Brand Studio 1: Week 6

In Class

Branding presentations to the owner of Brass Taxes.

Project 3: Book Cover Design

Design the dust jacket for a hard cover re-issue of The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. There are no limits to the design. Any standard dimension. Color.  Mock-up with all necessary items: bar code, publisher, etc.

Create a book jacket design that incorporates the front and back cover, spine, and front and back inside flaps into a unified composition. Start this project by producing hand-drawn thumbnail sketches and layouts to determine the best possible plan. Build a mock-up of the book jacket. The finished work will be wrapped around a hardcover book for presentation and it must include, publisher logo inside flats must include text, back side must include peak interest summary, as well as barcode.

Final project must be completed in InDesign. You will print a full-size version of your book cover, wrap it around an existing book, and photograph it at a professional level.

Process Part 1:

  1. Clearly define the brand of The Catcher in the Rye.
  2. Define the audience(s) for this quality re-issue of a classic book.
  3. Create mood boards for color, tone, illustration/photo style, etc.
  4. Research all previous covers. 
  5. Pencil sketch at least 25 different concepts.
  6. Refine to 3 best concepts.
  7. Create those 3 concepts in the computer.
  8. Focus on typography. Find and pair appropriate typefaces. Try at least 25 different combos. Refine all the subtleties in the type: kerning, leading, heirarchy, color tones, etc.
  9. Refine at least one concept to completion: Front & back cover, flaps, spine.

Extra opportunities:

  • Design a logo and identity for the hypothetical book publisher.
  • Design the table of contents and chapter 1.
  • Design additional J.D. Salinger covers to make a book cover series.

Chipp Kidd
Paul Sahre
Jessica Hische
Award-Winning Book Covers
Book Series Design

For Next Week

  • Research: history of Catcher in the Rye (which means read it, or know it very well: anecdotes, important phrases, historical significance, symbolism, hidden meanings, etc.)
  • Mood boards: general tone, other book covers, type, color — at least 3 different boards with 8+ images per board
  • Sketches: 25 book cover sketches in pencil, half size, at least front cover 


Refine your Brass Taxes project with feedback from the client and class, so it can become a portfolio piece.

+ Weekly Journal

Update your journal with pieces of from your process, your experience, learning, and final designs for Brass Taxes.