10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS

Post pobrano z: 10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS

Una doing an amazing job of showing just how (dare I say it?) easy CSS layout has gotten. There is plenty to learn, but what you learn makes sense, and once you have, it’s quite empowering.

The demos are all together here.

Direct Link to ArticlePermalink


The post 10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

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10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS

Post pobrano z: 10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS

Una doing an amazing job of showing just how (dare I say it?) easy CSS layout has gotten. There is plenty to learn, but what you learn makes sense, and once you have, it’s quite empowering.

The demos are all together here.

Direct Link to ArticlePermalink


The post 10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

You can support CSS-Tricks by being an MVP Supporter.

A Look at What’s New in Chrome DevTools in 2020

Post pobrano z: A Look at What’s New in Chrome DevTools in 2020

I’m excited to share some of the newer features in Chrome DevTools with you. There’s a brief introduction below, and then we’ll cover many of the new DevTools features. We’ll also look at what’s happening in some other browsers. I keep up with this stuff, as I create Dev Tips, the largest collection of DevTools tips you’ll find online! 

It’s a good idea to find out what’s changed in DevTools because it’s constantly evolving and new features are specifically designed to help and improve our development and debugging experience.

Let’s jump into the latest and greatest. While the public stable version of Chrome does have most of these features, I’m using Chrome Canary as I like to stay on the bleeding edge.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse is an open source tool for auditing web pages, typically around performance, SEO, accessibility and such. For a while now, Lighthouse has been bundled as part of DevTools meaning you can find it in a panel named… Lighthouse!

Screenshot of DevTools open on a CSS-Tricks page. The Lighthouse panel is open showing a best practices score of 100 out of 100.
Well done, Mr. Coyier. 🏆

I really like Lighthouse because it’s one of easiest parts of DevTools to use. Click “Generate report” and you immediately get human-readable notes for your webpage, such as:

Document uses legible font sizes 100% legible text

Or:

Avoid an excessive DOM size (1,189 elements)

Almost every single audit links to developer documentation that explains how the audit may fail, and what you can do to improve it.

The best way to get started with Lighthouse is to run audits on your own websites:

  1. Open up DevTools and navigate to the Lighthouse panel when you are on one of your sites
  2. Select the items you want to audit (Best practices is a good starting point)
  3. Click Generate report
  4. Click on any passed/failed audits to investigate the findings

Even though Lighthouse has been part of DevTools for a while now (since 2017!), it still deserves a significant mention because of the user-facing features it continues to ship, such as:

  • An audit that checks that anchor elements resolve to their URLs (Fun fact: I worked on this!)
  • An audit that checks whether the Largest Contentful Paint metic is fast enough
  • An audit to warn you of unused JavaScript

A better “Inspect Element”

This is a subtle and, in some ways, very small feature, but it can have profound effects on how we treat web accessibility.

Here’s how it works. When you use Inspect Element — what is arguably the most common use of DevTools — you now get a tooltip with additional information on accessibility.

Screenshot showing DevTools open on a CSS-Tricks page. An element is highlighted on the page and a tooltip with a white background is above it providing information on the element's color, font, contrast, name, role, and whether it is keyboard-focusable.
Accessibility is baked right in!

The reason I say this can have a profound impact is because DevTools has had accessibility features for quite some time now, but how many of us actually use them? Including this information on a commonly used feature like Inspect Element will gives it a lot more visibility and makes it a lot more accessible.

The tooltip includes:

  • the contrast ratio of the text (how well, or how poorly, does the foreground text contrast with the background color)
  • the text representation
  • the ARIA role
  • whether or not the inspected element is keyboard-focusable

To try this out, right-click (or Cmd + Shift + C) on an element and select Inspect to view it in DevTools.

I made a 14-minute video on Accessibility debugging with Chrome DevTools which covers some of this in more detail.

Emulate vision deficiencies

Exactly as it says on the tin, you can use Chrome DevTools to emulate vision impairments. For example, we can view a site through the lens of blurred vision.

Screenshot of DevTools open on a CSS-Tricks page. The Rendering panel is open and the blurred vision option is selected. The CSS-Tricks page is blurry and difficult to read.
That’s a challenge to read!

How can you do this in DevTools? Like this:

  1. Open DevTools (right click and “Inspect” or Cmd + Shift + C).
  2. Open the DevTools Command menu (Cmd + Shift + P on Mac, Ctrl + Shift + P on Windows).
  3. Select Show Rendering in the Command menu.
  4. Select a deficiency in the Rendering pane.

We used blurred vision as an example, but DevTools has other options, including: protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia, and achromatopsia.

Like with any tool of this nature, it’s designed to be a complement to our (hopefully) existing accessibility skills. In other words, it’s not instructional, but rather, influential on the designs and user experiences we create.

Here are a couple of extra resources on low vision accessibility and emulation:

Get timing on performance

The Performance Panel in DevTools can sometimes look like a confusing mish-mash of shapes and colors.

This update to it is great because it does a better job surfacing meaningful performance metrics.

Screenshot of DevTools with the Performance panel open. A chart showing the timeline of page rendering is above a row of Timings, including DCL, FP, FCP, L, and LCP. Below that is a summary that provides a time range for the selected timing.

What we want to look at are those extra timing rectangles shown in the “Timings” in the Performance Panel recording. This highlights:

  • DOMContentLoaded: The event which triggers when the initial HTML loads
  • First Paint: When the browser first paints pixels to the screen
  • First Contentful Paint: The point at which the browser draws content from the DOM which indicates to the user that content is loading
  • Onload: When the page and all of its resources have finished loading
  • Largest Contentful Paint: The largest image or text element, which is rendered in the viewport

As a bonus, if you find the Largest Contentful Paint event in a Performance Panel recording, you can click on it to get additional information.

Nice work, CSS-Tricks! The Largest Contentful Paint happens early on in the page load.

While there is a lot of golden information here, the “Related Node” is potentially the most useful item because it specifies exactly which element contributed to the LCP event.

To try this feature out:

  1. Open up DevTools and navigate to the Performance panel
  2. Click “Start profiling and reload page”
  3. Observe the timing metrics in the Timings section of a recording
  4. Click the individual metrics to see what additional information you get

Monitor performance

If you want to quickly get started using DevTools to analyze performance and you’ve already tried Lighthouse, then I recommend the Performance Monitor feature. This is sort of like having WebPageTest.org right at your fingertips with things like CPU usage.

Screenshot of DevTools with the Performance Monitor pane open. Four timeline charts are stacked vertically, starting with CPU Usage,followed by JavaScript Heap Size, DOM Nodes, and JavaScript Event Listeners.

Here’s how to access it:

  1. Open DevTools
  2. Open up the Command menu (Cmd + Shift + P on Mac, Ctrl + Shift + P on Windows)
  3. Select “Show performance monitor” from the Command menu
  4. Interact and navigate around the website
  5. Observe the results

The Performance Monitor can give you interesting metrics, however, unlike Lighthouse, it’s for you to figure out how to interpret them and take action. No suggestions are provided. It’s up to you to study that CPU usage chart and ask whether something like 90% is an acceptable level for your site (it probably isn’t).

The Performance Monitor has an interactive legend, where you can toggle metrics on and off, such as:

  • CPU usage
  • JS heap size
  • DOM Nodes
  • JS event listeners
  • Documents
  • Document Frames
  • Layouts / sec
  • Style recalcs / sec 

CSS overview and local overrides

CSS-Tricks has already covered these features, so go and check them out!

  • CSS Overview: A handy DevTools panel that gives a bunch of interesting stats on the CSS your page is using
  • Local Overrides:  A powerful feature that lets you override production websites with your local resources, so you can easily preview changes 

So, what about DevTool in other browsers?

I’m sure you noticed that I’ve been using Chrome throughout this article. It’s the browser I use personally. That said, it’s worth considering that:

  • Firefox DevTools is looking pretty great right now
  • With Microsoft Edge extending from Chromium, it too will benefit from these DevTools features
  • As evident on the Safari Technology Preview Release Notes (search for Web Inspector on that page), Safari DevTools has come a long way 

In other words, keep an eye out because this is a quickly evolving space!

Conclusion

We covered a lot in a short amount of space!

  • Lighthouse: A panel that provides  tips and suggestions for performance, accessibility, SEO and best practices.
  • Inspect Element: An enhancement to the Inspect Element feature that provides accessibility information to the Inspect Element tooltip
  • Emulate vision deficiencies: A feature in the Rendering Pane to view a page through the lens of low vision.
  • Performance Panel Timings: Additional metrics in the Performance panel recording, showing user-orientated stats, like Largest Contentful Paint
  • Performance Monitor – A real-time visualization of performance metrics for the current website, such as CPU usage and DOM size

Please check out my mailing list, Dev Tips, if you want to stay keep up with the latest updates and get over 200 web development tips! I also have a premium video course over at ModernDevTools.com. And, I tend to post loads of bonus web development resources on Twitter.


The post A Look at What’s New in Chrome DevTools in 2020 appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

You can support CSS-Tricks by being an MVP Supporter.

A Look at What’s New in Chrome DevTools in 2020

Post pobrano z: A Look at What’s New in Chrome DevTools in 2020

I’m excited to share some of the newer features in Chrome DevTools with you. There’s a brief introduction below, and then we’ll cover many of the new DevTools features. We’ll also look at what’s happening in some other browsers. I keep up with this stuff, as I create Dev Tips, the largest collection of DevTools tips you’ll find online! 

It’s a good idea to find out what’s changed in DevTools because it’s constantly evolving and new features are specifically designed to help and improve our development and debugging experience.

Let’s jump into the latest and greatest. While the public stable version of Chrome does have most of these features, I’m using Chrome Canary as I like to stay on the bleeding edge.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse is an open source tool for auditing web pages, typically around performance, SEO, accessibility and such. For a while now, Lighthouse has been bundled as part of DevTools meaning you can find it in a panel named… Lighthouse!

Screenshot of DevTools open on a CSS-Tricks page. The Lighthouse panel is open showing a best practices score of 100 out of 100.
Well done, Mr. Coyier. 🏆

I really like Lighthouse because it’s one of easiest parts of DevTools to use. Click “Generate report” and you immediately get human-readable notes for your webpage, such as:

Document uses legible font sizes 100% legible text

Or:

Avoid an excessive DOM size (1,189 elements)

Almost every single audit links to developer documentation that explains how the audit may fail, and what you can do to improve it.

The best way to get started with Lighthouse is to run audits on your own websites:

  1. Open up DevTools and navigate to the Lighthouse panel when you are on one of your sites
  2. Select the items you want to audit (Best practices is a good starting point)
  3. Click Generate report
  4. Click on any passed/failed audits to investigate the findings

Even though Lighthouse has been part of DevTools for a while now (since 2017!), it still deserves a significant mention because of the user-facing features it continues to ship, such as:

  • An audit that checks that anchor elements resolve to their URLs (Fun fact: I worked on this!)
  • An audit that checks whether the Largest Contentful Paint metic is fast enough
  • An audit to warn you of unused JavaScript

A better “Inspect Element”

This is a subtle and, in some ways, very small feature, but it can have profound effects on how we treat web accessibility.

Here’s how it works. When you use Inspect Element — what is arguably the most common use of DevTools — you now get a tooltip with additional information on accessibility.

Screenshot showing DevTools open on a CSS-Tricks page. An element is highlighted on the page and a tooltip with a white background is above it providing information on the element's color, font, contrast, name, role, and whether it is keyboard-focusable.
Accessibility is baked right in!

The reason I say this can have a profound impact is because DevTools has had accessibility features for quite some time now, but how many of us actually use them? Including this information on a commonly used feature like Inspect Element will gives it a lot more visibility and makes it a lot more accessible.

The tooltip includes:

  • the contrast ratio of the text (how well, or how poorly, does the foreground text contrast with the background color)
  • the text representation
  • the ARIA role
  • whether or not the inspected element is keyboard-focusable

To try this out, right-click (or Cmd + Shift + C) on an element and select Inspect to view it in DevTools.

I made a 14-minute video on Accessibility debugging with Chrome DevTools which covers some of this in more detail.

Emulate vision deficiencies

Exactly as it says on the tin, you can use Chrome DevTools to emulate vision impairments. For example, we can view a site through the lens of blurred vision.

Screenshot of DevTools open on a CSS-Tricks page. The Rendering panel is open and the blurred vision option is selected. The CSS-Tricks page is blurry and difficult to read.
That’s a challenge to read!

How can you do this in DevTools? Like this:

  1. Open DevTools (right click and “Inspect” or Cmd + Shift + C).
  2. Open the DevTools Command menu (Cmd + Shift + P on Mac, Ctrl + Shift + P on Windows).
  3. Select Show Rendering in the Command menu.
  4. Select a deficiency in the Rendering pane.

We used blurred vision as an example, but DevTools has other options, including: protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia, and achromatopsia.

Like with any tool of this nature, it’s designed to be a complement to our (hopefully) existing accessibility skills. In other words, it’s not instructional, but rather, influential on the designs and user experiences we create.

Here are a couple of extra resources on low vision accessibility and emulation:

Get timing on performance

The Performance Panel in DevTools can sometimes look like a confusing mish-mash of shapes and colors.

This update to it is great because it does a better job surfacing meaningful performance metrics.

Screenshot of DevTools with the Performance panel open. A chart showing the timeline of page rendering is above a row of Timings, including DCL, FP, FCP, L, and LCP. Below that is a summary that provides a time range for the selected timing.

