The Inside Scoop on Book Design- Q&A With Roscoe Welply

It\’s no secret that we are VERY proud of the eye-popping and striking imagery of the Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Readers have told us the graphics and pictures from Charlie are unlike anything they have ever seen.

We have to agree 🙂

Book design is a critical piece of the book publishing process. How a book is designed can be the difference between a winner or a dud. So we felt it necessary to give readers and fans a sneak peek to the process, and especially the talent, behind the design and look behind award-winning Audrey Press children\’s books like The Fox Diaries, Dragons are Real and  The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

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FIRST, the talent…or \”talented man\” of several of Audrey Press\’ published works.

Roscoe Welply is quiet, thoughtful, and brilliant…and we hear he likes skateboards too 🙂 Roscoe has a great story and we encourage you to go here to read more about him, his life, and his work.

But we also wanted to get to the \”meat of the potato\”…namely what it was/is that inspires Mr. Roscoe, and how he creates the amazing works-of-art that he does. The best way to achieve that? A little Q&A of course. So Charlie author and co-creator Valarie Budayr plopped on her Interview Hat and whipped up a few questions for Roscoe. Enjoy.

Valarie: When taking on a project like The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, how did you approach the entire project from a design perspective? Did you break it down by sections first or did you decide how the whole book should feel?

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Roscoe: When I work on a book project, in my mind I first try to picture what it might look like as a whole, and more importantly the general feel and atmosphere of the book. To do so, I usually close my eyes and listen to music and my imagination does the rest. Usually, pictures and images start flowing into my head and I do a quick sketch of the images, approaches, and ideas that seem interesting. This kind of sets the general tone for the book. Then the first thing I do is design the cover and the first chapter of the book. Once these are done, the whole tone of the book is set in terms of colors, fonts, textures and so on. I then design the other chapters based on the first one to make sure everything is coherent and consistent throughout the book. Once the first draft of the whole book has been designed, then I usually go back and redesign a few pages or elements that just don’t seem to fit, until I am happy with the final result. But this is just the beginning since the editor then goes through the whole book and often asks me to modify or redesign hopefully just a few elements, but sometimes even whole chapters need to be redesigned. From this point on, it is really a team effort to get everything right the way we like it.

Valarie: Could you describe what your process was like for The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? (i.e. research, planning, medium, cutting, pasting, texturing etc. )

Roscoe: To answer this question I will give you an insight into my design process by looking at one of the images I have created for The Ultimate Charlie to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When my idea is set, my process always starts with searching for images. Once I have found all the images that I want the design starts with Photoshop.

  • Step 1. I start off by choosing a background, in this case a sky. I then adjust it (levels, colors, size, color overlay…) and crop it as I wish. I add guides showing the middle of the page as well as the golden lines, which will affect where the foreground objects are placed in order to have a nice composition.
  • Step 2. I then choose the foreground, in this case the factory. It is important for the foreground object to blend in perfectly with the background, so I adjust the tone, saturatio, and colors. I also add highlights and shadows depending on where the light is coming from. In this case, I have added highlights on the right edge of the chimneys. (Image 2)
  • Step 3. I add the other foreground objects one by one. Adjusting the scale, changing the color and saturation and even sometimes distorting them so they blend in properly with the picture. Here I distorted the elevator so it would correspond to the image’s viewpoint and perspective. (Image 3)
  • Step 4. Finally, I add details to each element using highlights and other blending modes. Here I have added the silhouettes of the people in the elevator, as well as blue highlights, debris and a slight haze under the elevator to make it look like it has just crashed through the factory roof. Last but not least, I flatten the image and add a lab mode effect to make everything blend in. Once the image is finished in Photoshop, I open it with Indesign and add the text. Et voilĂ . (Image 4)

Valarie: I know that you’ve done a lot of graphic art work for advertising, posters, labels, magazine lay-outs etc. How is working on a large activity book different from other projects you’ve done?

Roscoe:Working on a large project like this requires a lot of organization, time management, compromise and objectivity. Unlike small-scale projects like poster or advertisement designs, designing a whole book is challenging in the way that everything is interlinked. Each page has to look nice by itself, blend in nicely with the chapter and also be consistent and go well with the book as a whole. When designing a book, one mustn’t be afraid to go back and even redesign a whole chapter. Actually just modifying a few pages can have a strong impact on how the book will feel as a whole.

Valarie: One last question; Which spread from the book is your favorite and why?

Roscoe: I would have to say spread 60 (the first two pages of the Up & Out Chapter), just because they were fun to produce and actually turned out nicer than I had originally imagined they would.

To find out more about Book Designer Roscoe Welply, visit his website HoneyGrove Designs, or on his Facebook Page. We\’d also like to add that Roscoe was the talented magic behind the delightful graphics in Audrey Press\’ first book The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to Our Garden.

“Live the life you love and Love the life you live”.-Roscoe Welply

One More Thing

COMING SOON! The much-anticipated sequel to JIAB intern, Hannah Rials\’ runaway YA hit, Ascension. Book Two in the Ascension series is Clandestine and its already bringing in raves reviews.

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“Gripping until the very end.” – Scott Reintgen, author of Nyxia

“Dark, surprising, and full of twists, the Ascension series is a delectable addition to vampire canon. Rials paints a rich and engrossing world of vampires, half-vampires witches– each with their own agenda. Cheyenne’s struggle to be free is one that every girl will recognize, and I rooted for her as she bristled against the roles cast for her by society. It’s the story of a girl yearning to come into her own powers, powers both frightening and beautiful.” ~Maggie Thrash, author of L.A. Times Book Prize nominee Honor Girl

Clandestine by Hannah Rials\
Cheyenne Lane never believed it could come to this—imprisoned by her own family, who are plotting to overthrow the vampire Council. Ripped away from the happiness of her summer romance and friendship in New Orleans, Cheyenne is forced to begin her education at Clandestine, the secret Deuxsang University, one year early.
She is guarded constantly, separated from her best friend Anne, and desperate for any word from Eli and the witches. Meanwhile, her cousin Lilith has discovered that Cheyenne possesses all four vampiric abilities—unheard of for a Deuxsang—and intends to use her in the Ascending’s rebellious scheme.
At 17, Cheyenne finds herself the center of a centuries-old conspiracy involving the vampires, Deuxsang, and witches, and everyone is telling her who she should trust and what she should do. Her head is too full of voices and opinions, and it’s time for Cheyenne to make up her own mind.
Is she ready to step into the role she was made for? Who can she trust? Who is her friend and who is her enemy? Is she really a born leader? All questions that only she can answer. As the information and scenario gets more confusing, she knows she must listen to her intuition if she is going to shift the truth from all the lies.

Pre-order Clandestine HERE (release date: July 21, 2018)

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