The first seminar I attended was “Book Jacket Illustration: What Makes a Successful Cover” with Deborah Kaplan. Originally, I was slated to attend “Your Marketing Playbook” with Susan Raab, but realized that attending the cover art seminar made more sense for me. I find marketing endlessly interesting! But there is marketing information to be had at every turn. Cover art, by comparison, is really a niche in the design world, and it’s one in which I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a seminar about previously, so it was a novel find (no pun intended)! Although I'm a graphic designer, I have never designed a paperback cover in my life, and I’ve always been quite curious about it and interested in it. I do dissect every cover I see, although this probably speaks more to the profession proper than to any niche within it… but, regardless, the cover seminar won out.
Deborah was a great host! She walked us through several covers her team designed in-house and also many that her team collaborated with freelance illustrators on. We saw several iterations of some of the covers, and a few of the final cover art slides ended on a somewhat humorous note, where a major element of the illustration had ended up being removed altogether from the art! It was refreshing to be walked through the process of cover art, because after the presentation, I actually felt like my by-day design work has more in common with design cover art design than is particularly different from it. Fundamentals of good design always remain, no matter the medium. So that was sort of a refreshing reminder. Speaking of which, Deborah was refreshing and down to earth. I liked her!