What we want to look at are those extra timing rectangles shown in the “Timings” in the Performance Panel recording. This highlights:

  • DOMContentLoaded: The event which triggers when the initial HTML loads
  • First Paint: When the browser first paints pixels to the screen
  • First Contentful Paint: The point at which the browser draws content from the DOM which indicates to the user that content is loading
  • Onload: When the page and all of its resources have finished loading
  • Largest Contentful Paint: The largest image or text element, which is rendered in the viewport

As a bonus, if you find the Largest Contentful Paint event in a Performance Panel recording, you can click on it to get additional information.

Nice work, CSS-Tricks! The Largest Contentful Paint happens early on in the page load.

While there is a lot of golden information here, the “Related Node” is potentially the most useful item because it specifies exactly which element contributed to the LCP event.

To try this feature out:

  1. Open up DevTools and navigate to the Performance panel
  2. Click “Start profiling and reload page”
  3. Observe the timing metrics in the Timings section of a recording
  4. Click the individual metrics to see what additional information you get

Monitor performance

If you want to quickly get started using DevTools to analyze performance and you’ve already tried Lighthouse, then I recommend the Performance Monitor feature. This is sort of like having WebPageTest.org right at your fingertips with things like CPU usage.

Screenshot of DevTools with the Performance Monitor pane open. Four timeline charts are stacked vertically, starting with CPU Usage,followed by JavaScript Heap Size, DOM Nodes, and JavaScript Event Listeners.

Here’s how to access it:

  1. Open DevTools
  2. Open up the Command menu (Cmd + Shift + P on Mac, Ctrl + Shift + P on Windows)
  3. Select “Show performance monitor” from the Command menu
  4. Interact and navigate around the website
  5. Observe the results

The Performance Monitor can give you interesting metrics, however, unlike Lighthouse, it’s for you to figure out how to interpret them and take action. No suggestions are provided. It’s up to you to study that CPU usage chart and ask whether something like 90% is an acceptable level for your site (it probably isn’t).

The Performance Monitor has an interactive legend, where you can toggle metrics on and off, such as:

  • CPU usage
  • JS heap size
  • DOM Nodes
  • JS event listeners
  • Documents
  • Document Frames
  • Layouts / sec
  • Style recalcs / sec 

CSS overview and local overrides

CSS-Tricks has already covered these features, so go and check them out!

  • CSS Overview: A handy DevTools panel that gives a bunch of interesting stats on the CSS your page is using
  • Local Overrides:  A powerful feature that lets you override production websites with your local resources, so you can easily preview changes 

So, what about DevTool in other browsers?

I’m sure you noticed that I’ve been using Chrome throughout this article. It’s the browser I use personally. That said, it’s worth considering that:

  • Firefox DevTools is looking pretty great right now
  • With Microsoft Edge extending from Chromium, it too will benefit from these DevTools features
  • As evident on the Safari Technology Preview Release Notes (search for Web Inspector on that page), Safari DevTools has come a long way 

In other words, keep an eye out because this is a quickly evolving space!

Conclusion

We covered a lot in a short amount of space!

  • Lighthouse: A panel that provides  tips and suggestions for performance, accessibility, SEO and best practices.
  • Inspect Element: An enhancement to the Inspect Element feature that provides accessibility information to the Inspect Element tooltip
  • Emulate vision deficiencies: A feature in the Rendering Pane to view a page through the lens of low vision.
  • Performance Panel Timings: Additional metrics in the Performance panel recording, showing user-orientated stats, like Largest Contentful Paint
  • Performance Monitor – A real-time visualization of performance metrics for the current website, such as CPU usage and DOM size

Please check out my mailing list, Dev Tips, if you want to stay keep up with the latest updates and get over 200 web development tips! I also have a premium video course over at ModernDevTools.com. And, I tend to post loads of bonus web development resources on Twitter.


The post A Look at What’s New in Chrome DevTools in 2020 appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

You can support CSS-Tricks by being an MVP Supporter.

Spotting a Trend

Post pobrano z: Spotting a Trend

There are tons of smokin’ hot websites out there, with an equal or greater number of talented designers and developers who make them. The web is awesome like that and encourages that sort of creativity.

Even so, it amazes me that certain traits find their way into things. I mean, it makes sense. Many of us use the same UI frameworks and take cues from sites we admire. But every once in a while, my eye starts catching wind of the zeitgeist and commonalities that come with it.

The latest one? Blobby shapes. It’s a fun flourish that adds a little panache, especially for flat designs that need a splash of color or an interesting focal point that leads the eye from one place to anther. I’m sure you’ve seen it. I spent one week collecting screenshots of websites I came across that use it. I certainly wan’t looking for examples; they just sort of popped up in my normal browsing.

I’m sorry if it seems like I’m calling out people because that’s not my intention. I actually love the concept — so much, in fact, that I’m considering it on a project! Some of the examples in that gallery are flat-out gorgeous.

After spotting these blobby shapes a number of times, I’ve started to notice some considerations to take into account when use them. Things like:

  • Watch for contrast when text sits on top of a blob. There are plenty of cases where the document background is white and the blob is dark. If text runs through them, it’s going to be tough to find a font color that satisfies WCAG’s 2.1 AA standard for legibility.
  • Tread lightly when mixing and matching colors. One hot pink blob behind a card component ain’t a big deal, but throw in yellow, orange, and other bright colors that sit alongside it… the design starts to distract from the content. Plus, a vibrant rainbow of blobby shapes can raise accessibility concerns. A flourish is just that: a nice touch that’s subtle but impactful.
  • Blobs are good for more than color. Some of the most interesting instances I’ve seen cut images into interesting shapes. It’s cool that we can embed an image directly in SVG and then mask it with a path.
  • Blobs are also good for more than backgrounds. Did you catch that screenshot from Topcoder’s site? They’re using it for tabs which is super funky and cool.

All of this has me thinking about how the websites of today will be looked at by the developers of tomorrow. Remember way back, like 15 years ago, when many sites adopted Apple’s use of reflective imagery? I probably still have some Photoshop muscle memory from replicating that effect so many times.

Photo of three iPhone 3 models next to one another. The first shows the home screen, the other two show the back, one in black and one in white. All three phones sport a reflection beneath them.
Notice the skeuomorphic icons — that was popular too!

Skeuomorphism, bevels, animated GIF backgrounds, long shadows, heroes, gradients, bokeh backgrounds… all of these and many other visual treatments have had their day in the sun. Perhaps blobs will join that club at some point. Perhaps they’ll come back in style after that. Who knows! I just find it interesting to reflect on the things that have inspired us over the last three decades and imagine how the things we do today will be seen through the long lens of time.

It’d be awesome to see other instances of blobby shapes — share ’em if you’ve got ’em!


The post Spotting a Trend appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

You can support CSS-Tricks by being an MVP Supporter.

How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Post pobrano z: How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fairy-tale book cover with a vintage-inspired look. 

Vintage-style covers are big news in publishing right now, and clothbound covers are enjoying a well-deserved resurgence. Here you’ll learn how to make a vintage book cover and recreate the look with woodcut-style illustrations and calligraphy type. We’ll look at how to make a fairy-tale book front cover and decorative spine step by step, using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign to put the artwork together. 

complete spine of fairy tale book design

We’ll also be revisiting some drawing skills, so make sure to have a pencil, pen, and paper to hand too!

Ready? Fantastic, let’s get started…

What You Will Learn in This Fairy-Tale Book Cover Design Tutorial

  • How to plan and make a vintage book cover in InDesign
  • How you can vectorize artwork in Photoshop
  • How to add linocut details in Illustrator
  • How to finalize the fairy-tale book cover design in InDesign
  • How to create a decorative spine in InDesign

What Will I Need to Make a Vintage Book Cover? 

For this fairy-tale book cover design tutorial, you’ll need access to the following programs:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator 
  • Adobe Photoshop…

… plus pencil, pen, and paper.

To recreate the fairy-tale book design pictured, you’ll also need to download the following images, brushes, and fonts:

finished fairy tale book cover

1. How Should I Plan My Cover Design?

Illustrative cover designs require a bit of forward thinking—the fairy-tale book design will look more seamless and beautiful if we map out the cover first. 

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I created the design pictured below, but you can apply the same techniques to your own designs and illustrations if you like. It’s a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles!

front fairy tale antique book cover design

First up, let’s start mapping out the typography for the front cover…

Step 1

We’ll start in Adobe InDesign—open up the program and go to File > New > Document.

Set the Intent to Print and Number of Pages to 1

Under Page Size, set the Width to 132 mm and Height to 204 mm. This is equivalent to a trade-standard B-Format hardback size.

Keep the Margins to their default value (12.7 mm) and add a Bleed of 5 mm. 

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Click OK.

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Step 2

Take the Line Tool (\) and drag onto the page to create a short, slightly diagonal line from left to right. The idea is to create several lines of italic text, using the lines as text paths.

how to make a vintage book cover line tool

Switch to the Type on a Path Tool (Shift-T), and click onto the line (when you can see a „+” sign appear next to your type cursor). 

how to make a vintage book cover type on a path

Type in „airy”. From the top Controls panel, adjust the Stroke Color of the path to [None].

how to make vintage book covers airy text step

Highlight the text and open up the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character). Set the Font to Adorabelle Regular, Size 120 pt. Apply a Skew (false italic) of .

how to make a fairy tale book cover adorabelle text

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and click on the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel. Set the Type to Process, Mode to CMYK, and levels to C=13 M=29 Y=66 K=0. Rename the swatch Gold and click OK

gold swatch

Apply the new swatch to the Font Color of „airy”.

how to make vintage book covers gold text

Step 3

Select the type path and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste, positioning it slightly below the first, to the left side. Adjust the text to read just „F”, and increase the Font Size to 200 pt.

fairy text

Step 4

Continue to Copy and Paste paths and adjust them to read the rest of the title, in this case „F”, „airy”, „T”, „ales”, „by the”, „Brothers Grimm”, setting the text in Adorabelle and adjusting the Font Size to create a hierarchy.

text paths

Make sure you’re completely happy with the text arrangement on the page—once you begin illustrating around the type, you won’t be able to move it. Once you’re happy, go to File > Print and print out the cover to size onto a piece of A4- or Letter-sized paper.

You may find it helpful to use the Rectangle Tool (M) first, to mark out the trim edge of the paper in black, so you can see where the cover ends.

completed text

Step 5

Once you have your typography printed out, you’re ready to start illustrating your fairy-tale cover.

Illustrations in a woodcut style will add the perfect look to your old book design cover. With simple chunky edges and solid silhouettes, these images will look incredibly charming on your fairy-tale book design. 

Google „woodcut art” to browse examples of the style and find inspiration for your cover. Some woodcut designs are very complex, but we’re aiming for more simplistic, naive designs, which not only look great on antique book cover designs but are also easy to create.

Grab your pencil and get started! 

Start with the larger features of the design—here I wanted to have a wolf curved around one corner of the old book design cover and a goose at the top right: both popular subjects in the Grimm fairy tales. 

drawn animals

Then I start to think about the smaller details of the design. Intertwining rose stems are easy to draw and create a beautiful framing effect for the rest of the content. I decorate the tops of stems with simple rosehip silhouettes and add leaves to some of the sides.

I continue to build up the design in pencil, adding roses in the corners and a little hedgehog between the text of the title. 

completed drawing

Allow some of the design to cross in front of and behind the curves of the text—this will help to create a more unified, fluid design.

2. How Do I Vectorize My Artwork?

Step 1

When you’ve finished your pencil design, you need to think about which areas of the design you’d like to pull out in different colors for your fairy-tale cover. 

Ultimately, I want the rose stems and leaves to be a different color from the rest of the design. To do this, I’ll need to pull them out in a strong color by hand, and then scan the design and edit it in Photoshop.

Pick your first one-color feature and take a black ink pen. Color in the whole element in black, trying to keep the silhouette as solid as possible.

black pen

Scan the drawing into your computer, or take a high-resolution digital photo on a phone or camera. Open up the image in Adobe Photoshop.

scan

Duplicate the Background layer to create a copy of the image, and switch off the visibility of the background layer. 

Add a Levels Adjustment Layer, and drag the sliders to the far right of the graph to bring out the black of the inked image in high contrast. 

levels

Then File > Save As the image as a PSD file. Name it after the element, e.g. „Thorns.psd”.

Step 2

Minimize Photoshop for now, and open up Adobe Illustrator. Create a New Document, 132 mm in Width and 204 mm in Height to match the cover dimensions. 

new document

File > Place the image of your edited image, in this case „Thorns.psd”. Resize it to fit the cover. 

resized cover

Go to Window > Image Trace to open up the Image Trace panel. Select the image and, in the panel, set the Mode to Black and White. Check the Preview box to view the result. 

From the Advanced options, select Snap Curves to Lines and Ignore White. Adjust the Threshold, Paths, Corners, and Noise sliders until you’re happy with the result. 

image trace

Then go to Object > Image Trace > Expand to transform the image into a vector.

expand

Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup to make all the parts of the vector editable.

ungroup

Delete any background remaining, and any extra unwanted bits picked up by Image Trace. You’ll end up with a beautiful vector version of your image, true to size.

image trace

Step 3

Now we need to repeat the process for the remaining elements on our pencil design. So head back to your paper design, and seek out a contrasting color pen—a striking red or blue would be ideal!

Color in the remaining elements on your design in a contrasting color, and then scan the image into your computer. 

red pen

Open up the image in Photoshop, duplicate the Background layer, and go to Select > Color Range

color range

Click onto the colored areas to pick up that color alone, and then Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste, moving just this color onto a different layer. Applying a white rectangle onto a layer below this will help you to see the isolated artwork more clearly. 

Then apply a Levels Adjustment Layer, as before, pulling the sliders across to the extreme right side, transforming your elements to high-contrast black. 

levels

File > Save As the image as a PSD file, with a name like „Animals.eps”.

