Jacket Required: Design a Cover for Your Book

August 18, 2016 | Winona

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So you've written a book, and it's all ready to publish with Asquith Press, the library's book printing service. But have you thought about the cover? After all, as we all know, a book's cover is its most important part!*

Learn how to make a simple book cover fit for publication with Asquith Press using Photoshop at a free hands-on workshop at Toronto Reference Library on Saturday August 20, 2016, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. This workshop is free but you must register online.

NOTE: The August 20 workshop is now full. There will be another workshop on Saturday September 24, 2016, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Online registration is required. Registration opens on Saturday August 27 at 9:00 am at this link. Space is limited! 

Cover by Peter Mendelsund

*I am kidding, of course; it's what's inside the book that matters most. But many people do judge a book by its cover. Good book jacket design can make a big difference when a reader is perusing a bookshelf or display and trying to decide which book to pick up. 

Fortunately, the library has everything you need to design a beautiful cover for your book and help make it a self-publishing success story. That's right: we've got you covered. (Sorry.) And it's all free with your Toronto Public Library card!

  • We offer free introductory digital design classes and workshops on a regular basis. Check our website for upcoming programs.


The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams

The Non-Designer's Photoshop Book by Robin Williams The Non-Designer's Illustrator Book by Robin Williams The Non-Designer's InDesign Book by Robin Williams
Robin Williams' "non-designer's" design books are popular classics and a good introduction for those new to graphic or print design.

You can also take an online video tutorial on graphic design principles or software from Lynda.com. There's even a course called "Designing a Book Cover."

Designing a Book Cover by Nigel French
This is a preview; for free access to the complete video tutorial, go to Lynda.com via the library website (tpl.ca/lynda), enter your library card number and PIN, then search for "designing a book cover." For quick tips on using Lynda.com download our Lynda com info sheet (PDF).

If you're looking for inspiration, check out these books that feature great book jacket and cover designs -- which I have selected, of course, based (mostly) on their covers.


Penguin 75 edited by Paul Buckley


Penguin by Design by Phil Baines  Classic Penguin Cover to Cover edited by Paul Buckley


The Art of Romance by Prestel


Strange Sisters by Jaye Zimet  Out in Paperback by Ian Young


Puffin by Design by Phil Baines


 Front Cover by Alan Powers  Children's Book Covers by Alan Powers


The Best of Cover Design by Rockport Publishers