For this project I redesigned a book cover for the novel “Procession of the Dead” byDarren Shan (Darren O’Shaughnessy). Formerly titled Ayumacara, this book is now published with this new title under his pen name.


Photoshop, Illustrator


When I first started reading Darren Shan’s books I was about ten years old. I bought the book from the school library book fair because it was too horrifying for kids, but I loved it. Shan’s books invoke strong detail and vision and I wanted to be able to use this on the redesign of the book cover. Being careful not to spoil any detail here; the book involves a man named The Cardinal who has a fascination with puppets. I wanted to integrate both of these into the book cover.

The Cover

I started this project in Adobe Illustrator, designing the bird in the background of the cover. To get the look I needed, I went online and found an image of a bird with its wings spread. I then used the pen tool in order to go around the vital parts of the bird (the head, wings, and feet). After it was drawn out, I then decided to give it some unique characteristics such as the holes in the base of the each wing.

The bird’s vector silhouette was then brought into Photoshop and colored Cardinal Red by sampling colors directly off of a cardinal. The colors used worked perfectly into play with the emotion of the book: dark, eerie, horrific, and mysterious. I then took the image and added a layer mask to make it blend with black section of the cover, as if the bird was fading into the shadows.

The hands holding the marionettes were next on the agenda. They also had to fit the dark red theme. I added multiple layers above the hands in order to get the right consistency of colors that fit the Cardinal Red. I had to be sure that the hands still had shadows while I made the rest of the cover fit into the spaces around the puppets.

Final Product

The type was all that was left. The typeface (An Unfortunate Event Dewarped by The Flea Pit) was chosen because of its sharp lines and thick strokes. This fit both the high class and evil design that I was trying to attain.  After the font was placed, I was able to use some layering techniques to make the font look bloody and wicked. Once I was satisfied with the design, the cover was complete.