My friend George needed a cover for his first book, and I was glad to help him out. Our first step was a trip to the book store, where we looked over various designs, and took pictures of those we liked. Then, we looked over the covers of computer books... pretty dismal! So I was encouraged, sure that whatever we came up with would stand out.
The initial sketches are lost, but one that intrigued us was a vaguely 'Masonic' design combining tools of architecture and design. While I think this would have been a fine cover, George couldn't stop thinking of one of the previous sketches: two puzzled architects looking at a bridge that didn't quite meet in the middle. So, I went with that one, and I think it came out really well.
George was an enthusiastic collaborator, and refined the design himself. There's a future for him in book design, if he gets weary of being a software consultant!
Here's the process: