CA_Feature Image

Computer Arts: Winning Cover Commission

Following on from my last post, I’m over the moon to announce that my illustration was picked as the winning design in the Computer Arts & D&AD New Blood ‘New Talent’ Cover Contest!

Still in disbelief after receiving the email, I set to work on developing the cover design with the help of Computer Arts’ Editor Nick Carson and Art Director Jo Gulliver. The pair were great in giving feedback to make it even more captivating and to tailor the design to suit the format of a magazine cover. Jo even suggested a Photoshop tutorial to achieve that desired galactic look (which can be found here for anyone interested). This really helped to bring the colours out in the sky and make it pop. In my original design I intended to make the title bolder for the purpose of legibility, but didn’t want to lose the aesthetic of a constellation – they advised using a custom Photoshop brush in order to do so, which worked surprisingly well while adding more ‘stars’ into the mix. Some repositioning was then required to make room for the tagline and D&AD sticker. I therefore balanced the three ‘constellations’ representing different design disciplines (camera, laptop and pencil) above the title with room for the tagline beneath – however, this was since moved at the final step of design.

CA Cover Development

Original Design vs. Final Developed Idea

As you’ll see from my last blog, I initially suggested that the prescribed special finish (pearlescent varnish) could be applied to the stars in the title. However, after consulting with their special effect print partners Celloglas, Nick was advised to apply a blue tinted pearlescent varnish to the entire cover as it also effects the colours beneath it – creating a dramatic finish when laid over the blue and purple hues. When looking closely at the final cover you can even see what looks like tiny blue glittery particles. Celloglas also offered the use of a silver diffuser foil, which quite literally diffuses the light as it hits the stars in the title creating a fabulous array of rainbow colours and making them sparkle. I was grateful to be informed throughout the process and was even invited down to the Celloglas factory to watch how the special finishes were applied – you can see for yourself in the rather beautifully shot video above.

Having always been a huge lover of print, it was amazing, if not slightly surreal, to see my cover design come to life across a print run of thousands. Using the varnish and foiling was a particular highlight as, having been on a student budget for the last few years, I never envisaged being able to use such lavish print finishes within my design work! I’m delighted with the final outcome – and (all bias aside) highly recommend getting your hands on a copy to really witness the special effects as photos don’t quite do it justice… and also, of course, so you can be inspired by the fantastic variety of ‘new talent’ emerging this year.

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