How to Make Your Own Book Cover – Lesson 5

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to my cover-designing lessons, but when I have things on my mind, they must be said!

If you’re just coming into this, check out:

Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4

I wanted a decorative element around the edges of my picture. I picked out a piece of clipart I thought would work, only to find that my ancient copy of Photoshop would not warp the clipart so that I could make it follow my arch.

It would, however, warp text. So, in a moment of brilliance, I went through the various fonts that contain symbols and found a leaf in CommonBullets, “K” key. So I typed a row of K/leaves, and adjusted the font size to what looked good to me. I also changed the color to something that was high contrast and would not blend in with anything in my background.

Next, I went to the text editing button (looks like  T on top of an arch) on the top toolbar and selected “arc.” I dragged my text-leaves over to my picture’s arch and played with the amount of bend it had until it matched the degree of arch on my picture. I also had to get it in transform mode and cant the entire row of leaves a little, because the picture’s arch was not perfectly even. (I also had to fill in a little sliver at the top of my picture where it was flat; you will notice it is corrected in latter demo pictures.)

Now comes the fun part: deleting the leaves and the picture beneath them, so that the gradient shows through.

The first thing you need to do is link the text layer with your picture, then “merge linked.”

Next, zoom in so you can see to work, and select the Magic Wand tool and on the top toolbar, set your tolerance to about 25. (The tolerance dictates what does and does not get selected. If it’s set to zero, it will only pick up one color and no other shades–however much they might appear to be the same color to your eyes. The higher the tolerance setting, the more shades it will pick up which are close to the one you selected.

Now, click on each leaf with the wand to highlight it. With all of them selected, just hit the delete key. In order to turn off the highlight (deselect), hit Ctrl + D. Voila, your background is now showing through in a leave-shaped manner.

If you should happen to notice that you still have a little ghost of color around the edges of your leaves, undo the delete (use your history menu), set your tolerance up another 5-10 notches, and delete again.

Now, do the exact same sequence of events (minus the arch) for the bottom of the picture.

On the next lesson, we’ll finish the front cover with some text.

One comment on “How to Make Your Own Book Cover – Lesson 5

  1. […] interested in creating your own book cover, Keri Peardon has some very useful lessons on her blog: https://keripeardon.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/how-to-make-your-own-book-cover-lesson-5/. I use Photoshop Elements (currently on a free 30-day trial which would be plenty for getting your […]

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