Step 4

Return to your Illustrator file and create a New Layer from the Layers panel. File > Place the „Animals.eps” file onto this layer. 

animals layer

Trace the image and vectorize it using the process described in Step 2, above.

vectorized image trace
ungroup
final trace

3. How Do I Add Linocut Details?

Good brushwork can go a long way in making an authentic antique book cover design. To give the illustrations a more accurate woodcut look, we can add brush details to our vectorized elements.

Make sure you have opened up the Lino Cut Brushes set in Illustrator, so they’re ready at hand.

Step 1

We’ll just work on the larger elements of the fairy-tale book cover design for now (here, the animals), so make sure the layer below is locked or not visible. You can apply a temporary bit of color to the elements too, if you like. This can help to make your brush strokes appear more visible if set in black.

Take the Paintbrush Tool (B) and select one of the linocut brushes. Experiment with different brushes until you find a style that suits a particular element on your design.

lino cut brushes

When you’re happy with the brush stroke, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

outline stroke

Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup the different parts of the texture, if required.

ungroup

Select both the silhouetted image and the brush-stroke elements, and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Make Compound Path. The brush-stroke elements will be cut out of the silhouette to create that lovely woodcut effect.

compound path

Step 2

Repeat the process with the other larger elements, as I’ve done with this wolf illustration. Dashed shading looks great on larger elements to break up a solid silhouette.

lino cut brushes

Outline the stroke; Ungroup the elements, and Make Compound Path.

make compound path
final result

Use the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) to separate any outlying parts of the brush strokes from the main silhouette. 

eraser tool

Select them and delete them to make a neat and tidy design.

deleted

Step 3

Repeat the same process for the elements on the layer below, adding small linocut brush strokes to small items like leaves to add detail and interest.

lino cut leaf
lino cut effect

4. How Can I Finalize the Front Cover in InDesign?

Now that we’ve vectorized the illustrations for the fairy-tale cover, we’re ready to lift the designs into InDesign and finalize the cover design.

Step 1

Make sure the bottom layer of your Illustrator file is the only one unlocked, and then select everything on the page and Edit > Copy.

Return to your original InDesign file, with your original typography design. Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1 to open the Layer Options window. Rename the layer Typography in Front.

layer options

Click on the New Layer button at the bottom of the panel to create a new layer and rename this Texture. Drag it down to sit below the Typography in Front layer.

texture layer

Create a second new layer, above Texture and below Typography in Front, and rename it Background.

background layer

Step 2

Lock both the Typography in Front and Background layers, and click on Texture to activate it. 

Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag onto the page to create an image frame that extends across the page, up to the edges of the bleed on the top, right, and bottom sides.

File > Place, and choose the canvas texture image you downloaded earlier. Position it so that it fills the image frame completely.

fairy tale book cover canvas texture

Step 3

Expand the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Background Purple and set the values to C=95 M=100 Y=59 K=24.

purrple swatch

Lock the Texture layer and unlock the next layer up, Background. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag to create a rectangle that matches the dimensions of the canvas image frame below. Set the Fill Color to Background Purple. Go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 90% to pull through some of the canvas texture below.

multiply
background color

Step 4

Create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Green and set the values to C=74 M=37 Y=57 K=15.

green swatch

Lock the Background layer, and then create a new layer called Thorns to sit above Background and below Typography in Front. Edit > Paste to drop the copied thorns vector onto the page. You can resize it if needed, and then hop up to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 70%.

transparency
thorns layer

Step 5

Create a new layer, Typography Behind, and position this above Thorns and below Typography in Front. If you want any of the text elements to sit behind larger elements of the design, such as animals or roses, drag text paths from the Typography in Front layer onto this layer below. This is completely optional, but can help your design to feel more layered and 3D.

I’ve also pulled out the main title in a contrasting bright white Font Color (choose [Paper] from the Swatches panel).

typography behind

Step 6

Return to your Illustrator document, and lock the bottom layer. Unlock the top layer, containing the vectorized version of the larger elements on your design, and sweep your mouse across the page to select everything. Edit > Copy.

Return to your InDesign document and create a new layer, Animals and Roses, and place this between the Typography in Front and Typography Behind layers.

Edit > Paste to drop the vectorized animals and roses onto the page. Readjust the position and size if needed.

animals and roses

Step 7

Create a new CMYK Process swatch, C=33 M=42 Y=38 K=33, and name it Hedgehog Brown. 

brown swatch

Create a second new CMYK Process swatch, C=12 M=65 Y=64 K=0, and name it Orange.

orange swatch

Create a third new CMYK Process swatch, C=47 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Dark Pink.

dark pink

Create a final new CMYK Process swatch, C=21 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Pink.

pink

You can use these colors as you wish to apply to your own designs, or if you’re recreating the design pictured here, you can apply the Hedgehog Brown to the hedgehog vector, Orange to the wolf, and Dark Pink and Pink to the roses, varying the two tones to create depth.

Step 8

Some of the larger silhouettes will benefit from having some of the texture on the layers beneath being more visible through them. To do this, select a vector shape, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Opacity to 90%.

effects
final front cover

Feel free to add further details to the design if you feel it needs something more. Here, I’ve added a few extra small roses set in Pink and Dark Pink to add more detail to the left side of the old book design cover.

extra roses

Your front cover design is finished—great work! If you’re planning on using the cover digitally for an EPUB, your job is pretty much done—you can File > Export the artwork as an Interactive PDF.

If you want to find out how to create a decorative spine for your fairy-tale book cover and expand the design into a full wraparound cover, read on…

5. How Do I Create a Decorative Spine?

Step 1

This is a good time to File > Save your InDesign artwork, so make sure to do that now before proceeding.

Expand the Pages panel and click on the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel.

pages panel

This page will be our full clothbound cover design and will include space for a back cover, spine, and front cover. 

To work out the correct width of the page, we need to know the correct spine width for the book. Let’s say we’ll be working with 500 pages on 130 gsm coated paper. Using this helpful online spine calculator, you can work out that this will mean we have to accommodate a 36 mm spine, plus add an extra 3 mm to allow for the extra wraparound required on a hardback’s spine.

Once you’ve figured out the spine width, you can calculate the full width of your old book design cover:

Front Cover Width + Back Cover Width + Spine + 3 mm (for hardback) = Total Cover Width

So for this cover, that will mean…

132 mm + 132 mm + 36 mm + 3 mm = 303 mm

Select the Page Tool (Shift-P) and click onto Page 2 of your document to select it. Type 303 mm into the Width text box at the top-left corner of the Controls panel.

controls panel
expanded page

Step 2

Ensure the rulers are visible (View > Show Rulers) and pull out a vertical guide from the left-hand ruler to 151.5 mm, to mark out the center point of the spine.

rulers

Pull out guides to 133.5 mm and 169.5 mm to mark out the edges of the 36 mm spine.

guides

Finally, pull out guides to 132 mm and 171 mm to mark out the extra space needed around the spine edge for folding.

guides

Step 3

Unlock only the Texture layer, keeping the other layers locked, and Edit > Copy the canvas texture image frame on Page 1. Edit > Paste in Place onto Page 2.

canvas texture

Paste again, positioning it over on the left side of the page.

texture on back

Paste a final time, resizing the width to fit the remaining spine gap.

spine canvas

Step 4

Lock the Texture layer and unlock all other layers. Drag your mouse over the whole of Page 1 to select all the front cover artwork and Edit > Copy.

copy

Scroll down to Page 2 and Edit > Paste. Position it over on the right-hand side, making sure it fits to the bleed edges perfectly. 

paste

Then select only the background color rectangle and extend the width so that it reaches to the far left edge of the bleed.

background color
final cover

Step 5

Zoom in on the spine of the cover, using the guides as a reference. Lock all layers except the Typography in Front layer. Take the Type Tool (T) and create a staggered group of text frames. Type in the words of the title and author names, in a similar arrangement to that shown. Set the Font to Adorabelle, and match the colors to the front cover.

spine type

Step 6

Lock the Typography in Front layer and unlock the Thorns layer. 

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a thin rectangle 36 mm in Width. Set the Fill Color to Gold, and go to Object > Corner Options. Add a 5 mm Round shape on all corners and click OK.

corner options

Move the bar above the title on the spine, and Copy and Paste to create a copy directly below, which you can put in a different color, like Green

Copy and Paste the pair and position below the author’s name, as shown. This gives the cover an authentic hardcover look.

bars on spine

Select all the bars and go to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 80%.

normal mode

Step 7

Now you can add some more creative details to the spine. You can either create a custom design for the spine, as we did for the front cover, or simply borrow individual vector elements from the front cover and give them a new twist.

Here, I’ve taken the curvy tip of one of the rose stems, separated it, and placed it at the top and bottom of the spine.

vine tip
vine tips

I also took individual rose vectors and placed them, alongside some leaves, above and below „by the” on the center of the spine.

roses
final spine

You’ll end up with a cover complete with decorative spine and front cover design!

final spine

Your Finished Fairy-Tale Cover

In this tutorial, we’ve looked at how to make a vintage book cover for a book of fairy tales. Using hand-drawn illustrations and then editing them in Photoshop and Illustrator, we’ve been able to learn how to make a fairy-tale book cover and recreate a gorgeous woodcut style that looks really charming and beautiful.

final cover

You can be as creative as you like with the back cover too—why not create an illustrated design to surround a blurb or give a bit of a decorative flourish to the edges of a barcode? The only limits are your imagination, so get creating! You can share your final results in the comments below.

Once you’ve completed your cover, you can export it as a Press-Quality PDF by going to File > Export. Make sure to include the bleed if you’re sending it off for professional printing and binding.

We’ve covered a range of skills in this tutorial, applicable to professional publishing and self-publishing design. You should now feel more confident in:

  • ‘mapping out’ typography for illustrative cover designs in Adobe InDesign
  • creating hand-drawn woodcut illustrations with simple, chunky silhouettes for high impact
  • preparing hand-drawn artwork for vectorizing in Adobe Photoshop
  • vectorizing and adding linocut brush details to your artwork
  • building up texture and color in your front cover artwork
  • expanding your cover design to a full wrap-around cover, complete with a decorative spine

That’s fantastic work—congratulations! If you’d like to share your cover artwork in the comments below, I’d love to see them!

Create a Vintage Fairy-Tale Book Cover With Placeit 

You can also check out Placeit’s library of book cover templates for an easy way to design a book cover right in your browser. It has everything from fairy-tale book cover designs to crime covers. You can find the perfect book cover maker, like the below fantasy novel cover, for your latest work.

Placeit Antique Book Cover Design

And if you liked learning how to make vintage book covers, Envato Tuts+ has more great book and magazine tutorials that you can try out too!

How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Post pobrano z: How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fairy-tale book cover with a vintage-inspired look. 

Vintage-style covers are big news in publishing right now, and clothbound covers are enjoying a well-deserved resurgence. Here you’ll learn how to make a vintage book cover and recreate the look with woodcut-style illustrations and calligraphy type. We’ll look at how to make a fairy-tale book front cover and decorative spine step by step, using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign to put the artwork together. 

complete spine of fairy tale book design

We’ll also be revisiting some drawing skills, so make sure to have a pencil, pen, and paper to hand too!

Ready? Fantastic, let’s get started…

What You Will Learn in This Fairy-Tale Book Cover Design Tutorial

  • How to plan and make a vintage book cover in InDesign
  • How you can vectorize artwork in Photoshop
  • How to add linocut details in Illustrator
  • How to finalize the fairy-tale book cover design in InDesign
  • How to create a decorative spine in InDesign

What Will I Need to Make a Vintage Book Cover? 

For this fairy-tale book cover design tutorial, you’ll need access to the following programs:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator 
  • Adobe Photoshop…

… plus pencil, pen, and paper.

To recreate the fairy-tale book design pictured, you’ll also need to download the following images, brushes, and fonts:

finished fairy tale book cover

1. How Should I Plan My Cover Design?

Illustrative cover designs require a bit of forward thinking—the fairy-tale book design will look more seamless and beautiful if we map out the cover first. 

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I created the design pictured below, but you can apply the same techniques to your own designs and illustrations if you like. It’s a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles!

front fairy tale antique book cover design

First up, let’s start mapping out the typography for the front cover…

Step 1

We’ll start in Adobe InDesign—open up the program and go to File > New > Document.

Set the Intent to Print and Number of Pages to 1

Under Page Size, set the Width to 132 mm and Height to 204 mm. This is equivalent to a trade-standard B-Format hardback size.

Keep the Margins to their default value (12.7 mm) and add a Bleed of 5 mm. 

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Click OK.

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Step 2

Take the Line Tool (\) and drag onto the page to create a short, slightly diagonal line from left to right. The idea is to create several lines of italic text, using the lines as text paths.

how to make a vintage book cover line tool

Switch to the Type on a Path Tool (Shift-T), and click onto the line (when you can see a „+” sign appear next to your type cursor). 

how to make a vintage book cover type on a path

Type in „airy”. From the top Controls panel, adjust the Stroke Color of the path to [None].

how to make vintage book covers airy text step

Highlight the text and open up the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character). Set the Font to Adorabelle Regular, Size 120 pt. Apply a Skew (false italic) of .

how to make a fairy tale book cover adorabelle text

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and click on the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel. Set the Type to Process, Mode to CMYK, and levels to C=13 M=29 Y=66 K=0. Rename the swatch Gold and click OK

gold swatch

Apply the new swatch to the Font Color of „airy”.

how to make vintage book covers gold text

Step 3

Select the type path and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste, positioning it slightly below the first, to the left side. Adjust the text to read just „F”, and increase the Font Size to 200 pt.

fairy text

Step 4

Continue to Copy and Paste paths and adjust them to read the rest of the title, in this case „F”, „airy”, „T”, „ales”, „by the”, „Brothers Grimm”, setting the text in Adorabelle and adjusting the Font Size to create a hierarchy.

text paths

Make sure you’re completely happy with the text arrangement on the page—once you begin illustrating around the type, you won’t be able to move it. Once you’re happy, go to File > Print and print out the cover to size onto a piece of A4- or Letter-sized paper.

