Stone Soup for Five: Behind the Scenes--Cover Design for Galatians

Behind the Scenes--Cover Design for Galatians

Right now I'm done writing the next Bible study! YAY!

But I know that I want them to look different. More eye-appeal. More mature.  More of something that would draw you in to look closer if it were on a shelf in a store.

So, I've playing with a million different photos and fonts and placements and hacking my way through designing my own cover.

I opted to design my own cover for a number of reasons.  One of the main ones was because I knew a rough idea of how I wanted it to look, and I knew that I would have a hard time explaining it to someone else using words like relaxing, but with doodles, and with coffee, and lots of clean white.  So that leaves me to hack and do it totally unprofessionally and hope for the best.  Here's my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants process.

Hack #1:  All pictures must be taken outside. Inside has poor lighting and I always get blue tint.  I know I can correct it on the photo program, but it looks corrected.  So outside it is.  With a white foam board from the dollar tree and all my "props"--pens, Bible journal, Bible and coffee cup--hoping to get a few pics done between clouds and rain.

Hack #2:  The coffee is too shiny and reflecting weird overhead tree branches and too flat.  I try to whisk it up to get bubbles but just get a few unpromising bubbles that pop right away.  So I grab a canning jar and lid and shake it like crazy and slosh it into the cup and then realize there's too many bubbles and you can't see the coffee.  I have to stick my finger in and pop a bunch which means I drip on the white foam board I was using as background and it instantly absorbs and stains it.  I now need one additional prop to cover that, an eraser.

Hack #3:  See that dappled light? While it looks cool for a landscape photo, it does NOT look good for a close up detailed picture.  So I grab another big piece of foam board and hold it above the little vignette I have going here. I have to hold it high enough that it won't block the beautiful sunlight, but close enough that it covers the entire scene.  With one hand.  While carefully taking the pic with the other without shaking.

Hack #4:  Because I don't have photoshop, and couldn't use it without a college level class, I use the next best thing, Picmonkey.  I do have the full version, $30-something a year, and it is worth every penny.  I want the pic to blend seamlessly into the cover, and right now there's a lot of off white and gray-ish going on despite of all my effort to do it bright and outside, so I have to really up the brightness and highlights and deepen the contrast.

Hack #5:  That's close but it still has a few dark corners and edges, so I add it as a layer to a new design and use the cool and handy eraser and just erase those parts to blend and fade.

Hack #6:  The fonts are tricky. I found from some early test cover layouts that I can only use two fonts on a cover.  Any more and it is overwhelming and no one likes it.  And, I knew I wanted a doodle font and a print font.  I couldn't find a good doodle font I liked, so I went with one I drew and scanned myself.

After a BUNCH (and I mean A. BUNCH.  Days and weeks and more weeks of work!) of layers and tweaks and moving things around, I think I finally have it done...

Right now I'm reworking the layout on the inside pages to make it easy to follow hopefully fun and clear.  I'm planning on it going live mid-May!  Can't wait!

You can see all the current studies here.
Though the cover is different, the inside still has all the amazing doodle and journal fun these are known for!


  1. That's a lot of work - but it looks beautiful. I'm excited to try your new study soon!

  2. love all the tips, I've always wondered how the great blog pictures are taken. Can't wait to start the new study


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