Time-lapse of book-cover design

Lauren from Orbit books sez, "I thought you guys might like my latest behind the scenes design project, while designing the latest cover in a Victorian/Steampunk book series, I left the video screen-capture on...for like 6 hours (never knew how much I checked email until I had to edit them out of there) - we condensed the rest down to just under 2 minutes, and voila."

I love watching people who are good at their jobs do their thing, such a treat to watch over Lauren's shoulder. Also, what a smart little promo for the book!

design editor's inspiration (Thanks, Lauren!)



  1. As someone who is a “designer” (yes I’m using quotes) for parts of my job, I can say, with my limited authority, that Lauren is The Man.

    That was slick.

    And it shows me how far I have to go. Oy!

  2. I love this – it does a great job of illustrating all the work that goes into design. Well done! and thanks!

  3. Brilliant job, Lauren … both the cover and the video! Now could you please slow it down to say, one-quarter speed and re-post?

  4. I would enjoy seeing a slower, longer version of this so that I could actually witness some of the techniques and software being used.

  5. It’s more than a promo for the book involved. I promptly went over to fictionwise, found the first book in the series, and bought it on the spot.

  6. Nice job, guess she should have shoped out the big building right on the lower left of the Eiffel tower which is the Universite Decartes, built in 1971…

  7. Great video. Great to see the design steps of finding images and fixing them. Though I wonder why couldn’t lauren just do a color range selection to select all green and than delete?

  8. Actually the Eiffel Tower is visible in all views of Paris, regardless of camera placement or time period.

  9. The top of the Eiffel Tower is the best view in Paris because you can’t see the Eiffel Tower.

  10. What was that site she was using for the stock images? Without knowing if they’re royalty-free or the copyright is available it’s hard to know if the images being used in the production of the final cover are actually allowed to be used for that purpose. Did Cory’s steampunk geek self beat down his copyright geek self for the moment?

  11. On second look, I see shutterstock.com in there, which has royalty-free stuff, but I’m not sure where all of those came from. Of course, I’m not insinuating anything untoward here, just making a point that it’s too easy to use images you shouldn’t if you’re not careful.

  12. Hi everybody! Thank you Cory Doctorow for posting this here, it’s very exciting that so many people are seeing my little project!!

    @#10 – I did select all the green first, but it leaves jagged edges, you see me finessing it in the video with the eraser

    @fontastique – i had no idea but i’ll totally take it out for the final, good eye!

    @ hijukal: I am a professional, and I don’t go randomly stealing images off the web……we licensed every piece of art used in the cover…bits were from Shutterstock as you can see in the video. The ornithopter was from ImageWorks, and the character photo is licensed straight from the model and photographer.

  13. That’s really cool to watch, especially when the cars are replaced with a horse-drawn carriage. Also it’s true it’s a clever promo — I enjoyed the first book in the series and it’s reminded me that there are more to read.

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