You may find it helpful to use the Rectangle Tool (M) first, to mark out the trim edge of the paper in black, so you can see where the cover ends.

completed text

Step 5

Once you have your typography printed out, you’re ready to start illustrating your fairy-tale cover.

Illustrations in a woodcut style will add the perfect look to your old book design cover. With simple chunky edges and solid silhouettes, these images will look incredibly charming on your fairy-tale book design. 

Google „woodcut art” to browse examples of the style and find inspiration for your cover. Some woodcut designs are very complex, but we’re aiming for more simplistic, naive designs, which not only look great on antique book cover designs but are also easy to create.

Grab your pencil and get started! 

Start with the larger features of the design—here I wanted to have a wolf curved around one corner of the old book design cover and a goose at the top right: both popular subjects in the Grimm fairy tales. 

drawn animals

Then I start to think about the smaller details of the design. Intertwining rose stems are easy to draw and create a beautiful framing effect for the rest of the content. I decorate the tops of stems with simple rosehip silhouettes and add leaves to some of the sides.

I continue to build up the design in pencil, adding roses in the corners and a little hedgehog between the text of the title. 

completed drawing

Allow some of the design to cross in front of and behind the curves of the text—this will help to create a more unified, fluid design.

2. How Do I Vectorize My Artwork?

Step 1

When you’ve finished your pencil design, you need to think about which areas of the design you’d like to pull out in different colors for your fairy-tale cover. 

Ultimately, I want the rose stems and leaves to be a different color from the rest of the design. To do this, I’ll need to pull them out in a strong color by hand, and then scan the design and edit it in Photoshop.

Pick your first one-color feature and take a black ink pen. Color in the whole element in black, trying to keep the silhouette as solid as possible.

black pen

Scan the drawing into your computer, or take a high-resolution digital photo on a phone or camera. Open up the image in Adobe Photoshop.

scan

Duplicate the Background layer to create a copy of the image, and switch off the visibility of the background layer. 

Add a Levels Adjustment Layer, and drag the sliders to the far right of the graph to bring out the black of the inked image in high contrast. 

levels

Then File > Save As the image as a PSD file. Name it after the element, e.g. „Thorns.psd”.

Step 2

Minimize Photoshop for now, and open up Adobe Illustrator. Create a New Document, 132 mm in Width and 204 mm in Height to match the cover dimensions. 

new document

File > Place the image of your edited image, in this case „Thorns.psd”. Resize it to fit the cover. 

resized cover

Go to Window > Image Trace to open up the Image Trace panel. Select the image and, in the panel, set the Mode to Black and White. Check the Preview box to view the result. 

From the Advanced options, select Snap Curves to Lines and Ignore White. Adjust the Threshold, Paths, Corners, and Noise sliders until you’re happy with the result. 

image trace

Then go to Object > Image Trace > Expand to transform the image into a vector.

expand

Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup to make all the parts of the vector editable.

ungroup

Delete any background remaining, and any extra unwanted bits picked up by Image Trace. You’ll end up with a beautiful vector version of your image, true to size.

image trace

Step 3

Now we need to repeat the process for the remaining elements on our pencil design. So head back to your paper design, and seek out a contrasting color pen—a striking red or blue would be ideal!

Color in the remaining elements on your design in a contrasting color, and then scan the image into your computer. 

red pen

Open up the image in Photoshop, duplicate the Background layer, and go to Select > Color Range

color range

Click onto the colored areas to pick up that color alone, and then Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste, moving just this color onto a different layer. Applying a white rectangle onto a layer below this will help you to see the isolated artwork more clearly. 

Then apply a Levels Adjustment Layer, as before, pulling the sliders across to the extreme right side, transforming your elements to high-contrast black. 

levels

File > Save As the image as a PSD file, with a name like „Animals.eps”.

Step 4

Return to your Illustrator file and create a New Layer from the Layers panel. File > Place the „Animals.eps” file onto this layer. 

animals layer

Trace the image and vectorize it using the process described in Step 2, above.

vectorized image trace
ungroup
final trace

3. How Do I Add Linocut Details?

Good brushwork can go a long way in making an authentic antique book cover design. To give the illustrations a more accurate woodcut look, we can add brush details to our vectorized elements.

Make sure you have opened up the Lino Cut Brushes set in Illustrator, so they’re ready at hand.

Step 1

We’ll just work on the larger elements of the fairy-tale book cover design for now (here, the animals), so make sure the layer below is locked or not visible. You can apply a temporary bit of color to the elements too, if you like. This can help to make your brush strokes appear more visible if set in black.

Take the Paintbrush Tool (B) and select one of the linocut brushes. Experiment with different brushes until you find a style that suits a particular element on your design.

lino cut brushes

When you’re happy with the brush stroke, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

outline stroke

Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup the different parts of the texture, if required.

ungroup

Select both the silhouetted image and the brush-stroke elements, and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Make Compound Path. The brush-stroke elements will be cut out of the silhouette to create that lovely woodcut effect.

compound path

Step 2

Repeat the process with the other larger elements, as I’ve done with this wolf illustration. Dashed shading looks great on larger elements to break up a solid silhouette.

lino cut brushes

Outline the stroke; Ungroup the elements, and Make Compound Path.

make compound path
final result

Use the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) to separate any outlying parts of the brush strokes from the main silhouette. 

eraser tool

Select them and delete them to make a neat and tidy design.

deleted

Step 3

Repeat the same process for the elements on the layer below, adding small linocut brush strokes to small items like leaves to add detail and interest.

lino cut leaf
lino cut effect

4. How Can I Finalize the Front Cover in InDesign?

Now that we’ve vectorized the illustrations for the fairy-tale cover, we’re ready to lift the designs into InDesign and finalize the cover design.

Step 1

Make sure the bottom layer of your Illustrator file is the only one unlocked, and then select everything on the page and Edit > Copy.

Return to your original InDesign file, with your original typography design. Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1 to open the Layer Options window. Rename the layer Typography in Front.

layer options

Click on the New Layer button at the bottom of the panel to create a new layer and rename this Texture. Drag it down to sit below the Typography in Front layer.

texture layer

Create a second new layer, above Texture and below Typography in Front, and rename it Background.

background layer

Step 2

Lock both the Typography in Front and Background layers, and click on Texture to activate it. 

Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag onto the page to create an image frame that extends across the page, up to the edges of the bleed on the top, right, and bottom sides.

File > Place, and choose the canvas texture image you downloaded earlier. Position it so that it fills the image frame completely.

fairy tale book cover canvas texture

Step 3

Expand the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Background Purple and set the values to C=95 M=100 Y=59 K=24.

purrple swatch

Lock the Texture layer and unlock the next layer up, Background. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag to create a rectangle that matches the dimensions of the canvas image frame below. Set the Fill Color to Background Purple. Go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 90% to pull through some of the canvas texture below.

multiply
background color

Step 4

Create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Green and set the values to C=74 M=37 Y=57 K=15.

green swatch

Lock the Background layer, and then create a new layer called Thorns to sit above Background and below Typography in Front. Edit > Paste to drop the copied thorns vector onto the page. You can resize it if needed, and then hop up to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 70%.

transparency
thorns layer

Step 5

Create a new layer, Typography Behind, and position this above Thorns and below Typography in Front. If you want any of the text elements to sit behind larger elements of the design, such as animals or roses, drag text paths from the Typography in Front layer onto this layer below. This is completely optional, but can help your design to feel more layered and 3D.

I’ve also pulled out the main title in a contrasting bright white Font Color (choose [Paper] from the Swatches panel).

typography behind

Step 6

Return to your Illustrator document, and lock the bottom layer. Unlock the top layer, containing the vectorized version of the larger elements on your design, and sweep your mouse across the page to select everything. Edit > Copy.

Return to your InDesign document and create a new layer, Animals and Roses, and place this between the Typography in Front and Typography Behind layers.

Edit > Paste to drop the vectorized animals and roses onto the page. Readjust the position and size if needed.

animals and roses

Step 7

Create a new CMYK Process swatch, C=33 M=42 Y=38 K=33, and name it Hedgehog Brown. 

brown swatch

Create a second new CMYK Process swatch, C=12 M=65 Y=64 K=0, and name it Orange.

orange swatch

Create a third new CMYK Process swatch, C=47 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Dark Pink.

dark pink

Create a final new CMYK Process swatch, C=21 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Pink.

pink

You can use these colors as you wish to apply to your own designs, or if you’re recreating the design pictured here, you can apply the Hedgehog Brown to the hedgehog vector, Orange to the wolf, and Dark Pink and Pink to the roses, varying the two tones to create depth.

Step 8

Some of the larger silhouettes will benefit from having some of the texture on the layers beneath being more visible through them. To do this, select a vector shape, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Opacity to 90%.

effects
final front cover

Feel free to add further details to the design if you feel it needs something more. Here, I’ve added a few extra small roses set in Pink and Dark Pink to add more detail to the left side of the old book design cover.

extra roses

Your front cover design is finished—great work! If you’re planning on using the cover digitally for an EPUB, your job is pretty much done—you can File > Export the artwork as an Interactive PDF.

If you want to find out how to create a decorative spine for your fairy-tale book cover and expand the design into a full wraparound cover, read on…

5. How Do I Create a Decorative Spine?

Step 1

This is a good time to File > Save your InDesign artwork, so make sure to do that now before proceeding.

Expand the Pages panel and click on the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel.

pages panel

This page will be our full clothbound cover design and will include space for a back cover, spine, and front cover. 

To work out the correct width of the page, we need to know the correct spine width for the book. Let’s say we’ll be working with 500 pages on 130 gsm coated paper. Using this helpful online spine calculator, you can work out that this will mean we have to accommodate a 36 mm spine, plus add an extra 3 mm to allow for the extra wraparound required on a hardback’s spine.

Once you’ve figured out the spine width, you can calculate the full width of your old book design cover:

Front Cover Width + Back Cover Width + Spine + 3 mm (for hardback) = Total Cover Width

So for this cover, that will mean…

132 mm + 132 mm + 36 mm + 3 mm = 303 mm

Select the Page Tool (Shift-P) and click onto Page 2 of your document to select it. Type 303 mm into the Width text box at the top-left corner of the Controls panel.

controls panel
expanded page

Step 2

Ensure the rulers are visible (View > Show Rulers) and pull out a vertical guide from the left-hand ruler to 151.5 mm, to mark out the center point of the spine.

rulers

Pull out guides to 133.5 mm and 169.5 mm to mark out the edges of the 36 mm spine.

guides

Finally, pull out guides to 132 mm and 171 mm to mark out the extra space needed around the spine edge for folding.

guides

Step 3

Unlock only the Texture layer, keeping the other layers locked, and Edit > Copy the canvas texture image frame on Page 1. Edit > Paste in Place onto Page 2.

canvas texture

Paste again, positioning it over on the left side of the page.

texture on back

Paste a final time, resizing the width to fit the remaining spine gap.

spine canvas

Step 4

Lock the Texture layer and unlock all other layers. Drag your mouse over the whole of Page 1 to select all the front cover artwork and Edit > Copy.

copy

Scroll down to Page 2 and Edit > Paste. Position it over on the right-hand side, making sure it fits to the bleed edges perfectly. 

paste

Then select only the background color rectangle and extend the width so that it reaches to the far left edge of the bleed.

background color
final cover

Step 5

Zoom in on the spine of the cover, using the guides as a reference. Lock all layers except the Typography in Front layer. Take the Type Tool (T) and create a staggered group of text frames. Type in the words of the title and author names, in a similar arrangement to that shown. Set the Font to Adorabelle, and match the colors to the front cover.

spine type

Step 6

Lock the Typography in Front layer and unlock the Thorns layer. 

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a thin rectangle 36 mm in Width. Set the Fill Color to Gold, and go to Object > Corner Options. Add a 5 mm Round shape on all corners and click OK.

corner options

Move the bar above the title on the spine, and Copy and Paste to create a copy directly below, which you can put in a different color, like Green

Copy and Paste the pair and position below the author’s name, as shown. This gives the cover an authentic hardcover look.

bars on spine

Select all the bars and go to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 80%.

normal mode

Step 7

Now you can add some more creative details to the spine. You can either create a custom design for the spine, as we did for the front cover, or simply borrow individual vector elements from the front cover and give them a new twist.

Here, I’ve taken the curvy tip of one of the rose stems, separated it, and placed it at the top and bottom of the spine.

vine tip
vine tips

I also took individual rose vectors and placed them, alongside some leaves, above and below „by the” on the center of the spine.

roses
final spine

You’ll end up with a cover complete with decorative spine and front cover design!

final spine

Your Finished Fairy-Tale Cover

In this tutorial, we’ve looked at how to make a vintage book cover for a book of fairy tales. Using hand-drawn illustrations and then editing them in Photoshop and Illustrator, we’ve been able to learn how to make a fairy-tale book cover and recreate a gorgeous woodcut style that looks really charming and beautiful.

final cover

You can be as creative as you like with the back cover too—why not create an illustrated design to surround a blurb or give a bit of a decorative flourish to the edges of a barcode? The only limits are your imagination, so get creating! You can share your final results in the comments below.

Once you’ve completed your cover, you can export it as a Press-Quality PDF by going to File > Export. Make sure to include the bleed if you’re sending it off for professional printing and binding.

