Orbit Books has a reputation for being openly candid about the design process behind their covers, often showing off handfuls of alternate covers and revisions. Now, they’ve taken it to the next step. Lauren Panepinto, the woman behind many of their covers, hit record as she spent over six hours designing the cover for Blameless, the third novel in Gail Carriger‘s Alexia Tarabotti series, then, through the wonders of computer magic and movie trickery, condensed it down into an easily digestible minute and 53 seconds. If you’ve ever been curious about how covers are made, the video is absolutely worth a viewing.

Panepinto on the cover and the video:

Over 6 hours of my onscreen compositing, retouching, color correction, type obsessing, all condensed down to a slim sexy one minute 55 seconds of cover design. Trust me, no one wants to watch it in real-time…and even then I left out the not-as-riveting-onscreen stages of my cover design process, such as reading the manuscript, sifting through Alexia photoshoot outtakes, background photo research, etc. And since this is a series look that has already been established for Soulless and Changeless, there weren’t the usual batches and rounds of versions of different designs that happen with standalone or first-in-a-new-series covers. That would be a weeklong video!

And, finally, the finished cover:
Blameless by Gail Carriger

Pretty cool, huh? Let’s hope Orbit keeps putting together such great features about their novels. I know I certainly enjoy the peek behind the curtain.

  • Showtyme March 9, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Fascinating stuff… I kind of wish it all went a little slower so I could have gotten a better idea of what was happening. 6 hours into 2 minutes is quite the speed enhancement. But that was still very entertaining to watch.

  • Sam Sykes March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Where’s the hood?

  • aidan March 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Haven’t you heard, Sam? Parasol’s are the new hoods.

  • Sam Sykes March 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    If you have a parasol, then you only have one hand for a sword. And that means you don’t have the other hand for something like another sword.


  • Lauren P. March 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    um, you know the parasol HAS a sword in it, right? silly boys.