1st pencil sketch for Venice cover
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Travel Guidebooks to the World's Most Romantic Cities

Designing a Cover

For the Venice edition, I knew I wanted a similar look to the Rome book, a woman sporting a hat that symbolized the city, since it’s a series. I also wondered if I should add a mask, this being Venice. So I drew some rough sketches.

This first one looked promising, but the mood wasn’t right. She felt more ‘come-hither’ than joyful. Also that “ferro” looked more like a cobra than a gondola prow, giving her a Cleopatra look.

1st pencil sketch for Venice cover

The second one definitely had more joy and it meant I could use a similar pose as the one for Rome.

2nd pencil sketch for Venice cover

I opened Adobe Illustrator and got to work. I re-used the base illustration from the Rome cover, but gave her red hair. I tried long flowing locks but it wasn’t working. Drawing hair is definitely not my strength. So I decided to go with the short bob instead. This felt much more fun.

Then I added a lace mask in black. But when the cover was reduced to postage-stamp size, (which is how small it would display alongside other books on Amazon), she looked like she’d had a full face tattoo. Yikes. Even when I tried the mask in different colours, including white lace, it was difficult to make out what the cover was at a small size. So, the mask had to go.

Colour rendering of Venice cover, with a mask

Here is the final cover, no mask just a face beaming with joy. I decided to make the hat fancier and more like a real ferro. Each prong, including the ornate ones has symbolic meaning in Venice. You’ll have to read the book for that story. Here’s hoping she appeals to lots of readers.

Final colour rendering of Venice book cover
Final colour rendering of Venice book cover