[Day 13]: Cinematic Graphics for Self-publishing Authors

The title of the book should be determined with the cover art in mind.

So as a way of reviewing Photoshop fundamentals I have been challenging myself to do small graphic design projects for my portfolio. As much as I love programming, design was central to me getting interested in front-end design and visual story telling.  This week’s challenge was targeted towards the one type of client I don’t typically have–writers.


Create a highly usable single graphic for a horror novel.

I began with breaking down the key goals: highly usable and horror. Then further breaking down each word:

  • Usable
    • Works well for frequently requested dimensions.
    • Fits the basic standards for common media outlets.
  • Horror
    • Atmospheric–eerie
    • Cinematic
    • Evokes curiosity

The graphic I ended up creating had three places in mind: blog headers, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With popular hashtags like “amwriting” Twitter has long been a friend to independent artists. Instagram on the other hand is a medium that I believe is really underutilized by authors (especially those who aren’t camera shy and are design inclined). As for Facebook, I specifically left the top right side to be spacious in order accommodate call-to-action statements when it comes to time run promotions. All in all I think this graphic is most useful for promotions and banners.

To create a cinematic effect I made use of the double exposure effect and utilized real world imagery to set up the story. I imagined a horror story involving murders in the woods for a visual theme. Which brought an interesting realization.

The title of the book should be determined with the cover art in mind. Because quite frankly, people do judge a book by its cover.

Overall I think this graphic does a good job of establishing that the story takes place in the woods, that there is a beast and he is likely a man.  I tried to give the face a slightly angry feel by simulating narrowed eyes using the curvature of the mountains, and by lining up the trees to look like teeth.

Not Who We Seen-horror

I also experimented with other uses for this graphic.

Not Who We Seen-ken-boothe


These are the promises I kept to myself:

  1. Focus on building portfolio projects
  2. Outline chapter two of Pray for Armistice
  3. Work out Like Jonah
  4. Apply for New Job.

The Promises I will keep tomorrow are:

  1. 100 pushup, 100 situps, and 100 body weight squats
  2. Work on Freelance Project
  3. Program for at least an hour a night.
  4. Apply for at least Three Jobs.


Today’s addition to the Morning Block Playlist is: Ken Boothe- “Silver Words”

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