Scheme Plan, Graphic Design – Design a Book Cover
Title of Scheme: Design and hand craft a new No. of Lessons: 8
book cover for a well known fiction novel.
Total Time: 4 Hours 56 Minutes
School: St Joseph’s Community College,
Year Group: 1st Years
No. of Students: 26
Start Date: 11th January 2012
To help Students to:
Develop an understanding of the various steps in the design process.
Understand the differences between fine art and graphic design.
Work creatively to create an interesting an eye-catching design that portrays the content of
Create a design that can potentially attract new readers.
Practice craftsmanship in actually creating their design using a variety of materials.
Learning Intentions for this Scheme:
Students will be able to:
Understand the meanings and purpose of a brief, target audience, client, typography and
Develop a project through all stages; from brief to design to final product.
Create a mind map and brainstorm on paper.
Apply what they know about the character, plot, setting and symbolism to create and design
a book cover.
Create several compositional ideas before developing their final piece.
Create their finished product by using a variety of papers, cutting and tearing techniques and
Investigating, Exploring and Creating:
The focus of this project should not be on analyzing a work of literature, but communicating the
content of that work visually by creating an interesting, eye-catching cover.This includes research on
book covers and graphic design in general which will be carried out in class and also the content of
the book they have chosen. They can choose fiction book, a favourite novel or one they have read
recently or are reading, perhaps y. It is important that they have the book in class to refer to. It will
also be important to ensure that they are not replicating the original book cover.
Students with some difficulty may need assistance choosing a title. If necessary suggest a well known
book that has lots of imaginative ideas which may be visually interpreted.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Any of the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Students will select their chosen book and begin their initial worksheet by writing practical
information such as the title and author, and identify the target audience.
They will then do some research on the book and identify the major characters, storylines
and genre of their book and write a few lines to ensure they know they are familiar enough
with the book to complete the project.
From this information students will create their own brief outlining the book they will be
designing and for whom. This process will show students how a brief is determined and the
necessity of it in the design process.
Students will create a diagram outlining the requirements of their design; the title and
author, design concept, storyline, characters, compositions ideas, moods, settings and
Beginning to Design:
Divide an A4 sheet into four and begin sketching initial composition ideas.
Within these four sketches students can experiment with different compositional ideas,
typography and colour.
The Final Piece of Work:
Student’s book design will be A4 in size. This will allow students to successfully hand craft
their design as it is not too small in terms of cutting out details such as type, also the scale is
not intimidating and students should be capable of finishing the project in the given time.
Using elements from their initial design work students will create a book cover design using
a variety of materials; pencils, markers, a variety of types and colours of paper.
Students may use print outs of different typography which they will research themselves in
magazines or I will supply, or incorporate the text into their design and create their own
There will be a strong focus on colour and colour combinations. Students will be concerned
with whether particular colours or tones are appropriate in expressing the elements of the
Careful construction and imaginative use of materials is important for a successful work.
Understanding and Evaluating:
Display students work and prompt discussion at key stages, such as:
The initial design stage whilst they are still working on composition ideas. Encourage students to
1. Their story, characters, settings and important symbolism and how they may use
them in their designs.
2. How abstract or illustrative they will make their compositions.
3. What colour schemes they will use and why?
4. What type of typography and the scale of it they will use and why?
When they have began their final design and are physically using materials:
1. What difficulties they are finding with the construction or what techniques they are
finding successful and why?
2. Allow students to discuss each other’s work and offer advice in either the design or
At the end of the project students may discuss the final pieces as an actual design :
Regarding each design ask the class:
1. Would you pick this book up and why, if not, why?
2. Where is your eye drawn first in this design?
3. Does the cover give you enough information about the books content?
4. Do you think there are interesting colours used and why?
5. Who is this books target audience?
And to the designer:
1. What are the key elements of your book you want to tell your audience about?
2. How do you solve the problem of layout?
3. Which font best suits your theme and why?
4. What part of your composition do you like best and why?
5. How did you construct this design?
History of Art and Appreciation:
Introduce the concept of graphic designer as being different from the fine artist. Discuss visual
communication and how graphics form an integral part of our world and are present everywhere.
Use a diagram that explains the model for visual communication:
Who – Says What – In Which Channel – To Whom – With What Effect
Bring in some books which have different tactile and sensory qualities and show students several
book covers which incorporate a variety of styles, techniques, colours and typography. Encourage
students to give their opinion on whether or not they are eye catching design which make you
interested in the book.
I have chosen designs which are visually very different because they show:
A variety of techniques and the various effects which are achievable.
Different and limited colour schemes and the visual effect of these.
Unusual and interesting compositions including silhouettes, layering and stylised imagery.
The effects of scale and typography on the composition regarding text.
A well known teen supernatural novel A hand crafted cover, similar effects could be
series(similiar to Twilight etc.) Discuss limited use of achieved by students. What message is this
colour and silhoutte. cover conveying? what is the story?
