Book cover is done! High stakes = Demanding creative process

Nancy Duarte

Written by

Nancy Duarte

The first book cover design had near unanimous feedback that it looked too much like Seth Godin’s Tribes book:

Side by side comparison of Seth Godin's book cover "Tribes" and Nancy Duarte's "Resonate" book cover

Argh. We worked so hard on that cover and the creative process is so time consuming and demanding.

We HAD to go back to the drawing board since I’m a huge Godin fan, plus I didn’t want to hear “Your book looks like Seth’s” through the entire shelf life of the dang thing.

So Diandra, Erik, Ryan, and I holed away in the conference room drawing, cutting, mocking up many ideas. We were stuck on having a silhouette be part of the final solution so it would look like slide:ology. It’s really tough to have a human form that looks activated and engaged without looking like they are a whacked out concert-goer.

Brainstorming by cutting out silhouettes of people to create a new book cover for "Resonate"

Brainstorm process in the conference room

Silhouettes of women used as a possible book cover

We created many mock-ups and ideas that hit the cutting room floor.

Several mockups of "Resonate"

Mockup of a possible book cover of "Resonate" with silhouettes of people filled with paper cut out words

Mockup of a book cover for "Resonate"

Mockup of a cover for "Resonate" the words resonate are stitched

Below are the final three solutions:

This first option fits well with slide:ology as a family. Inspired by the crinkled paper form above, we wanted to make it look like a person was transforming through the static. This one got a ton of votes. Some passionate people felt it was the only possible choice since it had people in it. A handful of people thought it was either creepy and sci-fi, or spiritual. Our dogged attempt to include a silhouette on the cover actually ended up being a limiting factor. It is good to break away from that because there are only so many things a silhouette can convey. If we’d gone with a silhouette on this second cover, we’d HAVE to have a silhouette on the next book, too. And it was a struggle to find one that was meaningful.

Option for a book cover for "Resonate" blue with silhouettes of people

Option 1

More of the business-types and engineering purists liked Option 2. It’s simple and clean and most accurately represents the physical concept of resonance.

A simpler mockup for "Resonate" in blue with rings around the word "Resonate"

Option 2

And last but not least… I collected feedback from Facebook, and the Twitterverse, and this is our winning option! Option 3 got the most votes and was clearly the favorite, with 200% more votes than the other two combined!

Winning choice for the cover of "Resonate" was a simple design with a blue cover

Option 3 (and winner!)

Thank YOU for your help in deciding the cover!