Case Study: Avi for President

Avi for President is a book cover I did for Menucha Publishing a little while ago. It is an easy reader chapter book for the younger grades, written and illustrated by Ann Koffsky. The book is a delightful little story about a class election. The cover illustration shows an enthusiastic Avi volunteering to run for president, and needed to put the focus on Avi while maintaining the fact that the whole election was done in good faith and cheer.

The first place I went for inspiration for this cover was to presidential campaign posters from the last two centuries. I wanted it to have a very “presidential” feel, and figured that was a good place to start. I was drawn to several posters from John F. Kennedy’s political campaigns in the 1950’s and 1960:


I liked the simplicity of the posters. The red, white and blue, the stars, the circle, and the emphasis on JFK’s face all come together to get your attention in a very positive way. I used this as my jumping off point for Avi for President.

The original illustration had a plain white background.

My first try at a cover I used the image in the way I was given it. My idea here was to create Avi’s actual campaign poster – so I made a border, added a dropshadow around the white on the cover, and used a child’s handwriting font. However, while it’s a cute cover, it definitely lacks that presidential feel I was going for.

Take 2 of the cover really mimicked JFK’s posters, but I felt that too much emphasis was put on the title, and not enough on Avi.

This led me to version 3, which was essentially version 2 with the elements rearranged. I made the background one solid color to emphasize Avi more, although I kept the red stripe for visual interest, and to keep the colors of the US flag in there. I also enlarged Avi significantly, and reduced the title and changed the font to one that was a cute kid’s font (Billy) but wouldn’t take away from the main focus: Avi. The stars send a double message: Avi is a superstar, and they serve as a visual throwback to the US flag.

In our final version, the author had me add some more stars to add color and a little bit more visual interest and excitement to the cover. So here it is, the final cover:

As always, I’d love to hear your comments!

FREE DOWNLOADThe Author's Guide to Working with Illustrators

Learn everything you need to know about hiring and working with illustrators for your next book.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.