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Cover Design is Hard

I had a very long day yesterday, sifting through stock photos.  I’m trying to come up with a concept for some covers I need to re-do.  You’d think this would be fun – and it is – for the first three hours or so.  Then it becomes unbearably frustrating.  There are millions of photographs and various images out there.  Many are fantastic and would serve perfectly fine as book covers.  So what was the problem?  Designers have to tag their images with keywords in order for me to find them, and the keywords they use don’t always match up with what I think their keywords should be.

Not all creativity is the same.  My creativity is rooted in words.  Designers think visually.  Often, it’s difficult for the two sides to communicate with each other.  Example?  I was looking for a “sophisticated couple” or a “classy couple.”  My results were disappointing.  It took me forever – and I mean hours – to figure out that what I was looking for was an “elegant couple.”  Aaaaggg.  Beyond that, even when I had the right search words, a lot of the pictures were labeled wrong.  So, so wrong.

It’s interesting how the brain works, isn’t it?  We often think that creative people and practical people have trouble communicating, but it can go deeper than that.  It can be difficult for writers and graphic artists to communicate, too, because our creative strengths are in different areas.

This process consumed my entire day.  It even affected my sleep.  I finally got up at three o’clock in the morning to write down a couple of new keywords and some different concepts to try.  I started searching again early this morning.  While none of them panned out, I stumbled across something I think will work.  Finally!  What a relief.  I’m ready to stop looking at pictures and go back to words.  It’s much easier on my brain.


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