Design Brief for Book Cover
Series Title: Thieves of Elysium
Book Title/Subtitle: Risen from Ashes
Author Name: Michael Alexander
Thieves of Elysium is an action/adventure/romance set in modern time but is full of ancient mythology, creatures, architecture, weapons, artifacts, etc. Think modern day Indiana Jones and Da Vinci Code meets Lord of the Rings
Series Title Design: Top of Book Cover
THIEVES of ELYSIUM
Overview: The Thieves Guild was established during the Middle Ages and secretly operates today in the modern world. I want the series title to look ancient but solid, lasting steadfast throughout the centuries
Use stone looking lettering. Think Lord of the Rings, letters appear to have been chiseled from stone. However, I would like the lettering to be thicker and more solid looking. An occasional crack here and there from time and trials. Neutral stone coloring
Mythology plays a major role in the story. There is a lot of pagan influence. I would like English Ivy weaved throughout the Lettering but not too much
Skull and Cross Daggers:
Please create a skull with cross daggers and place centered under the middle of the Series title under the word, “of.” Similar to a Pirate’s Skull and Crossbones but in place of bones please create a set of crossed daggers. Normal looking skull, no eye patches or unusual facial effects
Daggers are key to the story. Every thief has his/her own unique set of daggers based on some sort of great achievement and are significant to the story. The main character will eventually obtain the “Blades of Fire,” a set of daggers forged in the fire of a dying Phoenix, However, I do not want the daggers to be on fire. Not sure what the daggers should look like, please feel free to create something unique
Golden Laurel Leaves:
Please create a golden laurel leaf crown similar to those worn in ancient Greece it should encapsulate the skull and cross daggers and rise up through the Title (See attachment)
Risen from Ashes
I’m not too sure what I want the subtitle to look like. For now you have free reign to come up with something eye-catching but classy
Main character kissing his daughter (See attached image) Please draw extended wings from his back. However, I want the wings almost transparent looking as if they aren’t really there, to the effect of someone looking at it and having to take a double-take because they are difficult to see. The main character doesn’t know his true family heritage yet or the abilities he possess. I want the wings to be very faint and will become more prominent in the next book cover
Text: See Attached text for back cover
Design: Either an image of a phoenix (bird) or an alchemical symbol. Not sure which will look better at the moment. Since the character’s name is Phoenix and a phoenix (bird) appears later in the book series, perhaps a phoenix. Phoenix (bird) with wings spread similar to a Freemason Scottish Rite Eagle. I do not want the bird covered with fire or bright red. Color of the bird should be warm browns some slight red
You can have flames at the bottom of the bird as if the bird is coming out of the flames but not bathed in it.
Author’s Bio: See Attached Back cover attachment
Ancient meets modern. The Guild was established during the Middle Ages and exists today. They draw upon Roman, Greek, and Victorian English architecture and surrounded by state of the art technology but heavily steeped in pagan and Greek mythology. Phoenix (Main Character) is a modern day middle class fire fighter thrust into the secret society of thieves. The Thieves Guild has a hidden underground city named Elysium deep underneath the Himalayan Mountains.
Other significant objects to consider:
-Gate of Charon: there is a gateway in Elysium called the Gate of Charon that leads to a magical world known as Mythos. Mythos is the land of the gods and ancient heroes of mythology. The opening and closing of the gate is significant. Elysium is trying to keep the gateway closed, for now.
The Gate is a large heavily fortified wooden gate, think castle like gate, with the image of a Satyr’s face with thick swirling horns in the center of the gate, its eyes slightly aglow and a green mist seeping through the cracks
*-The Burning Rose: known as the Aesch-Mezareph, a magical burning rose whose fire purifies but never burns. I would really like this object somehow worked into the cover if possible but not stand out too much
Please consider Warm colors but not bright reds or yellows. I’m going for classy not cluttered, less is more
Thank you for taking on this challenge, I’m looking forward to seeing all the wonderful creativity you all come up. Good Luck!
UPDATED DESIGN BRIEF 10/8/2013 @10:00pm PST
I’d like to add some depth to the design brief and ask that
you all consider some different approaches.
I removed the white wings that I had uploaded due to the fact
that I’ve been getting a lot of images simply Photoshopping the white wings
onto the fire fighter pic. That really isn’t what I was looking for. Again if
you decide to use the wings, please find or create something more masculine, perhaps
larger, more angelic or eagle like and most importantly they need to be so
transparent we can hardly see it.
A large portion of the story takes place in Elysium. A
hidden almost magical city deep beneath the Himalayan Mountains. We can
possibly try and use a stock photo of the snow-capped Himalayas as a back drop
but we’ll need to layer and blend the photos in such a way that it isn’t confusing
to look at with the fire fighter pic.
The Thieves Guild uses all the latest technology, even
creating technology that doesn’t exist in the modern world, however, they are
deeply seeped in the Middle Ages, living in underground castles, using
Victorian gas lamps and they only use Middle Age weaponry, daggers, swords,
shields, bows, etc.
If you’d like to add a section of a castle or stone building
that would be appropriate, we’ll need to find photos or drawings we can use for
I’ve uploaded an additional fire fighter pic for everyone’s
consideration. Again I hold the copyright, it is a picture of me. I’ve
mentioned to several of you already that the story is also a screenplay and is
getting positive feedback in Hollywood but producers would like a fan base
before investing. As an actor I am trying to be the lead role in my own story
so it is imperative to have my face associated with the cover of the book and
main character, which is why I am adamant about using photos of me. But that
doesn’t mean we can’t manipulate images to achieve that effect as long as my
face is on the image
LOCATIONS to consider:
ARTIFACTS from the story for your consideration:
-The Burning Rose is crucial to the story and I would like
to see that somewhere on the cover. Please read again what I wrote about it
-Statue of Chronos is a thirteen-and-a-half-inch-tall, eight-and-a-half-pound
anthropomorphic statue of a half lion, half man. It held an hourglass in one
hand, but the other hand was empty as if something was missing, and it stood on
a carving of the earth covered with astrological symbols.
-Diamond of Sorrow: The three hundred and thirty three-carat
diamond looked heavier than it actually was as Phoenix held it up to the light.
The teardrop-shaped gem had a single point and a rounded end. The flawless,
colorless diamond reflected light into a spectrum of rainbow hues. It looked as
if he was holding a solid flame in the palm of his hand as it emitted an eye-squinting
-Scroll of Nebuchadnezzar: An ancient parchment map
revealing the location to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The only wonder of
the ancient world never found.
-Gate of Charon: a large heavily fortified wooden gate with
a wicket fence leading into the magical land of Mythos. The gate bears a large
face of a Satyr with glowing eyes and swirling horns.
I hope this will give you ideas to be creative and come up
with some great stuff. Please feel free to be as creative as you want. I
believe I’ve given a lot to work with but if you need more clarification please
let me know and we can discuss anything you all need.