We’ve covered a range of skills in this tutorial, applicable to professional publishing and self-publishing design. You should now feel more confident in:

  • ‘mapping out’ typography for illustrative cover designs in Adobe InDesign
  • creating hand-drawn woodcut illustrations with simple, chunky silhouettes for high impact
  • preparing hand-drawn artwork for vectorizing in Adobe Photoshop
  • vectorizing and adding linocut brush details to your artwork
  • building up texture and color in your front cover artwork
  • expanding your cover design to a full wrap-around cover, complete with a decorative spine

That’s fantastic work—congratulations! If you’d like to share your cover artwork in the comments below, I’d love to see them!

Create a Vintage Fairy-Tale Book Cover With Placeit 

You can also check out Placeit’s library of book cover templates for an easy way to design a book cover right in your browser. It has everything from fairy-tale book cover designs to crime covers. You can find the perfect book cover maker, like the below fantasy novel cover, for your latest work.

Placeit Antique Book Cover Design

And if you liked learning how to make vintage book covers, Envato Tuts+ has more great book and magazine tutorials that you can try out too!

How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Post pobrano z: How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fairy-tale book cover with a vintage-inspired look. 

Vintage-style covers are big news in publishing right now, and clothbound covers are enjoying a well-deserved resurgence. Here you’ll learn how to make a vintage book cover and recreate the look with woodcut-style illustrations and calligraphy type. We’ll look at how to make a fairy-tale book front cover and decorative spine step by step, using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign to put the artwork together. 

complete spine of fairy tale book design

We’ll also be revisiting some drawing skills, so make sure to have a pencil, pen, and paper to hand too!

Ready? Fantastic, let’s get started…

What You Will Learn in This Fairy-Tale Book Cover Design Tutorial

  • How to plan and make a vintage book cover in InDesign
  • How you can vectorize artwork in Photoshop
  • How to add linocut details in Illustrator
  • How to finalize the fairy-tale book cover design in InDesign
  • How to create a decorative spine in InDesign

What Will I Need to Make a Vintage Book Cover? 

For this fairy-tale book cover design tutorial, you’ll need access to the following programs:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator 
  • Adobe Photoshop…

… plus pencil, pen, and paper.

To recreate the fairy-tale book design pictured, you’ll also need to download the following images, brushes, and fonts:

finished fairy tale book cover

1. How Should I Plan My Cover Design?

Illustrative cover designs require a bit of forward thinking—the fairy-tale book design will look more seamless and beautiful if we map out the cover first. 

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I created the design pictured below, but you can apply the same techniques to your own designs and illustrations if you like. It’s a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles!

front fairy tale antique book cover design

First up, let’s start mapping out the typography for the front cover…

Step 1

We’ll start in Adobe InDesign—open up the program and go to File > New > Document.

Set the Intent to Print and Number of Pages to 1

Under Page Size, set the Width to 132 mm and Height to 204 mm. This is equivalent to a trade-standard B-Format hardback size.

Keep the Margins to their default value (12.7 mm) and add a Bleed of 5 mm. 

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Click OK.

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Step 2

Take the Line Tool (\) and drag onto the page to create a short, slightly diagonal line from left to right. The idea is to create several lines of italic text, using the lines as text paths.

how to make a vintage book cover line tool

Switch to the Type on a Path Tool (Shift-T), and click onto the line (when you can see a „+” sign appear next to your type cursor). 

how to make a vintage book cover type on a path

Type in „airy”. From the top Controls panel, adjust the Stroke Color of the path to [None].

how to make vintage book covers airy text step

Highlight the text and open up the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character). Set the Font to Adorabelle Regular, Size 120 pt. Apply a Skew (false italic) of .

how to make a fairy tale book cover adorabelle text

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and click on the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel. Set the Type to Process, Mode to CMYK, and levels to C=13 M=29 Y=66 K=0. Rename the swatch Gold and click OK

gold swatch

Apply the new swatch to the Font Color of „airy”.

how to make vintage book covers gold text

Step 3

Select the type path and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste, positioning it slightly below the first, to the left side. Adjust the text to read just „F”, and increase the Font Size to 200 pt.

fairy text

Step 4

Continue to Copy and Paste paths and adjust them to read the rest of the title, in this case „F”, „airy”, „T”, „ales”, „by the”, „Brothers Grimm”, setting the text in Adorabelle and adjusting the Font Size to create a hierarchy.

text paths

Make sure you’re completely happy with the text arrangement on the page—once you begin illustrating around the type, you won’t be able to move it. Once you’re happy, go to File > Print and print out the cover to size onto a piece of A4- or Letter-sized paper.

You may find it helpful to use the Rectangle Tool (M) first, to mark out the trim edge of the paper in black, so you can see where the cover ends.

completed text

Step 5

Once you have your typography printed out, you’re ready to start illustrating your fairy-tale cover.

Illustrations in a woodcut style will add the perfect look to your old book design cover. With simple chunky edges and solid silhouettes, these images will look incredibly charming on your fairy-tale book design. 

Google „woodcut art” to browse examples of the style and find inspiration for your cover. Some woodcut designs are very complex, but we’re aiming for more simplistic, naive designs, which not only look great on antique book cover designs but are also easy to create.

Grab your pencil and get started! 

Start with the larger features of the design—here I wanted to have a wolf curved around one corner of the old book design cover and a goose at the top right: both popular subjects in the Grimm fairy tales. 

drawn animals

Then I start to think about the smaller details of the design. Intertwining rose stems are easy to draw and create a beautiful framing effect for the rest of the content. I decorate the tops of stems with simple rosehip silhouettes and add leaves to some of the sides.

I continue to build up the design in pencil, adding roses in the corners and a little hedgehog between the text of the title. 

completed drawing

Allow some of the design to cross in front of and behind the curves of the text—this will help to create a more unified, fluid design.

2. How Do I Vectorize My Artwork?

Step 1

When you’ve finished your pencil design, you need to think about which areas of the design you’d like to pull out in different colors for your fairy-tale cover. 

Ultimately, I want the rose stems and leaves to be a different color from the rest of the design. To do this, I’ll need to pull them out in a strong color by hand, and then scan the design and edit it in Photoshop.

Pick your first one-color feature and take a black ink pen. Color in the whole element in black, trying to keep the silhouette as solid as possible.

black pen

Scan the drawing into your computer, or take a high-resolution digital photo on a phone or camera. Open up the image in Adobe Photoshop.

scan

Duplicate the Background layer to create a copy of the image, and switch off the visibility of the background layer. 

Add a Levels Adjustment Layer, and drag the sliders to the far right of the graph to bring out the black of the inked image in high contrast. 

levels

Then File > Save As the image as a PSD file. Name it after the element, e.g. „Thorns.psd”.

Step 2

Minimize Photoshop for now, and open up Adobe Illustrator. Create a New Document, 132 mm in Width and 204 mm in Height to match the cover dimensions. 

new document

File > Place the image of your edited image, in this case „Thorns.psd”. Resize it to fit the cover. 

resized cover

Go to Window > Image Trace to open up the Image Trace panel. Select the image and, in the panel, set the Mode to Black and White. Check the Preview box to view the result. 

From the Advanced options, select Snap Curves to Lines and Ignore White. Adjust the Threshold, Paths, Corners, and Noise sliders until you’re happy with the result. 

image trace

Then go to Object > Image Trace > Expand to transform the image into a vector.

expand

Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup to make all the parts of the vector editable.

ungroup

Delete any background remaining, and any extra unwanted bits picked up by Image Trace. You’ll end up with a beautiful vector version of your image, true to size.

image trace

Step 3

Now we need to repeat the process for the remaining elements on our pencil design. So head back to your paper design, and seek out a contrasting color pen—a striking red or blue would be ideal!

Color in the remaining elements on your design in a contrasting color, and then scan the image into your computer. 

red pen

Open up the image in Photoshop, duplicate the Background layer, and go to Select > Color Range

color range

Click onto the colored areas to pick up that color alone, and then Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste, moving just this color onto a different layer. Applying a white rectangle onto a layer below this will help you to see the isolated artwork more clearly. 

Then apply a Levels Adjustment Layer, as before, pulling the sliders across to the extreme right side, transforming your elements to high-contrast black. 

levels

File > Save As the image as a PSD file, with a name like „Animals.eps”.

Step 4

Return to your Illustrator file and create a New Layer from the Layers panel. File > Place the „Animals.eps” file onto this layer. 

animals layer

Trace the image and vectorize it using the process described in Step 2, above.

vectorized image trace
ungroup
final trace

3. How Do I Add Linocut Details?

Good brushwork can go a long way in making an authentic antique book cover design. To give the illustrations a more accurate woodcut look, we can add brush details to our vectorized elements.

Make sure you have opened up the Lino Cut Brushes set in Illustrator, so they’re ready at hand.

Step 1

We’ll just work on the larger elements of the fairy-tale book cover design for now (here, the animals), so make sure the layer below is locked or not visible. You can apply a temporary bit of color to the elements too, if you like. This can help to make your brush strokes appear more visible if set in black.

Take the Paintbrush Tool (B) and select one of the linocut brushes. Experiment with different brushes until you find a style that suits a particular element on your design.

lino cut brushes

When you’re happy with the brush stroke, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

outline stroke

Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup the different parts of the texture, if required.

ungroup

Select both the silhouetted image and the brush-stroke elements, and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Make Compound Path. The brush-stroke elements will be cut out of the silhouette to create that lovely woodcut effect.

compound path

Step 2

Repeat the process with the other larger elements, as I’ve done with this wolf illustration. Dashed shading looks great on larger elements to break up a solid silhouette.

lino cut brushes

Outline the stroke; Ungroup the elements, and Make Compound Path.

make compound path
final result

Use the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) to separate any outlying parts of the brush strokes from the main silhouette. 

eraser tool

Select them and delete them to make a neat and tidy design.

deleted

Step 3

Repeat the same process for the elements on the layer below, adding small linocut brush strokes to small items like leaves to add detail and interest.

lino cut leaf
lino cut effect

4. How Can I Finalize the Front Cover in InDesign?

Now that we’ve vectorized the illustrations for the fairy-tale cover, we’re ready to lift the designs into InDesign and finalize the cover design.

Step 1

Make sure the bottom layer of your Illustrator file is the only one unlocked, and then select everything on the page and Edit > Copy.

Return to your original InDesign file, with your original typography design. Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1 to open the Layer Options window. Rename the layer Typography in Front.

layer options

Click on the New Layer button at the bottom of the panel to create a new layer and rename this Texture. Drag it down to sit below the Typography in Front layer.

texture layer

Create a second new layer, above Texture and below Typography in Front, and rename it Background.

background layer

Step 2

Lock both the Typography in Front and Background layers, and click on Texture to activate it. 

Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag onto the page to create an image frame that extends across the page, up to the edges of the bleed on the top, right, and bottom sides.

File > Place, and choose the canvas texture image you downloaded earlier. Position it so that it fills the image frame completely.

fairy tale book cover canvas texture

Step 3

Expand the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Background Purple and set the values to C=95 M=100 Y=59 K=24.

purrple swatch

Lock the Texture layer and unlock the next layer up, Background. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag to create a rectangle that matches the dimensions of the canvas image frame below. Set the Fill Color to Background Purple. Go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 90% to pull through some of the canvas texture below.

multiply
background color

Step 4

Create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Green and set the values to C=74 M=37 Y=57 K=15.

green swatch

Lock the Background layer, and then create a new layer called Thorns to sit above Background and below Typography in Front. Edit > Paste to drop the copied thorns vector onto the page. You can resize it if needed, and then hop up to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 70%.

transparency
thorns layer

Step 5

Create a new layer, Typography Behind, and position this above Thorns and below Typography in Front. If you want any of the text elements to sit behind larger elements of the design, such as animals or roses, drag text paths from the Typography in Front layer onto this layer below. This is completely optional, but can help your design to feel more layered and 3D.

I’ve also pulled out the main title in a contrasting bright white Font Color (choose [Paper] from the Swatches panel).

typography behind

Step 6

Return to your Illustrator document, and lock the bottom layer. Unlock the top layer, containing the vectorized version of the larger elements on your design, and sweep your mouse across the page to select everything. Edit > Copy.

Return to your InDesign document and create a new layer, Animals and Roses, and place this between the Typography in Front and Typography Behind layers.

Edit > Paste to drop the vectorized animals and roses onto the page. Readjust the position and size if needed.

animals and roses

Step 7

Create a new CMYK Process swatch, C=33 M=42 Y=38 K=33, and name it Hedgehog Brown. 

brown swatch

Create a second new CMYK Process swatch, C=12 M=65 Y=64 K=0, and name it Orange.

orange swatch

Create a third new CMYK Process swatch, C=47 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Dark Pink.

dark pink

Create a final new CMYK Process swatch, C=21 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Pink.

pink

You can use these colors as you wish to apply to your own designs, or if you’re recreating the design pictured here, you can apply the Hedgehog Brown to the hedgehog vector, Orange to the wolf, and Dark Pink and Pink to the roses, varying the two tones to create depth.

Step 8

Some of the larger silhouettes will benefit from having some of the texture on the layers beneath being more visible through them. To do this, select a vector shape, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Opacity to 90%.

effects
final front cover

Feel free to add further details to the design if you feel it needs something more. Here, I’ve added a few extra small roses set in Pink and Dark Pink to add more detail to the left side of the old book design cover.

extra roses

Your front cover design is finished—great work! If you’re planning on using the cover digitally for an EPUB, your job is pretty much done—you can File > Export the artwork as an Interactive PDF.

