Around three weeks ago, a friend of mine wanted me to use a photo taken by me to create a cover for her unfinished novel - called Hug the Three Thousand Kilometres, telling a story between two young people that in love and lives in two different cities - Beijing and Guangzhou (they are both major cities in China).
Then I looked at my hard drive and found the photo above that I took in December, 2017, right click, chose "open with Photohhop", and eventhing got started.
For fonts to be used in the cover, with consideration on copyrights and to avoid any potential issues, I decided to use fonts that are open sourced and allowed to use even commercially. Since this is a cover for a novel written in Chinese, I will have to use Chinese fonts. Luckly again, in Google Fonts I found the Noto Serif SC and Noto Sans SC, an open source font family developed by Google and Abobe.
Firstly I created a 9:14, 350 dpi canvas in Photoshop, then dragged my photograph in. Crop it to a optimal size and position. Then I created two reference lines at 50% horizontal and vertical, then one more at 85% horizontal. I also did some adjustments and enhancement on the colour and sharpness of the photo at this stage, to make it clearer and have more details.
Next I typed in "拥抱" "3000" and "公里" where two Chinese words translate as "Hug" and "Kilometres". With a bit more hint for readers, I also added "Three Thousand" as English.
For the effects on the "Hug" which is "拥抱", since this is a love story and between those two young people there is a distance; the "hug" may also refers to "promises of love" which are not always real however sometimes fake. But as the main element of the novel title, the "Hug" should have the largest font size in the whole cover. So I set it to 100 pts size, 65% fill, using Noto Serif SC Light, and typed two more spaces between "拥抱", make it into "拥 抱". At this time the "Hug" or "拥抱" are not yet to be positioned.
Next I set the "3000" and "公里" (kilometres) to around 75 pts (due to adjustments afterwards, the final font size may varies), 100% fill this time. The "3000" is positioned right at the middle of the cover, at 50% vertical and 50% horizontal.
The "拥 抱" and "公里" now be positioned at two opposite side of but same distance away from the "3000", which is 102 pixels. Then the English hint for "3000" is set between the "拥 抱" and "3000", with again same distance from above and to below, this time 36% pixels. The width of "Three Thousand" is not larger than the two 0s in "3000", since this is just a hint.
After that I created a box, pixel by pixel, which has the equal width of side, also positioned right at the centre of the background image.
I use the Noto Sans Light, at 20 pts size, to mark the author. Located at 85% horizontal and 50% vertical.
After all pretty much everything is done. Actually while I was creating this cover (yes, front cover only at this time), some of the adjustment of the background image was done lastly, using Camera Raw tools and curve-adjustment. The dark spots in the raw photography were repaired using clone stamp tool.