Hilton Design


Book Cover

The Final Choice


Reasons of choice:

  • Well chosen type that reminded me of war
  • Good use of illustration
  • Good to work with different materials
  • Different to other pieces
  • Looks special
  • Based on other people’s opinion
  • Good colours that present the war feel


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PDF: final version 1


Evaluation and Reflection


1) Visual Communication:

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

The brief says again to “make it different”, I believe that both my covers have met the needs of this brief after a lot of thought and understanding of the brief itself.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

I believe I could have done a few more sketches by hand instead of digitally.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

I believe my strengths within my covers are that the designs I think are very different to others, I feel that I have pitched the book War Horse pretty well in my eyes.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

I haven’t really explored the visual communications side of this brief as it was a short brief specifying in typography.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

I’m not too sure as I feel I made it as clear as I possibly could. Though maybe the illustrations may be hard to read.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

I’d may want to explore purchased fonts and get a better variety of them.

2) Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

I found my time keeping skills well set out, Having only a week to complete it was a little tough but was doable.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I’m not really good at analysing my own work but I think I done alright.

How was my research?

I think I managed to get all my research gathered up pretty well and believe I got everything I needed for the project.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas?

I looked at previous versions of the book cover for War Horse and also watched the film to kind of get a feel of what it was about quickly without having to spend a lot of time reading into it.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

I learnt from my mistakes, instead of evaluating my own work as I went along, I involved others to get an outside point of view.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

I blogged about my progress frequently and documented mostly everything I done.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

All of it because it was something new and gave me an understanding on creating covers for books, magazines, DVDs etc.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?


At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

Working with the software and thinking of ideas to illustrate  the book.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

What inspired me during this project was the fact of thinking differently and making something better.

What areas were challenging or difficult? Why was this the case?

The printing stage was again a little stressful but was alright as that it was printed a few days before the deadline.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

Learning more into the softwares.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

I had developed a few easier ways of presenting my ideas. I will be using these new techniques though in the future. I may need to develop some more knowledge within document sizes and such.


Development on version Two


With my next design idea I wanted to use one of the photos I captured from the other day. I decided on using a close up shot and fitted it to the screen. I also cut the background out with the quick select and magic wand tool.

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I then copied this layer and liquified the duplicate layer like so.

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I had to then add masks to each layer, the original had to have a white mask and the liquified version had to have a black mask. I then selected a variety of splatter paint brushes in black and started placing splatters around the original version. Doing this erases areas of the photo.

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Doing the same but with a white brush with the liquified layer selected added areas of the liquified image.

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I then went on to adding all the content. With the titles I had to make sure that they were very visible and clear to read, at first I had the main title not in bold, a few people I showed this to picked it up and told me it should be bold. I changed it and thought it worked well.

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With the author’s name I think it works a treat and stands out rather well. I chose to have the text alignment like that because it made the front page more balanced and not more to the left.

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*I had almost made the mistake of the text on the spine being anti clockwise!*

This version would be printed either on Softy or normal paper.

Link to PDF

Horse Illustration


In my first development I said I used an illustration of a horse for the emblem at the top. Here I have proof of this and will show a quick step by step guide. so firstly I found an image that I liked but we were not allowed to use found images, so what I did was I got the image up on my computer and started to copy it on my macbook.


Icon I was going for.

Firstly I took the pen tool to start to create the outline of the whole head.

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Once I had created the shape I filled it in black. I had noticed that in a few areas the edges were a bit sharp so I went around carefully with the rubber tool and erased the sharp edges.

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Some of the edges still looked a little sharp though once it was on photoshop I could use a blending technique to make it less obvious.

Development on version One


First things first and that is to get measurements of a book, below I have sketched out the dimensions.


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I’ve decided to use Photoshop for these as it’s a little more user friendly and I am a lot more familiar with the software.

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So As I have said before I want to go for a leather look for my cover, in order to do so i colour picked the horse from the film made it a little more red to signify that it was a very loved horse during the war no matter who he met on his adventure and set that as the background colour. I then had to put a pattern overlay onto it. To do so I had to double click the layer to open up the blending options then selected the pattern overlay option and put the opacity all the way down so it’s only just visible. I also took a splatter brush and made it a little lighter than the background colour and dabbed a few patches onto it to make it look a little worn out.

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I then went on to choosing what font I wanted to go with. I wanted a posh looking font which looks like it could have been a font that may have been around during the Great War. To get the rich feel and look I made it a nice smooth golden colour as that when I get this printed for my portfolio version i’d get fake leather embossed with gold foil.