If you want to find out how to create a decorative spine for your fairy-tale book cover and expand the design into a full wraparound cover, read on…

5. How Do I Create a Decorative Spine?

Step 1

This is a good time to File > Save your InDesign artwork, so make sure to do that now before proceeding.

Expand the Pages panel and click on the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel.

pages panel

This page will be our full clothbound cover design and will include space for a back cover, spine, and front cover. 

To work out the correct width of the page, we need to know the correct spine width for the book. Let’s say we’ll be working with 500 pages on 130 gsm coated paper. Using this helpful online spine calculator, you can work out that this will mean we have to accommodate a 36 mm spine, plus add an extra 3 mm to allow for the extra wraparound required on a hardback’s spine.

Once you’ve figured out the spine width, you can calculate the full width of your old book design cover:

Front Cover Width + Back Cover Width + Spine + 3 mm (for hardback) = Total Cover Width

So for this cover, that will mean…

132 mm + 132 mm + 36 mm + 3 mm = 303 mm

Select the Page Tool (Shift-P) and click onto Page 2 of your document to select it. Type 303 mm into the Width text box at the top-left corner of the Controls panel.

controls panel
expanded page

Step 2

Ensure the rulers are visible (View > Show Rulers) and pull out a vertical guide from the left-hand ruler to 151.5 mm, to mark out the center point of the spine.

rulers

Pull out guides to 133.5 mm and 169.5 mm to mark out the edges of the 36 mm spine.

guides

Finally, pull out guides to 132 mm and 171 mm to mark out the extra space needed around the spine edge for folding.

guides

Step 3

Unlock only the Texture layer, keeping the other layers locked, and Edit > Copy the canvas texture image frame on Page 1. Edit > Paste in Place onto Page 2.

canvas texture

Paste again, positioning it over on the left side of the page.

texture on back

Paste a final time, resizing the width to fit the remaining spine gap.

spine canvas

Step 4

Lock the Texture layer and unlock all other layers. Drag your mouse over the whole of Page 1 to select all the front cover artwork and Edit > Copy.

copy

Scroll down to Page 2 and Edit > Paste. Position it over on the right-hand side, making sure it fits to the bleed edges perfectly. 

paste

Then select only the background color rectangle and extend the width so that it reaches to the far left edge of the bleed.

background color
final cover

Step 5

Zoom in on the spine of the cover, using the guides as a reference. Lock all layers except the Typography in Front layer. Take the Type Tool (T) and create a staggered group of text frames. Type in the words of the title and author names, in a similar arrangement to that shown. Set the Font to Adorabelle, and match the colors to the front cover.

spine type

Step 6

Lock the Typography in Front layer and unlock the Thorns layer. 

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a thin rectangle 36 mm in Width. Set the Fill Color to Gold, and go to Object > Corner Options. Add a 5 mm Round shape on all corners and click OK.

corner options

Move the bar above the title on the spine, and Copy and Paste to create a copy directly below, which you can put in a different color, like Green

Copy and Paste the pair and position below the author’s name, as shown. This gives the cover an authentic hardcover look.

bars on spine

Select all the bars and go to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 80%.

normal mode

Step 7

Now you can add some more creative details to the spine. You can either create a custom design for the spine, as we did for the front cover, or simply borrow individual vector elements from the front cover and give them a new twist.

Here, I’ve taken the curvy tip of one of the rose stems, separated it, and placed it at the top and bottom of the spine.

vine tip
vine tips

I also took individual rose vectors and placed them, alongside some leaves, above and below „by the” on the center of the spine.

roses
final spine

You’ll end up with a cover complete with decorative spine and front cover design!

final spine

Your Finished Fairy-Tale Cover

In this tutorial, we’ve looked at how to make a vintage book cover for a book of fairy tales. Using hand-drawn illustrations and then editing them in Photoshop and Illustrator, we’ve been able to learn how to make a fairy-tale book cover and recreate a gorgeous woodcut style that looks really charming and beautiful.

final cover

You can be as creative as you like with the back cover too—why not create an illustrated design to surround a blurb or give a bit of a decorative flourish to the edges of a barcode? The only limits are your imagination, so get creating! You can share your final results in the comments below.

Once you’ve completed your cover, you can export it as a Press-Quality PDF by going to File > Export. Make sure to include the bleed if you’re sending it off for professional printing and binding.

We’ve covered a range of skills in this tutorial, applicable to professional publishing and self-publishing design. You should now feel more confident in:

  • ‘mapping out’ typography for illustrative cover designs in Adobe InDesign
  • creating hand-drawn woodcut illustrations with simple, chunky silhouettes for high impact
  • preparing hand-drawn artwork for vectorizing in Adobe Photoshop
  • vectorizing and adding linocut brush details to your artwork
  • building up texture and color in your front cover artwork
  • expanding your cover design to a full wrap-around cover, complete with a decorative spine

That’s fantastic work—congratulations! If you’d like to share your cover artwork in the comments below, I’d love to see them!

Create a Vintage Fairy-Tale Book Cover With Placeit 

You can also check out Placeit’s library of book cover templates for an easy way to design a book cover right in your browser. It has everything from fairy-tale book cover designs to crime covers. You can find the perfect book cover maker, like the below fantasy novel cover, for your latest work.

Placeit Antique Book Cover Design

And if you liked learning how to make vintage book covers, Envato Tuts+ has more great book and magazine tutorials that you can try out too!

How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Post pobrano z: How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fairy-tale book cover with a vintage-inspired look. 

Vintage-style covers are big news in publishing right now, and clothbound covers are enjoying a well-deserved resurgence. Here you’ll learn how to make a vintage book cover and recreate the look with woodcut-style illustrations and calligraphy type. We’ll look at how to make a fairy-tale book front cover and decorative spine step by step, using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign to put the artwork together. 

complete spine of fairy tale book design

We’ll also be revisiting some drawing skills, so make sure to have a pencil, pen, and paper to hand too!

Ready? Fantastic, let’s get started…

What You Will Learn in This Fairy-Tale Book Cover Design Tutorial

  • How to plan and make a vintage book cover in InDesign
  • How you can vectorize artwork in Photoshop
  • How to add linocut details in Illustrator
  • How to finalize the fairy-tale book cover design in InDesign
  • How to create a decorative spine in InDesign

What Will I Need to Make a Vintage Book Cover? 

For this fairy-tale book cover design tutorial, you’ll need access to the following programs:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator 
  • Adobe Photoshop…

… plus pencil, pen, and paper.

To recreate the fairy-tale book design pictured, you’ll also need to download the following images, brushes, and fonts:

finished fairy tale book cover

1. How Should I Plan My Cover Design?

Illustrative cover designs require a bit of forward thinking—the fairy-tale book design will look more seamless and beautiful if we map out the cover first. 

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I created the design pictured below, but you can apply the same techniques to your own designs and illustrations if you like. It’s a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles!

front fairy tale antique book cover design

First up, let’s start mapping out the typography for the front cover…

Step 1

We’ll start in Adobe InDesign—open up the program and go to File > New > Document.

Set the Intent to Print and Number of Pages to 1

Under Page Size, set the Width to 132 mm and Height to 204 mm. This is equivalent to a trade-standard B-Format hardback size.

Keep the Margins to their default value (12.7 mm) and add a Bleed of 5 mm. 

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Click OK.

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Step 2

Take the Line Tool (\) and drag onto the page to create a short, slightly diagonal line from left to right. The idea is to create several lines of italic text, using the lines as text paths.

how to make a vintage book cover line tool

Switch to the Type on a Path Tool (Shift-T), and click onto the line (when you can see a „+” sign appear next to your type cursor). 

how to make a vintage book cover type on a path

Type in „airy”. From the top Controls panel, adjust the Stroke Color of the path to [None].

how to make vintage book covers airy text step

Highlight the text and open up the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character). Set the Font to Adorabelle Regular, Size 120 pt. Apply a Skew (false italic) of .

how to make a fairy tale book cover adorabelle text

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and click on the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel. Set the Type to Process, Mode to CMYK, and levels to C=13 M=29 Y=66 K=0. Rename the swatch Gold and click OK

gold swatch

Apply the new swatch to the Font Color of „airy”.

how to make vintage book covers gold text

Step 3

Select the type path and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste, positioning it slightly below the first, to the left side. Adjust the text to read just „F”, and increase the Font Size to 200 pt.

fairy text

Step 4

Continue to Copy and Paste paths and adjust them to read the rest of the title, in this case „F”, „airy”, „T”, „ales”, „by the”, „Brothers Grimm”, setting the text in Adorabelle and adjusting the Font Size to create a hierarchy.

text paths

Make sure you’re completely happy with the text arrangement on the page—once you begin illustrating around the type, you won’t be able to move it. Once you’re happy, go to File > Print and print out the cover to size onto a piece of A4- or Letter-sized paper.

You may find it helpful to use the Rectangle Tool (M) first, to mark out the trim edge of the paper in black, so you can see where the cover ends.

completed text

Step 5

Once you have your typography printed out, you’re ready to start illustrating your fairy-tale cover.

Illustrations in a woodcut style will add the perfect look to your old book design cover. With simple chunky edges and solid silhouettes, these images will look incredibly charming on your fairy-tale book design. 

Google „woodcut art” to browse examples of the style and find inspiration for your cover. Some woodcut designs are very complex, but we’re aiming for more simplistic, naive designs, which not only look great on antique book cover designs but are also easy to create.

Grab your pencil and get started! 

Start with the larger features of the design—here I wanted to have a wolf curved around one corner of the old book design cover and a goose at the top right: both popular subjects in the Grimm fairy tales. 

drawn animals

Then I start to think about the smaller details of the design. Intertwining rose stems are easy to draw and create a beautiful framing effect for the rest of the content. I decorate the tops of stems with simple rosehip silhouettes and add leaves to some of the sides.

I continue to build up the design in pencil, adding roses in the corners and a little hedgehog between the text of the title. 

completed drawing

Allow some of the design to cross in front of and behind the curves of the text—this will help to create a more unified, fluid design.

2. How Do I Vectorize My Artwork?

Step 1

When you’ve finished your pencil design, you need to think about which areas of the design you’d like to pull out in different colors for your fairy-tale cover. 

Ultimately, I want the rose stems and leaves to be a different color from the rest of the design. To do this, I’ll need to pull them out in a strong color by hand, and then scan the design and edit it in Photoshop.

Pick your first one-color feature and take a black ink pen. Color in the whole element in black, trying to keep the silhouette as solid as possible.

black pen

Scan the drawing into your computer, or take a high-resolution digital photo on a phone or camera. Open up the image in Adobe Photoshop.

scan

Duplicate the Background layer to create a copy of the image, and switch off the visibility of the background layer. 

Add a Levels Adjustment Layer, and drag the sliders to the far right of the graph to bring out the black of the inked image in high contrast. 

levels

Then File > Save As the image as a PSD file. Name it after the element, e.g. „Thorns.psd”.

Step 2

Minimize Photoshop for now, and open up Adobe Illustrator. Create a New Document, 132 mm in Width and 204 mm in Height to match the cover dimensions. 

new document

File > Place the image of your edited image, in this case „Thorns.psd”. Resize it to fit the cover. 

resized cover

Go to Window > Image Trace to open up the Image Trace panel. Select the image and, in the panel, set the Mode to Black and White. Check the Preview box to view the result. 

From the Advanced options, select Snap Curves to Lines and Ignore White. Adjust the Threshold, Paths, Corners, and Noise sliders until you’re happy with the result. 

image trace

Then go to Object > Image Trace > Expand to transform the image into a vector.

expand

Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup to make all the parts of the vector editable.

ungroup

Delete any background remaining, and any extra unwanted bits picked up by Image Trace. You’ll end up with a beautiful vector version of your image, true to size.

image trace

Step 3

Now we need to repeat the process for the remaining elements on our pencil design. So head back to your paper design, and seek out a contrasting color pen—a striking red or blue would be ideal!

Color in the remaining elements on your design in a contrasting color, and then scan the image into your computer. 

red pen

Open up the image in Photoshop, duplicate the Background layer, and go to Select > Color Range

color range

Click onto the colored areas to pick up that color alone, and then Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste, moving just this color onto a different layer. Applying a white rectangle onto a layer below this will help you to see the isolated artwork more clearly. 

Then apply a Levels Adjustment Layer, as before, pulling the sliders across to the extreme right side, transforming your elements to high-contrast black. 

levels

File > Save As the image as a PSD file, with a name like „Animals.eps”.

Step 4

Return to your Illustrator file and create a New Layer from the Layers panel. File > Place the „Animals.eps” file onto this layer. 

animals layer

Trace the image and vectorize it using the process described in Step 2, above.

vectorized image trace
ungroup
final trace

3. How Do I Add Linocut Details?

Good brushwork can go a long way in making an authentic antique book cover design. To give the illustrations a more accurate woodcut look, we can add brush details to our vectorized elements.

Make sure you have opened up the Lino Cut Brushes set in Illustrator, so they’re ready at hand.

Step 1

We’ll just work on the larger elements of the fairy-tale book cover design for now (here, the animals), so make sure the layer below is locked or not visible. You can apply a temporary bit of color to the elements too, if you like. This can help to make your brush strokes appear more visible if set in black.