A hand crafted cover, similar effects could be Discuss the use of colour, the scale, the type
achieved by students. Note how the text is and positioning of text.
incorporated into the composition.
Discuss the mood achieved by the dark colour
Simple design and use of colour can be very
palette. Also the interesting use of silhoutte and
effective. Get student sto look at unusual use
text. A simple design but has it got impact?
of colours.i.e. text in white...not a typical dark
colour, background dark and light text/light
background and dark text.
Compare the two designs for the same book. Which
do you like and why? Discuss different
interpretations of the same brief.
Use of laptop and overhead projector to show images of artists work to the students.
Use of digital camera to record students working in class.
Use of digital camera to record students work for written evaluations and reflective practice.
Key words/ Phrases
Brief, audience, client, market, brainstorm, design, layout, symbolism, typography, font, typeface,
A2 and A4 sized paper, drawing and colouring pencils, variety of textured and coloured paper, rulers,
scissors and glue.
General classroom rules apply regarding bags stored safely under desks, not throwing
Extra care when students using scissors and glue.
Adjust some elements of scheme to suit individual’s abilities. Students who complete work early can
design the back of the book sleeve with some information on the book’s content and author.
Students who struggle with manipulating materials can design a cover that is simpler to assemble.
They may also draw text directly onto their book sleeve avoiding precise cutting out if they are
finding difficulty. Students who do not have books to bring in from home can choose from a variety I
have provided, ones from the school library or the novel they are reading in English. Students may
use a nonfiction book such as, cookery, art or gardening books in uninterested in designing for a
Timeline / Sequence of Lessons:
Lesson 1 (Single) – Introduce the concept of graphic designer as being different from the fine artist.
Discuss visual communication and how graphics form an integral part of our world and are present
everywhere. Discuss book covers which have different tactile and sensory qualities and show
students several book covers which incorporate a variety of styles, techniques, colours and
typography. Students will select their chosen book and begin their initial worksheet.
Lesson 2 (Single) – Students will finish their worksheet and begin brainstorming. They will research
their book and identify the major characters, storylines and genre of their book and write a few lines
to ensure they know they are familiar enough with the book to complete the project.
Lesson 3 (Single) – Begin working on initial designs. Focus on symbolism, type and composition.
Lesson 4 (Single) – Finish initial design work. They should have a clear idea of what composition,
colours and typography they will be using for their final piece.
Lesson 5 (Single) – Class discussion on the designs they are going to create and what techniques and
materials they will be using. Begin working on final design.
Lesson 6 (Single) – Continue working on design. Use a variety of art drawing materials and coloured
Lesson 7 (Single) – Continue working on design. Use a variety of art drawing materials and coloured
Lesson 8 (Single) – Finish design work, neatly rewrite their brief and mount on card. Display the work
on the wall and discuss the design, creativity and craftsmanship (see questions in Understanding and
Evaluating). If possible get some students from another class to give their opinions on the pieces. For
example, which would you pick up and read based on its cover?
Have ongoing discussions with students whilst they seated at their tables smaller groups, usually
four to a desk. These should focus on the work and processes at hand, where they are finding
difficulties or discovering interesting techniques and aspects of their piece which they deem
successful or unsuccessful. Also students may sometimes discuss their work and one another’s
work more openly in groups of three or four than in front of the entire class.
Concept & Design Use of Materials (30) Finished Piece (30) Attitude, Contribution
Development (30) & Participation (10)
Identify the necessary Imaginative use of drawing The work should have the Show a willingness to
components for a book materials; colour pencils title and author written participate in group
cover design. and markers. clearly and legibly. discussions.
Understand the concept of a Competent and imaginative An interesting image with Open minded to the
graphic designer and write a use of paper and cutting strong colours and shapes. conceptual and techniques
brief for their project. techniques introduced.
Display a competence in the
Brainstorm ideas for layout, processes and techniques. Sharing of ideas, both
composition and technical and conceptual.
Sharing of materials.
Experiment with ideas and
plan out their design before
beginning final piece.
Create an interesting and
imaginative visual image for
Evidence of Learning
Have all necessary Imaginative compositional The work should have the Attentive and positive
information in their design work which may use title and author written attitude when discussing
experimental techniques clearly and legibly. work and ideas.
The students understand such as overlapping and
the meaning of the words; interesting scaling. Attempt The cover should be Willingness to embrace new
client, target audience, at creating interesting attractive and well executed ways of creating
textures and consideration and well presented. compositions and visual
medium, criteria and focus
of colour. interpretations of a specific
group and can identify work
Appropriate choice of subject.
that a graphic designer does
Work will demonstrate colours and symbols, images
i.e. logo’s, cd covers etc. which reflect the Helping one another and
several techniques and
experimentations which can mood/ethos/atmosphere of offering advice on all
Demonstrate a clear
be explained by the student. the book. aspects of the project.
understanding of their
project by both creating a Work reflects careful Respectful sharing of
mind map of ideas and by planning and correct materials.
producing several small handling of the materials.
Finalise a clear composition
that by working through the