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I wanted Michaels second name to stand out more than his first as that Morpurgo is a more unique name and most people would recognise him from his second name as his first is a little common. I wanted to make it look as if it was actually gold foil pressed in to leather so I placed an inner shadow on most the content.

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I then went on to brining in a simple icon I made in illustrator of a horse and put a light stroked ellipse around it so it looked a little like a medallion, a medal of honour. I did this so it made the horse a little like he was a war legend.

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Removing all the colours in the penguin logo and replacing the black parts with gold looked so effective and I think makes it look so much more unique and matches that Limited Edition look.

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Instead of having a barcode on the back of the page I decided to simply put “Limited Edition” to show that it’s something special. for the barcode it’d be placed on the inside of the

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Finally I went onto placing the final content being.. the blurb! Again I kept the font the same all around the page and made it golden as that it would be embossed onto Cult GMUND fake leather.

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This I believe looks great seeing as the old leather look signifies an old journal perhaps from the war, making it look worn out also helps a lot. To show that it’s about a horse is still important I think adding that simple icon gives a clear understanding especially the fact that it’s at the top of the hierarchy on the front cover. The material I would like the gold foil embossed on to is this below which is a sample taken from G F Smith from when they came to visit us in a lecture not so long ago.


Link to PDF

Developing the barcode


So I desperately need a barcode for my book if I’m not going to go for a limited edition version, It has to look like this… but less blurry.


I decided to create it in adobe illustrator where it wouldn’t be able to blur due to sizing! I started off placing a rectangle in with a sharp stroke to it without a fill like so…

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I then had to place another rectangle inside for the orange bar at the top.

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I then had to place a few dividers in. After doing so I had to input the information in an easily readable font, I went for Mongolian Baiti. I also had to place the logo in up on the top right hand corner. Not forgetting the barcode I chose to place roughly 15 lines and had to experiment with the stroke rate to make it look more like a barcode.

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Ending up looking like this I was impressed on how quick it took to create and I am pleased with the final result.

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Photo’s for the front cover


Today I went out to get a few photos of one of my friends horses. One of my design routes for the front cover is photography and photo editing. I wanted to get some shots of the horse galloping and a couple of shots of his face. I had to use sport mode on my camera to take bursts of photos in a short amount of time. Below I have picked out my favourites though it was annoying that a few of the pictures were a little blurred, this may be due to lack of experience with my new camera and photography.


  • Finn
  • Prince


  • Kirsty Brown
  • Ellie-Annie Pearce

Research into Penguin


I decided to do a little research into the potential client, I always find it essential to do so to get a clear understanding on who the client is and how their work looks.

Penguin Books is a British book publishing house. It was founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and Allen’s brothers, Richard and John, although Allen was the dominant figure in the company. John died in service in 1942 and Richard later sold his share to Allen before the company went public in 1961 as a line of publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin’s success demonstrated that large audiences existed for serious books. Penguin also had a significant impact on public debate in Britain, through its books on politics, the arts, and science.

Penguin Books is now an imprint of the worldwide Penguin Random House, an emerging conglomerate which was formed in 2013 by the merger of the two publishers. Formerly, Penguin Group was wholly owned by Pearson PLC, the global media company which also owns the Financial Times, but it now retains only a minority holding of 47% of the stock against Random House owner Bertelsmann who controls the majority stake. It is one of the largest English-language publishers, formerly known as the “Big 6”, now known as the “Big Five”. –

Penguin books have had a variety of different logos from the year they started back in 1935! These are shown below and are presented on each and every one of the books that they have published as that it is there watermark.


Looking at these you can kind of tell that they were all hand drawn obviously as that the years where they were publishing they didn’t have the kind of technology we have in today’s world. You can also see that they kept experimenting on which way the penguin was facing, not sure why though. By the looks of things they liked their second version back in 1938 and you can see the one they have now is pretty much a computer generated version that looks a lot smoother now.

The barcode they show looks like this nowadays and I will have to try and implement it as that there are no good copies on the internet to reference and use as an example in my project.


Most of their book covers look rather professional and easy to read, though recently with their modern look they are giving a very hand drawn look to them, here are a few examples.


I really want to go for a new type of limited edition style for their books, so I am going to experiment on a few ideas on what would make my cover special.




In this post I am going to share a few pictures that have inspired me to go the path i’ve chose to go down for this very time limited assignment. The images show techniques of double exposure, liquefying, and embossment.

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