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  • Writer's pictureAllyson Koekhoven

It’s covered!

I’ve been blessed with an awesome team, from my beta readers and editor, to my pre-launch reviewers. Add to this my project manager, author Anna Jensen, and my cover designer Chérie Kleynhans. In this blog I speak to Chérie about designing the cover of Under Construction.

Q: Please give the readers a little bit of information about yourself.

A: I have always been creative in any way possible. I did art in school and I carried on with different types of art once I finished matric.

I was born in Johannesburg and moved to the coast when I was eight years old. Once I matriculated, I moved back to Johannesburg for about eight years. While I was there, I discovered that I wanted to be a graphic designer. One of the main reasons for this choice in studies and career was the ability to take my art to a digital platform, one where it can find a place in the world.

I did a short course on graphic design at a college in Edenvale (Johannesburg). I worked for three-and-a-half years in the media industry, doing editorial layout for newspapers, and this is where I started developing my skills. I then decided to take the leap of faith and ‘do my own thing’.

I moved back to KwaZulu-Natal at the end of 2020, and have been building my roots there.

Q: What type of projects do you normally get involved in on a daily basis?

A: When most people think about graphic designers, they think about corporate designs, such as logos and letterheads and so on. These are the projects I do on a daily basis and the most frequent types of designs.

Q: Have you designed other book covers? If yes, what type of book covers?

A: I have undertaken similar types of designs, using Photoshop and composite photography.

But this will be my first published cover design.

Q: How did you meet Allyson’s project manager Anna Jensen?

A: I met Anna through the church. I was definitely drawn to her bubbly personality, and we went out for coffee one day and clicked from there. Anna introduced me to Allyson and the rest is history!

Q: What type of info do you like to receive for cover briefs or do you prefer to have total carte blanche with the conceptualisation and design?

A: The more information I receive, the more I am able to capture the author’s vision.

Design is so much to do with emotion and feelings, especially something as intimate as a book; a book is a bunch of paper that captures the author’s imagination, opinion and thoughts. So the cover needs to be able to portray this accurately.

Q: What was your original brief for the cover of Under Construction?

A: I was given a brief rundown on the book’s main character, so I was able to picture her as Allyson saw her.

Allyson also provided me with ideas of what she was looking for and the type of character she was looking towards. Which made my job run a lot smoother.

Q: How did you go about getting to the first draft and subsequent drafts? Explain a bit of your design process.

A: It’s important to get an idea of the character, so I did some research on different females in the industry that the main character, Adine, is in. This gave me a feel for the clothes they wear, etc. I then took Allyson’s idea into the software programme and developed it from there.

Starting from the back and working my way to the front (I started with the background and then designed the character last) is my preferred modus operandi.

Q: Will you be involved in future Adine Investigates projects?

A: I would definitely love to be. I enjoyed working with both Allyson and Anna on this design, it was a lot of fun.

Note from Allyson – I will definitely be recruiting Chérie to design the covers of the future Adine Investigates series!

Q: Is book cover design something you would like to do more of?

A: Most definitely, I love bringing stories to life.

It’s important when doing designs for anything that you remember to add emotion and feelings into them, it allows people to connect with the design on a different level.

Watch this space for my next blog - an interview with my project manager, Anna Jensen.

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