Episode Book Cover – Hammer Into Anvil


Prisoner Episode Book Cover

Design Assignment for Week 4

Out of the two choices of the “to do” assignments – I chose the book cover recreating  the aesthetic of Spacesick .

My first thought was the Dance of the Dead episode and having multiple skeletons, a sample was too close to that content and swaying me in replicating instead of creating.

While the look and feel is replicated – the process did require using design components to create. Space, form, size, color, place, text.

I used PhotoShop as my tool.

  • Paper size canvas – black

  • Brush – Sponge edges highlight then go back in with background color to soften and break up

  • add Gaussian Blur – minimal

  • Use Blur tool – large and draw dark into light colors

  • Add rectangles for heading – fill with color

  • Find camera icon and copy paste into file – Use SKEW to lengthen lens part

  • Add Text Fields with Helvetica fonts Bold and Regular

  • Find copyright free, free icons of hammer and anvil

  • Open in new file and use color replacement tool to add color to each

  • Scale

  • Rotate

  • Copy and paste into new layer in first file – place

  • Duplicate hammer layer to make multiples to set in pattern

  • change opacity for each layer going back

  • cut out shadow of hammer – SKEW, Rotate, Scale,
  • Add Title and tag line

  • Futz around

  • Export as jpeg

  • I am also going to import to my iPad and use some photo apps to add some noise to the finished product to see what that does to age or make it look used. If they turn out  – I will add them to this post.


I used an app called Snapseed. Adds effects. The part I don’t like is the randomness and just flipping from one effect to another. There really isn’t a way for you to create or control it – or get back to one you may have liked. It is take it when you see it. It does easily add some aging. I used the Grunge filter.

Added a filter

9 thoughts on “Episode Book Cover – Hammer Into Anvil”

  1. Pingback: DS106 on the couch
  2. This looks fantastic! I tried to do one of these in my first ds106 in Spring 2013, and I couldn’t get the ageing to look right. I futzed around in GIMP with grunge brushes to add dirt and dust, but it just never looked realistic. The grunge filter works well, but not having control would be bothersome.

    I’m working on one right now, and thinking of using an aged paper texture as one of the layers, as described here: http://www.lynda.com/articles/vintage-photo-effect-photoshop. Excited to play with this option!

  3. Great job! I would be attracted to this book in a bookshop (but, frankly, the title would through me off with the obscure Goethe reference, and I probably wouldn’t buy it. No rocket ship or bug-eyed monster, either.)

    Somehow, this makes me think of Penguin Books. Maybe it’s the font, or the overall minimalist design. Penguin is known for its superior book design, often minimalist. Penguin by Design is a great book I used to have (and it might still be in my bungalow somewhere).

  4. Futz around! Perhaps the most important part of the making of anything. Did your hammer and anvil come from two different sources? The anvil looks realistic, while the hammer has these bold lines reminiscent of animation. The dichotomy creates a sinister feel. Good work here, and thanks for the steps. You included a couple of tools that may help me as I futz around.

    • Yes – I Googled Images – clipArt until I found some sites with copyright free and free use. I didn’t put the links (sorry- have to get better at that) as I search I download ones I like and then choose from a group before deleting them all. The choices no more than finding lines, transparency for easier manipulations and some perspective in the drawing rather than flat. The line in the Prisoner in some ways I somewhat agree with – “It is what it is” from the making side – it is the individual viewers who bring their own meanings to it – which is what it is about. 🙂 Each brings a new view and meaning.

      Thanks for the feedback! – and futzing is the biggest part and the hardest to explain to someone. 🙂


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