After discussing the brief, I spent some time researching the Viking subject matter and then started to pull together some initial ideas for the cover design. I normally start off with pencil sketches, then develop this further by adding colour to see how the design is working. We’d discussed the use of metallic when I was briefed, so this was something else to consider.
I was working in two main directions for the title lettering, Insular capitals and Runic script. I also created a variety of illustrative borders for the designs to unify the lettering and typography. As the project progressed, I decided to paint a range of mixed media backgrounds to add more texture and depth to the design. Some were quite complex but the simpler versions worked better behind the detailed lettering.
The Insular capital design was chosen for the final artwork, the capitals were simplified to make the title more legible and a layer of texture added to the letters, to be used as a metallic print. You can see on the photograph, this adds real sparkle to the cover.