The production of a cover page for a biography requires consideration of the components that will draw a reader to the book. Often the subject is one of historical relevance and it is the cover artist's job to choose information that quickly reflects this. Photos and wording are important communicators of the content of the book. Convey clear and succinct information with an eye toward form and page composition.
Find a photo that represents the subject. This photo should reflect the time period that the subject is most known for. For example, few biographies of Mohandas Gandhi show him as a child on the cover. Gandhi is most known for his political influence as an adult. Choosing a picture that shows the subject doing something or looking in a way that is familiar connects the reader to memories of the subject. Position the picture as a background.
Select a title for the cover page. The title should represent an interesting fact about the subject. If possible create a title that leads with strong imagery. For example, a title for a biography on Ronald Reagan might be, "The Actor Who Took Over Washington."
Position a subtitle under the title. This step clearly identifies the subject and what the biography is about. As in the previous step, "The Actor Who Took Over Washington," might be followed by, "The Political Life of Ronald Reagan." This subtitle signals the biography is not an all-encompassing work but one that looks at a particular portion of a life.
Include the author's name near the bottom of the cover page. This often appears at the bottom of the cover page but can be at the top if the author is well-established and the subject is a historical one. For example, author David McCullough's name is typically up front and prominent on his works on George Washington and John Adams.
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