Grammar Rules is, as the name gives away, a guide to the rules of grammar; written by Craig Shrives and published by Kyle Books.
The brief: Grammar Rules cover
Kyle Books contracted me to design the cover of Grammar Rules. The book was a straight-talking reference guide to the correct use of grammar. The original title of the book was General Grammar – the author was a former army officer, so the client was keen to find a way to emphasise this military aspect in the design of the book cover. The client had mocked up a rough cover design themselves – it used the iconic Lord Kitchener ‘Your Country Needs You’ First World War recruitment poster, so I took that as my starting point.
The design: Grammar Rules cover
As the client requested, my first options played on the military aspect. The initial designs that I presented included camouflage, dossiers and even a pastiche of the ‘Keep Calm’ poster – which I had to get that one out of my system. I also provided a design using an illustration of a pointing finger, which was based upon the Kitchener image they had supplied in the first instance.
After this stage there was a change – the title became Grammar Rules. This meant the military aspect was no longer relevant. For the new direction I looked at old school books. I settled on a final design based on an old school notebook – I wanted the cover to look ‘worn’. I made the typeface for the title match this look and used a handwritten font for the author’s name. The client still wanted to use the ‘pointing finger’ somehow, so I incorporated it into the design by treating it like an old stamp on the front of the book.
After Grammar Rules was published the client needed a new design for a book club edition. This had a new title – Grammar for Grown-Ups – and was aimed at a different target market, so the design needed to reflect this. I kept the ’school’ look but went for something a bit more playful – this time I used a lined paper background, ink splashes and more hand drawn style typefaces.