Book Jacket Design



Create a book jacket design for your chapbook using collage and mixed media techniques in Photoshop. Will your cover speak to all the stories in the collection? If so, what seems to unite all the stories? Why do they belong together? Or will your cover design highlight one story in particular? If so, which one? Why? Is this story somehow representative of the whole collection? Your cover should combine / composite a minimum of five different images.

Your cover should contain the title of the collection, “Arriving Late: Scenes from the Greatest Class I Never Saw”, as well as the editor: “Edited by Bryan Fry”. Can this text be used in a visual sense and have an interesting interaction with your images? Can the meaning suggested by this title be enhanced by your image and composition choices?



If you want to get a head start, you can begin exploring the Adobe Photoshop CC tutorials. Tutorials will be assigned at after spring break.

Part 1: Collect High Quality Digital Images

Make sure you find images for this project that are in the public domain or that have appropriate creative commons licenses. It is important to be able to creative derivatives, for example, so make sure you do not choose an image that includes ND in the license.

Over spring break, collect high quality, high resolution images that seem like they will lend themselves well to collage techniques. This means you will be making selections from the images and compositing them with other images. You should use at least five different image sources for this project. Some of these images may be taken by you, but some should also be collected using the online research techniques discussed in class. Images that were not created by you must be in the public domain or have an appropriate creative commons license in order to be used. Use the provided citation sheet to cite all images you collect online. Follow these guidelines:

  • Collect more images than you think you will need overall. Some will not work out the way you expect. Also, find multiple versions. For example, if you think you want a picture of a coffee cup, collect several variations: Maybe one in black and white, one in color, and several different styles of coffee mug.
  • Images should be at least 2000 pixels.
  • Images should be in the public domain or have a cc license that allows the image to be reused and remixed.
  • Collect at least 5 images from online sources and cite them using the provided citation sheet
  • Put all the images you collect in a folder called “yourlastname-yourfirstname-03” and save it to your thumbdrive. Also save your citation sheet in this folder.

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Part 2: Design Front and Back Cover Using Photoshop Collage Techniques

After you have formed a collection of images, watch the required Photoshop tutorials at and begin to experiment with the techniques for your cover design. Remember to take some notes on techniques that you think are most important.

The playlist that has been assigned to you on will introduce you to a variety of techniques for selecting pixels, as well as using layers, layer masks, adjustment layers, and blending modes.

Required Photoshop Tutorials

We will be trying out Lynda tutorials for this project. We have a free trial subscription this semester through the WSU Library. You should receive an email inviting you to join at your WSU email. Once you have logged in to you will see you have an assigned playlist called “DTC201 Kristin Becker Spr 2017”. Within this playlist you should see “Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics”, which contains a series of topics. The total training session time is 4 hours and 33 minutes. Talk to your instrcutor right away of you have not received an invitation to!

Technical Specifications

Your book jacket should be designed to wrap around the chapbook you made in InDesign. (Note: You may make improvements to Project 2: Book Layout before you hand in Project 3, based on your instructor’s feedback.) This means it will be an 8.5 x 11-inch page folded in half, so the front cover is 5.5-inches wide by 8.5-inches tall and so is the back cover.

  1. Create one 8.5 x 11-inch document in Photoshop: Make sure your Photoshop document is 11 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall with a resolution of 300 Pixels/Inch. Color Mode can be RGB.
  2. Composite / combine at least five different images for the cover design.
  3. Preserve your work on layers in the Layers Panel as you go. Do not flatten your file before turning it in. Your instructor needs to see your work. Experiment with the blending modes and layer masks associated with your individual layers. Also, experiment with various ways of selecting pixels.
  4. Make sure to include the title of the collection, “Arriving Late: Scenes from the Greatest Class I Never Saw”, as well as the editor: “Edited by Bryan Fry”. Can this text be used in a visual sense?
  5. Print your file periodically to make sure the image quality is what you expect.
  6. Save frequently. Name your file “yourlastname-yourfirstname-03.psd”

What You Will Hand In:

  1. Your thumbdrive, labeled with your first and last name and DTC201. Your files for this project should be in a folder called “yourlastname-yourfirstname-03”. This folder should contain your final Photoshop file, called “yourlastname-yourfirstname-03.psd” as well as the original images you collected and your citation sheet.
  2. Final printed book cover on 5.5 x 8.5-inch pages (8.5 x 11 folded in half), with inside pages from Project 2: Book Layout (make a note to your instructor if you have made improvements to Project 2 and include the packaged files from this project in your “yourlastname-yourfirstname-03” folder).
  3. Folder or binder containing your notes for this project. They should be well-organized and legible. Make sure your first and last name and DTC201 are written on the outside.