Take the Paintbrush Tool (B) and select one of the linocut brushes. Experiment with different brushes until you find a style that suits a particular element on your design.

lino cut brushes

When you’re happy with the brush stroke, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

outline stroke

Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup the different parts of the texture, if required.

ungroup

Select both the silhouetted image and the brush-stroke elements, and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Make Compound Path. The brush-stroke elements will be cut out of the silhouette to create that lovely woodcut effect.

compound path

Step 2

Repeat the process with the other larger elements, as I’ve done with this wolf illustration. Dashed shading looks great on larger elements to break up a solid silhouette.

lino cut brushes

Outline the stroke; Ungroup the elements, and Make Compound Path.

make compound path
final result

Use the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) to separate any outlying parts of the brush strokes from the main silhouette. 

eraser tool

Select them and delete them to make a neat and tidy design.

deleted

Step 3

Repeat the same process for the elements on the layer below, adding small linocut brush strokes to small items like leaves to add detail and interest.

lino cut leaf
lino cut effect

4. How Can I Finalize the Front Cover in InDesign?

Now that we’ve vectorized the illustrations for the fairy-tale cover, we’re ready to lift the designs into InDesign and finalize the cover design.

Step 1

Make sure the bottom layer of your Illustrator file is the only one unlocked, and then select everything on the page and Edit > Copy.

Return to your original InDesign file, with your original typography design. Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1 to open the Layer Options window. Rename the layer Typography in Front.

layer options

Click on the New Layer button at the bottom of the panel to create a new layer and rename this Texture. Drag it down to sit below the Typography in Front layer.

texture layer

Create a second new layer, above Texture and below Typography in Front, and rename it Background.

background layer

Step 2

Lock both the Typography in Front and Background layers, and click on Texture to activate it. 

Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag onto the page to create an image frame that extends across the page, up to the edges of the bleed on the top, right, and bottom sides.

File > Place, and choose the canvas texture image you downloaded earlier. Position it so that it fills the image frame completely.

fairy tale book cover canvas texture

Step 3

Expand the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Background Purple and set the values to C=95 M=100 Y=59 K=24.

purrple swatch

Lock the Texture layer and unlock the next layer up, Background. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag to create a rectangle that matches the dimensions of the canvas image frame below. Set the Fill Color to Background Purple. Go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 90% to pull through some of the canvas texture below.

multiply
background color

Step 4

Create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Green and set the values to C=74 M=37 Y=57 K=15.

green swatch

Lock the Background layer, and then create a new layer called Thorns to sit above Background and below Typography in Front. Edit > Paste to drop the copied thorns vector onto the page. You can resize it if needed, and then hop up to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 70%.

transparency
thorns layer

Step 5

Create a new layer, Typography Behind, and position this above Thorns and below Typography in Front. If you want any of the text elements to sit behind larger elements of the design, such as animals or roses, drag text paths from the Typography in Front layer onto this layer below. This is completely optional, but can help your design to feel more layered and 3D.

I’ve also pulled out the main title in a contrasting bright white Font Color (choose [Paper] from the Swatches panel).

typography behind

Step 6

Return to your Illustrator document, and lock the bottom layer. Unlock the top layer, containing the vectorized version of the larger elements on your design, and sweep your mouse across the page to select everything. Edit > Copy.

Return to your InDesign document and create a new layer, Animals and Roses, and place this between the Typography in Front and Typography Behind layers.

Edit > Paste to drop the vectorized animals and roses onto the page. Readjust the position and size if needed.

animals and roses

Step 7

Create a new CMYK Process swatch, C=33 M=42 Y=38 K=33, and name it Hedgehog Brown. 

brown swatch

Create a second new CMYK Process swatch, C=12 M=65 Y=64 K=0, and name it Orange.

orange swatch

Create a third new CMYK Process swatch, C=47 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Dark Pink.

dark pink

Create a final new CMYK Process swatch, C=21 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Pink.

pink

You can use these colors as you wish to apply to your own designs, or if you’re recreating the design pictured here, you can apply the Hedgehog Brown to the hedgehog vector, Orange to the wolf, and Dark Pink and Pink to the roses, varying the two tones to create depth.

Step 8

Some of the larger silhouettes will benefit from having some of the texture on the layers beneath being more visible through them. To do this, select a vector shape, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Opacity to 90%.

effects
final front cover

Feel free to add further details to the design if you feel it needs something more. Here, I’ve added a few extra small roses set in Pink and Dark Pink to add more detail to the left side of the old book design cover.

extra roses

Your front cover design is finished—great work! If you’re planning on using the cover digitally for an EPUB, your job is pretty much done—you can File > Export the artwork as an Interactive PDF.

If you want to find out how to create a decorative spine for your fairy-tale book cover and expand the design into a full wraparound cover, read on…

5. How Do I Create a Decorative Spine?

Step 1

This is a good time to File > Save your InDesign artwork, so make sure to do that now before proceeding.

Expand the Pages panel and click on the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel.

pages panel

This page will be our full clothbound cover design and will include space for a back cover, spine, and front cover. 

To work out the correct width of the page, we need to know the correct spine width for the book. Let’s say we’ll be working with 500 pages on 130 gsm coated paper. Using this helpful online spine calculator, you can work out that this will mean we have to accommodate a 36 mm spine, plus add an extra 3 mm to allow for the extra wraparound required on a hardback’s spine.

Once you’ve figured out the spine width, you can calculate the full width of your old book design cover:

Front Cover Width + Back Cover Width + Spine + 3 mm (for hardback) = Total Cover Width

So for this cover, that will mean…

132 mm + 132 mm + 36 mm + 3 mm = 303 mm

Select the Page Tool (Shift-P) and click onto Page 2 of your document to select it. Type 303 mm into the Width text box at the top-left corner of the Controls panel.

controls panel
expanded page

Step 2

Ensure the rulers are visible (View > Show Rulers) and pull out a vertical guide from the left-hand ruler to 151.5 mm, to mark out the center point of the spine.

rulers

Pull out guides to 133.5 mm and 169.5 mm to mark out the edges of the 36 mm spine.

guides

Finally, pull out guides to 132 mm and 171 mm to mark out the extra space needed around the spine edge for folding.

guides

Step 3

Unlock only the Texture layer, keeping the other layers locked, and Edit > Copy the canvas texture image frame on Page 1. Edit > Paste in Place onto Page 2.

canvas texture

Paste again, positioning it over on the left side of the page.

texture on back

Paste a final time, resizing the width to fit the remaining spine gap.

spine canvas

Step 4

Lock the Texture layer and unlock all other layers. Drag your mouse over the whole of Page 1 to select all the front cover artwork and Edit > Copy.

copy

Scroll down to Page 2 and Edit > Paste. Position it over on the right-hand side, making sure it fits to the bleed edges perfectly. 

paste

Then select only the background color rectangle and extend the width so that it reaches to the far left edge of the bleed.

background color
final cover

Step 5

Zoom in on the spine of the cover, using the guides as a reference. Lock all layers except the Typography in Front layer. Take the Type Tool (T) and create a staggered group of text frames. Type in the words of the title and author names, in a similar arrangement to that shown. Set the Font to Adorabelle, and match the colors to the front cover.

spine type

Step 6

Lock the Typography in Front layer and unlock the Thorns layer. 

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a thin rectangle 36 mm in Width. Set the Fill Color to Gold, and go to Object > Corner Options. Add a 5 mm Round shape on all corners and click OK.

corner options

Move the bar above the title on the spine, and Copy and Paste to create a copy directly below, which you can put in a different color, like Green

Copy and Paste the pair and position below the author’s name, as shown. This gives the cover an authentic hardcover look.

bars on spine

Select all the bars and go to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 80%.

normal mode

Step 7

Now you can add some more creative details to the spine. You can either create a custom design for the spine, as we did for the front cover, or simply borrow individual vector elements from the front cover and give them a new twist.

Here, I’ve taken the curvy tip of one of the rose stems, separated it, and placed it at the top and bottom of the spine.

vine tip
vine tips

I also took individual rose vectors and placed them, alongside some leaves, above and below „by the” on the center of the spine.

roses
final spine

You’ll end up with a cover complete with decorative spine and front cover design!

final spine

Your Finished Fairy-Tale Cover

In this tutorial, we’ve looked at how to make a vintage book cover for a book of fairy tales. Using hand-drawn illustrations and then editing them in Photoshop and Illustrator, we’ve been able to learn how to make a fairy-tale book cover and recreate a gorgeous woodcut style that looks really charming and beautiful.

final cover

You can be as creative as you like with the back cover too—why not create an illustrated design to surround a blurb or give a bit of a decorative flourish to the edges of a barcode? The only limits are your imagination, so get creating! You can share your final results in the comments below.

Once you’ve completed your cover, you can export it as a Press-Quality PDF by going to File > Export. Make sure to include the bleed if you’re sending it off for professional printing and binding.

We’ve covered a range of skills in this tutorial, applicable to professional publishing and self-publishing design. You should now feel more confident in:

  • ‘mapping out’ typography for illustrative cover designs in Adobe InDesign
  • creating hand-drawn woodcut illustrations with simple, chunky silhouettes for high impact
  • preparing hand-drawn artwork for vectorizing in Adobe Photoshop
  • vectorizing and adding linocut brush details to your artwork
  • building up texture and color in your front cover artwork
  • expanding your cover design to a full wrap-around cover, complete with a decorative spine

That’s fantastic work—congratulations! If you’d like to share your cover artwork in the comments below, I’d love to see them!

Create a Vintage Fairy-Tale Book Cover With Placeit 

You can also check out Placeit’s library of book cover templates for an easy way to design a book cover right in your browser. It has everything from fairy-tale book cover designs to crime covers. You can find the perfect book cover maker, like the below fantasy novel cover, for your latest work.

Placeit Antique Book Cover Design

And if you liked learning how to make vintage book covers, Envato Tuts+ has more great book and magazine tutorials that you can try out too!

How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Post pobrano z: How to Design a Vintage Book Cover

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a fairy-tale book cover with a vintage-inspired look. 

Vintage-style covers are big news in publishing right now, and clothbound covers are enjoying a well-deserved resurgence. Here you’ll learn how to make a vintage book cover and recreate the look with woodcut-style illustrations and calligraphy type. We’ll look at how to make a fairy-tale book front cover and decorative spine step by step, using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign to put the artwork together. 

complete spine of fairy tale book design

We’ll also be revisiting some drawing skills, so make sure to have a pencil, pen, and paper to hand too!

Ready? Fantastic, let’s get started…

What You Will Learn in This Fairy-Tale Book Cover Design Tutorial

  • How to plan and make a vintage book cover in InDesign
  • How you can vectorize artwork in Photoshop
  • How to add linocut details in Illustrator
  • How to finalize the fairy-tale book cover design in InDesign
  • How to create a decorative spine in InDesign

What Will I Need to Make a Vintage Book Cover? 

For this fairy-tale book cover design tutorial, you’ll need access to the following programs:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator 
  • Adobe Photoshop…

… plus pencil, pen, and paper.

To recreate the fairy-tale book design pictured, you’ll also need to download the following images, brushes, and fonts:

finished fairy tale book cover

1. How Should I Plan My Cover Design?

Illustrative cover designs require a bit of forward thinking—the fairy-tale book design will look more seamless and beautiful if we map out the cover first. 

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I created the design pictured below, but you can apply the same techniques to your own designs and illustrations if you like. It’s a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles!

front fairy tale antique book cover design

First up, let’s start mapping out the typography for the front cover…

Step 1

We’ll start in Adobe InDesign—open up the program and go to File > New > Document.

Set the Intent to Print and Number of Pages to 1

Under Page Size, set the Width to 132 mm and Height to 204 mm. This is equivalent to a trade-standard B-Format hardback size.

Keep the Margins to their default value (12.7 mm) and add a Bleed of 5 mm. 

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Click OK.

how to make a fairy tale book cover new document

Step 2

Take the Line Tool (\) and drag onto the page to create a short, slightly diagonal line from left to right. The idea is to create several lines of italic text, using the lines as text paths.

how to make a vintage book cover line tool

Switch to the Type on a Path Tool (Shift-T), and click onto the line (when you can see a „+” sign appear next to your type cursor). 

how to make a vintage book cover type on a path

Type in „airy”. From the top Controls panel, adjust the Stroke Color of the path to [None].

how to make vintage book covers airy text step

Highlight the text and open up the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character). Set the Font to Adorabelle Regular, Size 120 pt. Apply a Skew (false italic) of .

how to make a fairy tale book cover adorabelle text

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and click on the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel. Set the Type to Process, Mode to CMYK, and levels to C=13 M=29 Y=66 K=0. Rename the swatch Gold and click OK

gold swatch

Apply the new swatch to the Font Color of „airy”.

how to make vintage book covers gold text

Step 3

Select the type path and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste, positioning it slightly below the first, to the left side. Adjust the text to read just „F”, and increase the Font Size to 200 pt.

fairy text

Step 4

Continue to Copy and Paste paths and adjust them to read the rest of the title, in this case „F”, „airy”, „T”, „ales”, „by the”, „Brothers Grimm”, setting the text in Adorabelle and adjusting the Font Size to create a hierarchy.

text paths

Make sure you’re completely happy with the text arrangement on the page—once you begin illustrating around the type, you won’t be able to move it. Once you’re happy, go to File > Print and print out the cover to size onto a piece of A4- or Letter-sized paper.

You may find it helpful to use the Rectangle Tool (M) first, to mark out the trim edge of the paper in black, so you can see where the cover ends.

completed text

Step 5

Once you have your typography printed out, you’re ready to start illustrating your fairy-tale cover.

Illustrations in a woodcut style will add the perfect look to your old book design cover. With simple chunky edges and solid silhouettes, these images will look incredibly charming on your fairy-tale book design. 

Google „woodcut art” to browse examples of the style and find inspiration for your cover. Some woodcut designs are very complex, but we’re aiming for more simplistic, naive designs, which not only look great on antique book cover designs but are also easy to create.

Grab your pencil and get started! 

