Ana Grigoriu worked as an art director for more than 7 years in some of the most creative-driven advertising agencies in Europe, before she decided to create books-design.com. Now, 6 years later, she’s collaborated with countless amazing people all over the world, authors and publishers alike. Her passion for book cover design runs in the family, as her mother has designed cover art for more than 30 years. Ana chats with Knockin’ Books about how she got into book cover design, offers advice for authors looking for a cover designer and talks about trends in the industry.
How did you get into book cover design?
After working as an art director for several years in advertising agencies I decided to switch to a more artistic driven and independent way of creating art. My mother was also a book cover designer before she retired so I felt inclined to research her work and fell in love with cover design.
What’s the biggest challenge when working with a new author?
I have to say I've been quite lucky to meet amazing people throughout my career as a book
cover designer, people that I can instantly connect with and whose creative ideas I can understand and transform into art. Occasionally I get to meet people that don't have a clear idea of what they would like as far as design style goes so it's a challenge to understand in which direction the cover art will go, making it hard to meet publishing deadlines.
I've been quite lucky to meet amazing people
What advice would you give an author who’s looking for a cover designer?
I would recommend they research for the cover designer whose portfolio fits best with their expectations and their design taste. Also, when finding a designer, it's a good idea to look for testimonials from other authors that have previously worked with that specific designer.
What should an author do before they contact a cover designer?
It has helped me immensely when authors contact me the first time and offer as much detail
about their project as possible. I really find it useful (in estimating a budget for a project as well as a delivery date) when authors send me book covers that they find interesting style-wise and that are similar in approach to what they think would fit their book. Also, having an idea of the
publishing deadline as well as a certain budget helps as well.
I really find it useful (in estimating a budget for a project
What would you say to an author who says they can’t afford a professionally designed cover?
“Affordable” can have many definitions and means different things to different people. I like to ask my clients what their estimated budget is right from the start. If their expectations for the book cover design can be met by their budget, then a beautiful, professional looking book cover can be created even with a more limited budget. I would advise they keep an open mind to the designer's recommendations since the artist is more aware of the amount of work need to complete a project and can better understand if the author's budget can cover their expenses or not.
What trends have you seen in the cover design industry lately?
I'm really happy to say I notice a huge variety of styles successfully coexisting together, from modern minimalism to nostalgic, angular, hand-drawn 70s art, basically every style seems to have it's own fanbase at the moment.
“Affordable” can have many definitions and means
Do you think online DIY tools like Canva have devalued the work of professional designers?
Not at all. In fact I believe it does exactly the opposite - it gives authors a quick look into the kind of work it takes a professional to actually design a book cover. People just won't believe the amount of work involved in creating a book cover from scratch so if they attempt to do it themselves they will eventually realize that the whole process is far more elaborate than pasting two pictures together. There are also a load of technical aspects that can never be addressed by the use of online DIY photo editors so ultimately a professional book cover designer is the best choice.
Do you offer other services besides ebook cover design?
Yes, I also offer author branding services and custom website design as well as various promotional materials that help the author better promote their book online and offline. I think it is paramount for an author to have a recognizable brand identity, especially if they chose to publish or have published more than one book already. A separate, independent website also helps give the author a professional appearance. As a bonus, I offer all my clients a special package of promotional items with each project that I complete. There's nothing more satisfying for me than to see my clients happy and excited in their journey to publishing their books.
Do you specialize in any particular categories (fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, etc.) or genres? Are there any categories or genres you avoid?
I like to tackle any genre really. There's a lot to learn and there are a lot of challenges in the sci-fi category since most of the time the client is looking for a detailed illustration of imaginary worlds so it becomes way more difficult to create that kind of concept.
Ana Grigoriu book cover design gallery