The theme for the book cover was to try and capture some of Goku’s personality in a simple and clean way. I borrowed the orange from the color of his dogi, the blue from his boots, belt and shirt, and the yellow from his Super Saiya-jin hair.
The logo consists of the orange star from Orange Star High School combined with a Daoist yin-yang in the colors already mentioned.
And I chose a simple but large font that was easy to read from far away as well as in the form of a tiny thumbnail, such as you might see on Amazon books.
The characters below the yin-yang are “Long Qiu Dao” (in Chinese) and translate as “Dragon Ball Dao,” or in other words, The Dao of Dragon Ball. This way it becomes clear at a glance that the book contains East Asian content, and perhaps that will fascinate someone long enough to open the book or read the back cover.
For comparisons sake, you can also check out another mockup I created for the cover in June of 2009.
This cover had a traditional black and white Daoist theme with a more oriental style of font. The texture applied to the book was a black leather, but you can barely see it.
The ultimate problem with this one was the illegibility of the text from a distance. It also would not stand out very well on a book shelf.
Soon after this concept had been created I decided to call for help from the pro’s.
At the Anime Expo ’09 I met Azusa Ogawa, a freelance artist specializing in anime and manga style art. She created a concept and then a final render on commission, which you can see here.
This cover features a close up of the Shen Long immortal dragon flying through the clouds. Its hands are held in the Kamehameha powering up position, and in between its palms is the older version of the logo. The spherical logo has light radiating out of it, like it’s about to be fired.
This is a cool piece of art and I’m happy with what she provided. That said, I have this driving belief that the book should be very simple and straight forward, like the Dao itself, and that the cover has to reflect that, so in the end I decided not to use it, though I didn’t know what would take the place of the old blue cover, which actually stayed on the site for a total of 3 years!
It wasn’t until this past weekend that I really jumped back in and started to brainstorm and create. Luckily I had received inspiration at a Barnes and Noble a couple of months ago from a bright orange mystery novel. The look was striking and drew my attention. It also made perfect sense to borrow the orange from Goku’s dogi since that is his primary color.
So when all is said and done I’m happy with how things have evolved. It’s neat to look back and watch how the cover has changed, along with my writing and overall outlook on life. Suffice to say that the development of all three are interwoven.
What do you guys think of the new cover (and the old covers)? Do you have a personal favorite or is there something else that you envision the cover could be? Nothing is set in stone at this point and I’d love to hear your ideas!