What is a Children’s Book Cover?
A children’s book is a book whose target audience is young readers or small children. In publishing parlance, children’s literature may be subcategorized into picture books, books for early readers (ages 5 to 7), chapter books (for young readers or grade school readers), middle grade books (ages 9 to 12, or preteens), young teen books (ages 12 to 15), and young adult books (ages 14 and above).
A children’s book cover is then the first page of any book created for children. It contains text (title and author’s name) and images or illustrations depicting the main subject of the book. Note that book cover also includes the use of designing the book’s spine, back cover, inner flaps (on hardbound books), and the blurbs.
How to Make a Children's Book Cover
In the short guide below, we offer a bird’s eye view on how to make a book cover. Also, these steps mainly focus on the front cover design of the children’s book.
1. Consult The Author
If you can, you must first consult the author of the children’s book prior to coming up with a book cover design. The author may provide feedback about the story and he or she wants to represent this on the cover. Of course, the children’s book publisher and the cover designer will still have the final say on how the cover will look.
As a designer, you should note down the book’s genre, its plot, the age of the intended readers, and other spoiler-free warnings from the author.
2. Play With Colors
When designing book covers, keep in mind that children are enamored by colors and unusual things. Apply this in your book cover design and come up with a unique color combination that attracts a child’s (and his/her parents’) attention. Keep on practicing and using different color palettes until you come up with a compelling design using color alone.
3. Add Animals Images or Illustrations
Aesop’s fables, Roald Dahl’s stories, Dr. Seuss’ narratives. What do these iconic children’s books have in common? That is the inclusion of animals, whether in the story’s plot or in their actual cover designs.
So if you want truly captivating children’s book covers don’t add photos or drawings of cute or weird animals. Kids will devour the book in a day. Of course, if your book does not have a single animal character, you should not include animals in the front cover design.
4. Pick an Adventurous Design Theme
Aside from choosing a striking color palette, a good children’s book cover should also follow a design theme that elicits a sense of adventure. Children are naturally curious. They are always on the move, asking questions, and trying out things. If you want your book covers to appeal to this character trait, you must choose a design theme that tells them they are about to go on an adventure.
Use squiggly font styles, unusual character clothes, and animals drawn as if they’re in the middle of doing something cool. Choose a design theme that complements your beautiful story.
5. Widen Your Imagination
Sometimes, your printable book cover idea may still fall short even if you combine all the design tips above. And that is okay. As a designer, you just need to keep an open mind and widen your imagination. Book illustration and cover design ideas will come when you least expect it. Just like a child who keeps doing trying out things until he gets bored or figures the thing out. Eventually, the right cover art will come to you.