I don’t have the funds to pay an artist. So I have to find a workaround.