Here goes a quick concept illustration I made a few years ago for Marco Calò’s book La seconda occasione (“The Second Chance” in English). It’s a novel about a girl and her relations during the Second World War in Italy.
The goal of a good cover is to communicate what the book is about. So the main idea for the cover was to transmit the uncertainty of life, especially in war time, and the feelings of the protagonist forced by the war to travel away from her family. Loneliness as a trigger for catharsis. It’s a subject that is well represented in a particular episode inside this story, where a girl finds herself waiting for a train alone and starts to think about her life. It’s a classic theme of blues songs: «I’m waiting in the station with a suitcase in my hand».
I thought that a simple, minimalist design (another good rule for amazing and catchy book covers) mixed with the metaphysical style and melancholic landscapes of Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico was a nice choice to start with. Because another reason to keep it simple and clean, is the technical problem you have when searching for books on a virtual bookstore: what customers see is not a full size cover, it’s just a small thumbnail next to dozens of other little previews, icons, links, promotions, banners, ads, and lots of other disturbing-flickering-confusing-noisy-buzzy stuff. So you have to keep scaling on mind while designing a good selling cover, especially for digital devices and eReaders such as Kobo (.epub), Kindle (.mobi), tablets and iPads. A cover stuffed with too many graphic elements will be viewed as a messy and ugly thumbnail.
I will upload on another post the final version of this old unfinished vector illustration for Marco Calò’s eBook!