Leap4words got their new book cover by running a design contest:
Book cover to star at national conference for Cage Talent
Check out Leap4words's Book cover contest…
Business & Consulting
Cage Talent, named after my husband, Jack Cage, is an executive search/recruiting firm that also does management consulting, corporate training (seminars, workshops, etc.), and organizational assessment (360-degree reviews of an individual, team or company-wide assessments, survey design, etc.). "Talent" in this context means people, by the way--hiring, retaining, recruiting, managing people. we are *not* a talent agency specializing in go-go dancers who perform in cages. : ) We'd LOVE to find a designer we could partner with for not just this book but the others that are also in the works. I.e., this could be more than a one-shot gig if we like your work. I also have an editorial business (see below) and help other people publish their books, so a winning designer may also get referrals from me. : )
What's your vision?
We need a bangin' book cover! We're writing our first book that is tied very directly to a presentation we're doing at a national HR conference in the fall. The title is "HR's Seat at the Table: How to Lead the Conversations and Deliver the Talent That Drives Strategic Results." Our names as authors will obviously also be on the cover, in this order: Jack H. Cage, PhD, and Laura E. Larson. HR people are stereotypically stuck in processes and transactional stuff--like taking employee data for health care benefits. This book is practical in telling them (nicely) ways to think at a higher level by engaging in more business-talk with their counterparts in other departments, like Finance, Operations, Sales. In many companies, HR people are sort of "outsider looking in" in terms of not being involved in key decision making. They're often asked to do things later in the process. This theme should come up in the design somehow--a chair markedly set off from the others, a sense of exclusion with the promise of inclusion--that sort of idea. Obviously the target audience is HR executives. 3/4 of HR people are women, but we prefer a gender-neutral cover: no pinks or pastels. We don't want the standard HR "diverse workforce" image of a woman, an white-haired guy, a Latino, and a black woman...if you know what I mean. In fact, no photos or other distinctive image of humans at all would be best. The title obviously opens up a clear visual: e.g., chairs around a conference table. Here's a book with a similar title whose cover we like VERY much (we like the blue as a dominant background color, and the red type to get attention): www.amazon.com/Seat-at-Table-Marc-Miller/dp/1608320847/ref=la_B001H6U6UK_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368130083&sr=1-1 Without looking "scary" (too "dark"--hitting *too* hard on the exclusion theme) or off-putting, this cover gets at that idea of a single chair--HR's seat at the table--clearly separate from the others. Other ideas might be a door partially open, leading into a conference room. Something--and it does not need to be a photo treatment--that indicates that a once-outsider is now shifting to a different role and higher stature in the organization. This expression "a seat at the table" comes up all the time in describing HR people's desire to be held in higher esteem and more involved in big decisions. So a visual that indicates this positive shift would be cool, but, again, no "corny" HR images (e.g., an overly earnest, smiley woman stepping boldly into a conference room or something like that). We don't want to perpetuate that stereotype. We also need the spine and back cover, please. I'm not sure the whole title can fit on the spine, but maybe? Our last names as authors should be on the spine. And logo for our self-publishing business will also be at the bottom of the spine. The back cover can be pretty simple since much of it will be text. I will be writing back cover copy and purchasing the bar code with the ISBN to plop into place and the EAN code. The category line in the upper corner should be "Human Resources." The lower-left corner can cite on 3 lines "Leap for Words, A business of Antigua Partners, Inc., www.Leap4words.com." We're hopeful to have an endorsement or two to throw on the back cover, too. Maybe a reduced version of whatever visual appears on the cover could appear on the back cover? I don't know!
Besides partnering with my husband in this business, I'm a freelance book editor and have been intimately involved with book production for over 25 years, so I know the drill and have worked with designers a lot, though more for internal book design than covers. I'll be happy to engage in good dialogue (as this verbose brief might suggest) with a designer without making you crazy. I'm a nerdy fan of interesting typography. This is the nature of my doodling--playing with the shapes of letters and words. My husband gave me a book called "Just My Type" and I *loved* it! I love to see type/fonts manipulated in creative ways and in ways that indicate a mood. So no photo or drawing or visual at all would also might be perfectly fine (in other words, something *not* like the sample conference-table cover above). Type somehow used to create a chair (?!), yet still make the words readable--that might be interesting. Feel free to get creative this way with typography--that would be very well received, done right (meaning, it's easy to read, in real size and in small reproductions, like on Amazon).. COLORS: One of the files I've uploaded here has a silver background--we like this very much. In general, we like dark type on lighter backgrounds, but not white background. The blue of the conference-table sample cover is nice. I've read repeatedly that yellow is a strong book cover choice for some reason. Red is obviously eye-catching--but for type, please, not background. I can see the title and the subtitle in 2 different colors, perhaps. Metallic tones are fine. FONT: We both love the font on the other sample cover (the orange one); feel free to replicate that clean, sans serif. We prefer a sans serif font like this so, again, the title is clearly legible from a distance or when the cover image is reduced in size (on Amazon, say). TONE: Elegant, professional, formal without being stuffy. The tone of the book is very conve4rational. But we have a very good reputation for what we do, and a target audience is in something of a price-y market, so if you use some "chair" visual, it should not be too simple or "cartoon-y."
Every design category has flexible pricing for all budgets. Book cover starts at $399.
Full copyright with production-ready files for digital and/or print.
It all began with a design brief.
A quick, interactive guide helped them understand their design style and captured exactly what they needed in their book cover.
Designers across the globe delivered design magic.
Leap4words collaborated with designers to refine their ideas
When design entries come in, you can rate them so designers know what you’re looking for in your logo design.
99designs has great collaboration tools so you can pinpoint and capture your ideas
And then… they selected a winner!
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
We think contests are a super fun way to get design.
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