Book Cover Design: Two Novels from a Local Author

Book Cover Design: Two Novels from a Local Author

I was given direction to design covers for two distinctly different books. The Park Avenue Stories chronicle some of the colorful stories and people of a culturally unique and trendy Rochester district, that leaves readers trying to pinpoint locations and places thinly veiled throughout the book. In Lost and Found, tough, but charming Bart Conners seeks justice for his clients, all the while trying to make sense of life’s foibles in general and his own dysfunctional life in particular. Conners is a private eye living in southern California in the 1950s. Love, deceit, and intrigue make this trilogy of hard-boiled detective stories an engrossing read.

Park Avenue Stories

  • I took pictures along the street in front of historic Jines Restaurant. I use an Art Deco typeface combined with a photograph edited to include an Iris Focus creating intrigue and giving it an overall mysterious feel. You’ll see the edges are in soft focus with the center crisp. The light post banner had a Snowman that I removed and used for part of the Headline.
  • Another street scene where I added an illustrative filter to the photo.
  • For another choice, I added some “Edgy-ness” to the photo and created a collage effect. I used newsprint in the background for texture and lightened the photo so it feels a little more sketchy.

Lost & Found

  • I had real fun with this Cover. Here I chose to highlight the lead character in a period-style illustration. I researched poster designs from the 50’s and used some techniques including a cutout font, silhouetting and retro colors. I think this evokes an alluring Southern California Sunset with ominous things to come.
  • As an option, I continued with a retro-style illustration. I thought the use of negative space inside the coat jacket was implicit of “Lost”. The stripes on top and bottom are from a Barbisol ad as described within the book.
  • And last but not least, a literal “Film Noir” style illustration to imply mystery.

Find Park Avenue Stories or Lost and Found by Raymond C. Shea on