The making of the cover for How to Influence by Jo Owen

Overview   Process  

Designer: The book talks a lot about dress-codes, influencing people, and about white being black and vice versa.

Art director: Let's show our concept-drawings to the customer.

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Project manager: The client believes we misunderstood the book by stressing the manipulations, while in fact it is about influencing through the skill of listening and be able to hear another person, through being reliable and trustworthy. The sketch with men's underwear was taken as inappropriate for a book cover. Can we offer something else?

Art director: We can.

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Designer: Interconnections, influence, and support. Everyone is a part of a network.

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Project manager: The client likes the general idea, but they need the illustration to really stand out. Their question is what is the main anchor here—people, symbols, anything else? In other words, are we planning to make the image more complex in any way?

Designer: The main focus is on people. I doubt we should make it more complicated. How about different hairdos and drop shadows?

Art director: Drop shadows are fine, hairdos would be too much.

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Designer: The first picture is the most basic, the second got gradient lines, the third has drop shadows.

Art director: The last version is usable if the drop shadows do not look so amateur.

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