Start with the larger features of the design—here I wanted to have a wolf curved around one corner of the old book design cover and a goose at the top right: both popular subjects in the Grimm fairy tales. 

drawn animals

Then I start to think about the smaller details of the design. Intertwining rose stems are easy to draw and create a beautiful framing effect for the rest of the content. I decorate the tops of stems with simple rosehip silhouettes and add leaves to some of the sides.

I continue to build up the design in pencil, adding roses in the corners and a little hedgehog between the text of the title. 

completed drawing

Allow some of the design to cross in front of and behind the curves of the text—this will help to create a more unified, fluid design.

2. How Do I Vectorize My Artwork?

Step 1

When you’ve finished your pencil design, you need to think about which areas of the design you’d like to pull out in different colors for your fairy-tale cover. 

Ultimately, I want the rose stems and leaves to be a different color from the rest of the design. To do this, I’ll need to pull them out in a strong color by hand, and then scan the design and edit it in Photoshop.

Pick your first one-color feature and take a black ink pen. Color in the whole element in black, trying to keep the silhouette as solid as possible.

black pen

Scan the drawing into your computer, or take a high-resolution digital photo on a phone or camera. Open up the image in Adobe Photoshop.

scan

Duplicate the Background layer to create a copy of the image, and switch off the visibility of the background layer. 

Add a Levels Adjustment Layer, and drag the sliders to the far right of the graph to bring out the black of the inked image in high contrast. 

levels

Then File > Save As the image as a PSD file. Name it after the element, e.g. „Thorns.psd”.

Step 2

Minimize Photoshop for now, and open up Adobe Illustrator. Create a New Document, 132 mm in Width and 204 mm in Height to match the cover dimensions. 

new document

File > Place the image of your edited image, in this case „Thorns.psd”. Resize it to fit the cover. 

resized cover

Go to Window > Image Trace to open up the Image Trace panel. Select the image and, in the panel, set the Mode to Black and White. Check the Preview box to view the result. 

From the Advanced options, select Snap Curves to Lines and Ignore White. Adjust the Threshold, Paths, Corners, and Noise sliders until you’re happy with the result. 

image trace

Then go to Object > Image Trace > Expand to transform the image into a vector.

expand

Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup to make all the parts of the vector editable.

ungroup

Delete any background remaining, and any extra unwanted bits picked up by Image Trace. You’ll end up with a beautiful vector version of your image, true to size.

image trace

Step 3

Now we need to repeat the process for the remaining elements on our pencil design. So head back to your paper design, and seek out a contrasting color pen—a striking red or blue would be ideal!

Color in the remaining elements on your design in a contrasting color, and then scan the image into your computer. 

red pen

Open up the image in Photoshop, duplicate the Background layer, and go to Select > Color Range

color range

Click onto the colored areas to pick up that color alone, and then Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste, moving just this color onto a different layer. Applying a white rectangle onto a layer below this will help you to see the isolated artwork more clearly. 

Then apply a Levels Adjustment Layer, as before, pulling the sliders across to the extreme right side, transforming your elements to high-contrast black. 

levels

File > Save As the image as a PSD file, with a name like „Animals.eps”.

Step 4

Return to your Illustrator file and create a New Layer from the Layers panel. File > Place the „Animals.eps” file onto this layer. 

animals layer

Trace the image and vectorize it using the process described in Step 2, above.

vectorized image trace
ungroup
final trace

3. How Do I Add Linocut Details?

Good brushwork can go a long way in making an authentic antique book cover design. To give the illustrations a more accurate woodcut look, we can add brush details to our vectorized elements.

Make sure you have opened up the Lino Cut Brushes set in Illustrator, so they’re ready at hand.

Step 1

We’ll just work on the larger elements of the fairy-tale book cover design for now (here, the animals), so make sure the layer below is locked or not visible. You can apply a temporary bit of color to the elements too, if you like. This can help to make your brush strokes appear more visible if set in black.

Take the Paintbrush Tool (B) and select one of the linocut brushes. Experiment with different brushes until you find a style that suits a particular element on your design.

lino cut brushes

When you’re happy with the brush stroke, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

outline stroke

Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Ungroup the different parts of the texture, if required.

ungroup

Select both the silhouetted image and the brush-stroke elements, and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Make Compound Path. The brush-stroke elements will be cut out of the silhouette to create that lovely woodcut effect.

compound path

Step 2

Repeat the process with the other larger elements, as I’ve done with this wolf illustration. Dashed shading looks great on larger elements to break up a solid silhouette.

lino cut brushes

Outline the stroke; Ungroup the elements, and Make Compound Path.

make compound path
final result

Use the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) to separate any outlying parts of the brush strokes from the main silhouette. 

eraser tool

Select them and delete them to make a neat and tidy design.

deleted

Step 3

Repeat the same process for the elements on the layer below, adding small linocut brush strokes to small items like leaves to add detail and interest.

lino cut leaf
lino cut effect

4. How Can I Finalize the Front Cover in InDesign?

Now that we’ve vectorized the illustrations for the fairy-tale cover, we’re ready to lift the designs into InDesign and finalize the cover design.

Step 1

Make sure the bottom layer of your Illustrator file is the only one unlocked, and then select everything on the page and Edit > Copy.

Return to your original InDesign file, with your original typography design. Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1 to open the Layer Options window. Rename the layer Typography in Front.

layer options

Click on the New Layer button at the bottom of the panel to create a new layer and rename this Texture. Drag it down to sit below the Typography in Front layer.

texture layer

Create a second new layer, above Texture and below Typography in Front, and rename it Background.

background layer

Step 2

Lock both the Typography in Front and Background layers, and click on Texture to activate it. 

Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag onto the page to create an image frame that extends across the page, up to the edges of the bleed on the top, right, and bottom sides.

File > Place, and choose the canvas texture image you downloaded earlier. Position it so that it fills the image frame completely.

fairy tale book cover canvas texture

Step 3

Expand the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Background Purple and set the values to C=95 M=100 Y=59 K=24.

purrple swatch

Lock the Texture layer and unlock the next layer up, Background. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag to create a rectangle that matches the dimensions of the canvas image frame below. Set the Fill Color to Background Purple. Go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 90% to pull through some of the canvas texture below.

multiply
background color

Step 4

Create a new CMYK Process swatch. Name it Green and set the values to C=74 M=37 Y=57 K=15.

green swatch

Lock the Background layer, and then create a new layer called Thorns to sit above Background and below Typography in Front. Edit > Paste to drop the copied thorns vector onto the page. You can resize it if needed, and then hop up to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 70%.

transparency
thorns layer

Step 5

Create a new layer, Typography Behind, and position this above Thorns and below Typography in Front. If you want any of the text elements to sit behind larger elements of the design, such as animals or roses, drag text paths from the Typography in Front layer onto this layer below. This is completely optional, but can help your design to feel more layered and 3D.

I’ve also pulled out the main title in a contrasting bright white Font Color (choose [Paper] from the Swatches panel).

typography behind

Step 6

Return to your Illustrator document, and lock the bottom layer. Unlock the top layer, containing the vectorized version of the larger elements on your design, and sweep your mouse across the page to select everything. Edit > Copy.

Return to your InDesign document and create a new layer, Animals and Roses, and place this between the Typography in Front and Typography Behind layers.

Edit > Paste to drop the vectorized animals and roses onto the page. Readjust the position and size if needed.

animals and roses

Step 7

Create a new CMYK Process swatch, C=33 M=42 Y=38 K=33, and name it Hedgehog Brown. 

brown swatch

Create a second new CMYK Process swatch, C=12 M=65 Y=64 K=0, and name it Orange.

orange swatch

Create a third new CMYK Process swatch, C=47 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Dark Pink.

dark pink

Create a final new CMYK Process swatch, C=21 M=88 Y=49 K=0, and name it Pink.

pink

You can use these colors as you wish to apply to your own designs, or if you’re recreating the design pictured here, you can apply the Hedgehog Brown to the hedgehog vector, Orange to the wolf, and Dark Pink and Pink to the roses, varying the two tones to create depth.

Step 8

Some of the larger silhouettes will benefit from having some of the texture on the layers beneath being more visible through them. To do this, select a vector shape, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Opacity to 90%.

effects
final front cover

Feel free to add further details to the design if you feel it needs something more. Here, I’ve added a few extra small roses set in Pink and Dark Pink to add more detail to the left side of the old book design cover.

extra roses

Your front cover design is finished—great work! If you’re planning on using the cover digitally for an EPUB, your job is pretty much done—you can File > Export the artwork as an Interactive PDF.

If you want to find out how to create a decorative spine for your fairy-tale book cover and expand the design into a full wraparound cover, read on…

5. How Do I Create a Decorative Spine?

Step 1

This is a good time to File > Save your InDesign artwork, so make sure to do that now before proceeding.

Expand the Pages panel and click on the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel.

pages panel

This page will be our full clothbound cover design and will include space for a back cover, spine, and front cover. 

To work out the correct width of the page, we need to know the correct spine width for the book. Let’s say we’ll be working with 500 pages on 130 gsm coated paper. Using this helpful online spine calculator, you can work out that this will mean we have to accommodate a 36 mm spine, plus add an extra 3 mm to allow for the extra wraparound required on a hardback’s spine.

Once you’ve figured out the spine width, you can calculate the full width of your old book design cover:

Front Cover Width + Back Cover Width + Spine + 3 mm (for hardback) = Total Cover Width

So for this cover, that will mean…

132 mm + 132 mm + 36 mm + 3 mm = 303 mm

Select the Page Tool (Shift-P) and click onto Page 2 of your document to select it. Type 303 mm into the Width text box at the top-left corner of the Controls panel.

controls panel
expanded page

Step 2

Ensure the rulers are visible (View > Show Rulers) and pull out a vertical guide from the left-hand ruler to 151.5 mm, to mark out the center point of the spine.

rulers

Pull out guides to 133.5 mm and 169.5 mm to mark out the edges of the 36 mm spine.

guides

Finally, pull out guides to 132 mm and 171 mm to mark out the extra space needed around the spine edge for folding.

guides

Step 3

Unlock only the Texture layer, keeping the other layers locked, and Edit > Copy the canvas texture image frame on Page 1. Edit > Paste in Place onto Page 2.

canvas texture

Paste again, positioning it over on the left side of the page.

texture on back

Paste a final time, resizing the width to fit the remaining spine gap.

spine canvas

Step 4

Lock the Texture layer and unlock all other layers. Drag your mouse over the whole of Page 1 to select all the front cover artwork and Edit > Copy.

copy

Scroll down to Page 2 and Edit > Paste. Position it over on the right-hand side, making sure it fits to the bleed edges perfectly. 

paste

Then select only the background color rectangle and extend the width so that it reaches to the far left edge of the bleed.

background color
final cover

Step 5

Zoom in on the spine of the cover, using the guides as a reference. Lock all layers except the Typography in Front layer. Take the Type Tool (T) and create a staggered group of text frames. Type in the words of the title and author names, in a similar arrangement to that shown. Set the Font to Adorabelle, and match the colors to the front cover.

spine type

Step 6

Lock the Typography in Front layer and unlock the Thorns layer. 

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a thin rectangle 36 mm in Width. Set the Fill Color to Gold, and go to Object > Corner Options. Add a 5 mm Round shape on all corners and click OK.

corner options

Move the bar above the title on the spine, and Copy and Paste to create a copy directly below, which you can put in a different color, like Green

Copy and Paste the pair and position below the author’s name, as shown. This gives the cover an authentic hardcover look.

bars on spine

Select all the bars and go to Object > Effects > Transparency, reducing the Opacity to 80%.

normal mode

Step 7

Now you can add some more creative details to the spine. You can either create a custom design for the spine, as we did for the front cover, or simply borrow individual vector elements from the front cover and give them a new twist.

Here, I’ve taken the curvy tip of one of the rose stems, separated it, and placed it at the top and bottom of the spine.

vine tip
vine tips

I also took individual rose vectors and placed them, alongside some leaves, above and below „by the” on the center of the spine.

roses
final spine

You’ll end up with a cover complete with decorative spine and front cover design!

final spine

Your Finished Fairy-Tale Cover

In this tutorial, we’ve looked at how to make a vintage book cover for a book of fairy tales. Using hand-drawn illustrations and then editing them in Photoshop and Illustrator, we’ve been able to learn how to make a fairy-tale book cover and recreate a gorgeous woodcut style that looks really charming and beautiful.

final cover

You can be as creative as you like with the back cover too—why not create an illustrated design to surround a blurb or give a bit of a decorative flourish to the edges of a barcode? The only limits are your imagination, so get creating! You can share your final results in the comments below.

Once you’ve completed your cover, you can export it as a Press-Quality PDF by going to File > Export. Make sure to include the bleed if you’re sending it off for professional printing and binding.

We’ve covered a range of skills in this tutorial, applicable to professional publishing and self-publishing design. You should now feel more confident in:

  • ‘mapping out’ typography for illustrative cover designs in Adobe InDesign
  • creating hand-drawn woodcut illustrations with simple, chunky silhouettes for high impact
  • preparing hand-drawn artwork for vectorizing in Adobe Photoshop
  • vectorizing and adding linocut brush details to your artwork
  • building up texture and color in your front cover artwork
  • expanding your cover design to a full wrap-around cover, complete with a decorative spine

That’s fantastic work—congratulations! If you’d like to share your cover artwork in the comments below, I’d love to see them!

Create a Vintage Fairy-Tale Book Cover With Placeit 

You can also check out Placeit’s library of book cover templates for an easy way to design a book cover right in your browser. It has everything from fairy-tale book cover designs to crime covers. You can find the perfect book cover maker, like the below fantasy novel cover, for your latest work.

Placeit Antique Book Cover Design

And if you liked learning how to make vintage book covers, Envato Tuts+ has more great book and magazine tutorials that you can try out too!