Of all the projects I've worked on, Dads Know Best resonated with me like no other. At the beginning of this project, my daughter had just turned one. The target market was aiming for soon-to-be fathers or fathers of young children. So in addition to being the creative lead on this project, I was also the potential buyer the authors were looking to sell to. Needless to say, I had two sets of valuable insight.
The Authors of this title, John Luzzi and Don Miggs, we're extremely flexible and open to our team's ideas for the project. Their only request: bold typography-based cover. Keeping this in mind, I began work by researching the parenting/self-help genre. In any book cover design, bold typography can be a valuable weapon. So many readers will purchase their books online. Which means we need to make sure a cover design is easily readable at a thumbnail size when it's paired against other books in its' genre. After exploring some bold typography designs for this book, we felt the design was becoming too loud and aggressive. These traits aren't necessarily the greatest visual qualities for a parenting book to have. So we consciously made an effort to incorporate a casual script typeface for 'Dads' and to use a fun, bright color palette.
After setting a visual tone with the cover design, we repeated a lot of those same elements in the interior. What makes this book unlike most of its' kind, is that it has a two color interior. Typically, books with two colors use black and one pms color. Dads Know Best, however, uses two pms colors instead. I initially designed a test layout using the former: black and one pms color (a coral tone matching the cover). However, I felt the black really clashed with the color theme we had set with the cover. I strongly felt we needed to swap out a navy color instead of the black. And after working with the project manager to make adjustments to ensure this remained within budget, John and Don were sold.
Aside from the unique two color design, this interior design utilizes fun ways of presenting information. Since the book is not solely explanatory or narrative text, we were able to incorporate excerpt pages, call-out boxes, and other alternative ways of displaying text. Things like this make a world of difference in the effort to make sure your reader stays interested. When self-help books get to be really instructive, these design elements offer a visual break.