My name is Vann Baker and I am a graphic designer and the owner of Elegant Book Design.
I grew up in an military family, so we moved every few years, but wherever we lived there was always a school library and several libraries on post and I learned to love reading at an early age.
When I think about the earliest book cover design that I can remember seeing as a child, I immediately think of all the Dr. Seuss books.
What child can resist the bright, colorful covers with whimsical creatures and titles suggesting a fun-filled reading adventure that are the hallmark of all Dr. Seuss books?
In the fifth grade, while living in Fort Bliss, Texas, I picked up a book one day in my school library, which had a bright, yellow cover.
The book cover promised an an adventure involving a boy, a spacesuit and space travel.
Have Space Suit–Will Travel delivered on that promise–and more. This was my first young adult science fiction book and after the first paragraph I was hooked. Over the next few years I read every science fiction book I could find at the library.
I believe that my exposure to book cover art was an early and ongoing influence on my later desire to become a graphic designer.
My graphic design and printing apprenticeship.
I began my career in graphic design for print over 30 years ago. After high school, I answered an ad in the local paper and was hired by a small printing company in Columbus, Georgia, Diversified Printing Services.
What began as a part-time job while working on my art degree turned into a six year apprenticeship in printing. Since Diversified Printing Services was a small company, I worked in all departments and learned all about offset lithography and the entire process from working with customers to design, typesetting, camerawork, platemaking, presswork, folding and finishing work, and more. After a year, my primary role was as a graphic artist and part-time typesetter.
Over the next few years I worked on everything imaginable, including newsletters, cookbooks, posters, logos, direct mail postcards, booklets, letterhead, business cards, forms and more.
After my apprenticeship at Diversified Printing Services, I moved to Auburn, Alabama, where I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a concentration in design. Between taking classes and freelancing for a local ad agency, I worked for Auburn’s printing service as a graphic designer. For three years I created publications including book cover designs and did production artwork for newsletters, brochures, annual reports and other printed materials.
Since graduating from Auburn University 1984, I have worked as an Art Director, a Marketing Director and in the mid 1990s I worked for two internet companies designing websites and managing web development teams.
In 2003 I started a company, Design-First, which provides marketing services for a wide range of clients and industries, from print design and production to website design and internet marketing.
Why Elegant Book Design?
Over the years I have worked with individuals, small companies and large corporations. I have found that it is has been more fulfilling as a graphic designer to work with individuals. The impact of my work is always greater with an individual in terms of helping them bring ideas to life.
While I like the challenges of website design, I truly love graphic design for print. Book cover design provides a wide range of graphic art challenges and the roughly six by nine inch design space is perfect for combining typography, images and design elements to create a dynamic book design.
I also like the fact that printed book covers are meant to be picked up and examined closely and that four-color printing in high resolution means a wide range of latitude when designing. Ebook covers present the design challenge of designing for both websites and different devices, so ebook cover designs have to be designed to look great on computer screens and mobile devices, often being viewed as tiny thumbnails.
Elegant Book Design focuses on book cover design and providing authors with the marketing materials needed to grow their readership and make more book sales. I also have the opportunity to work directly with authors and to design for both print and ebook readers.
If you have book cover design questions, I have answers.
Experience has taught me that informed clients are the best clients. I believe that clients who understand the design process truly appreciate the time, creative effort and design skills which go into turning a book cover idea into reality.
I offer a free, no-obligation consultation. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about what goes into making a great book cover design and for me to learn more about you, your readers and your vision.
If you have any questions about the services offered here, please call me using the toll free number, (888) 223-2730 or (678) 935-7788 if you are in the Atlanta, Georgia area. My office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and I would love talk with you about your book.
Please use the Getting Started page to provide details about your book, ideas and vision for your cover, as well as to schedule a convenient time for us to talk by phone.
Elegant Book Design