The Fault in Our Stars (Alternative Cover)

My entry for the Project Remix competition (designing an alternative cover).

Some parts were hand drawn, for other parts I used the standard set of brushes in Photoshop. I didn't use any images/photos in the actual design, they were only used as a reference.


1. Design Process

Program used: Adobe Photoshop CS6

Reference images: Google

Font used: TrashHand

Time duration: 6-7 hours


The book I decided to create an alternative cover for is “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I read this book at the beginning of 2013, at the recommendation of my friend. To say the least, it changed my life – I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks after I had finished reading it. Therefore, when I found out about the Project Remix competition and saw that TFIOS was on the list, I just had to create an alternative cover, as I love illustrating/graphic designing in my spare time.


An artist that I looked at for inspiration was Risa Rodil. If you haven’t already, you should totally check her work out, because her designs are amazing!


This is my journey towards my final design. I hope you enjoy coming along with me!


When designing anything, the first thing I start off with is a rough (note the rough here! These drawings aren’t my best… haha) sketch in a notebook/a scrap piece of paper. As you can see, my initial ideas were based around stars, taking the title literally. While going through quotes from the book, I decided to take inspiration from the quote “some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. Although the imagery of clouds is very closely associated with TFIOS, I ultimately decided against it, as I wanted to create something new.


The two sketches I chose to further develop were silhouettes of Amsterdam buildings at night, and a night sky full of stars, which made an infinity sign. I then used reference images from Google of Amsterdam buildings, creating rough sketches of their outline/silhouettes and the positioning of windows.



Next I started working in Photoshop. (Woo hoo!)

Here are the basic stages that I took leading up to the final design:



1. I created the basic outline of the infinity sign and the buildings. Using a Photoshop brush, I drew the ‘stars’ and the outlines of the buildings. I placed it on a dark blue background.


2. I then found a brush that created a star effect on Photoshop (which was an amazing epiphany), and filled the background with stars.


3. I went over the infinity sign with the wonderful star brush, as I felt that the infinity sign that I had drawn myself looked too harsh next to the stars that had been created with a brush.


4. Taking a step back and looking at the design critically, I felt that it looked dull and uninteresting to look at. So I experimented with some gradients, first with a light blue gradient, which still looked a bit boring. Eventually I settled on a pink/purple colour, which contrasted against the dark colours. I also liked the fact that it looked like it was dusk/twilight, which is my favourite time of day!


5. I edited the colour of the silhouette so it was softer. I felt the silhouette stood out too much against the gradient.


6. The final step of creating the background was adding the lit windows on the buildings (again using a brush). Although you can’t really see it, the windows are an orangey colour -- the colour that symbolises the Netherlands!


Finally, we come to the text-y part of the book cover: the title and the author’s name. I narrowed it down to two fonts: Amatic (shown on the left) and TrashHand (shown on the right). I showed these two designs to my siblings for their opinions, and they all decided that ‘TrashHand’ looked better.



After editing the placement and size of the title until I was happy with it, I ended up with the final design:


And there you go! I hope you like it.


(Note: I didn't know that Movellas's book cover dimensions were 4x5 which is why the uploaded book cover looks a bit skewed... sorry!)


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