One of the great joys of being a graphic designer is having a client hire me to produce a project that intersects with things I'm passionate about in my personal life. I am a prolific reader, and for a long time I've been fascinated by book covers. Whenever I travel, I always include trips to local bookstores. When I purchase new books to add to my library, I intentionally select an edition of a book that has an excellent cover design. 
Over the past year or two, I've had the privilege of designing book covers for several authors (including a book cover for a book I wrote!). In this section of my portfolio, you'll find several of the designs I have created along with personal commentary on the design process for each.
The Community of God
Doug Bursch is a pastor of a church who decided to write his first book. The book is an exploration of the importance of religious community. As a Christian pastor, one of the predominant metaphors for community that he talks about is the Holy Trinity. 
To create this book cover, I was inspired by trinitarian theology as well as a vibrant color palette to invoke a sense of life and diversity. 
Here's what Doug had to say about my work on his project: "Working with Jackson was an absolute pleasure! He carefully collaborated with me to create a cover design that was perfect for my book. His work is timely, professional and most importantly reasonably priced."
The above images are alternate covers that were created earlier in the design process. Hints of the final design can be seen within these previous drafts.
The Courage Coach
One of my clients, Ashley Easter, wrote a short book about how to heal from abuse. My task was to create a professional design for the book that would catch the eye and accurately evoke the themes contained within the book.One of the prevailing themes from the book is a "north star".  For the cover, I used two different night-sky photographs juxtaposed side by side to create a subtle "before/after" or "chaos to peace" feel. The left side image is a plain starry sky while the one on the right is a long-exposure shot with the camera focused on the north star. 
I also designed and typeset the interior of her book. Here's the review Ashley left me after her project was completed: “Working with Jackson was a great experience. He took my concepts and ideas and brought them to life much better than I could have imagined. He created the perfect book cover for me, and the interior layout was something special. His knowledge about self-publishing was extremely valuable to me as a new author.”
To create a consistent and holistic design for The Courage Coach, I took the north star icon seen on the book's cover and implemented it into every single chapter header.
Because Ashley's book is about a sensitive and serious topic, I wanted to design the interior in such a way as to give the reader a comfortable reading experience. Ashley wrote the book to be a friendly and easy-to-read guide for abuse victims who are healing from harm. I used generous page margins and a narrow text-block to give the reader plenty of psychological space and softness.
Ex Materia
Ex Materia is a short book that I wrote during my junior and senior years of college. It was an extra-curricular project that I took up in my spare time as a way to develop my writing skills. I spent hundreds of hours writing and editing the book, and I also designed this original cover for it. I not only designed the cover though, but I also set up a make-shift photo studio on campus to create the photograph used on the cover. Writing a book and then designing it was an extremely rewarding journey that I will never forget.
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