Spencer Kimble is a book cover designer based in New York City. Among the works in his portfolio is the jacket for author Julie Klam’s The Stars in Our Eyes. Here Kimble details for Spine his process for developing the cover, in his own words.
The Stars in Our Eyes is about the way we view celebrities and why we’re obsessed with them. I started off by using images of fat naked cats I found that I love as a way to show that we’re obsessed with celebrities but they may not be perfect. Julie has other books about dogs so I thought that tying in animals in some way might be a good direction.
This photo was from the original author photo given to me, I thought it was cute, but it changed in the end.
These ultimately didn’t give off the right message of the book and the art director asked for more Hollywood glamour in the design. Next I focused on trying to use the Hollywood Walk of Fame star and colors (pink, dark grey, gold) but these ended up not being very interesting, just type in a star. The pink made me think of rose colored glasses but was also kind of boring to look at.
I then went to vintage photos of glamorous women with tons of stars covering their eyes or surrounding their eyes. This ended up being confusing because viewers may look at the woman and expect her to be someone famous which they weren’t. I also tried to combine photos of celebrities used in the book (think Nicki Minaj collaged with Grace Kelly) these ended up being a little raunchy, which I found funny, but weren't right for this book.
Finally I tried to do all type, but it definitely needed some sort of imagery, so, going off the title, I put stars in eyes. This had a nice graphic quality and also bought in the Walk of Fame element from before. The hand lettering was a way to contrast the digital illustration.
The cover was originally a nice pink shade (that I tend to use quite often) but this caused the white type to be hard to read so I’m glad I changed it to purple. Not only does it help read better but it helps the cover stand out since there aren’t many purple covers, which there should be more of!
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Design Editor, Painter, Designer, Lifelong bibliophile.