How I Made Ruan The Little Red Squirrel – Envato Tuts+

Remember that book I worked on about a certain awesome squirrel who went by the name of Ruan? Well, I have teamed up with Envato Tuts+ to give a wee sneaky peek into how I designed Ruan The Little Red Squirrel’s adventure!

rowena aitken ruan the little red squirrel

It’s called How to Design a Children’s Book: Cover and Internal Pages

Below is an extract from the tutorial to give you a flavour of what I talk about.

This tutorial will cover the creation of the cover and a double-page spread using Adobe InDesign CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6. This will be more of a theory of creating a book and working with a publisher or author than a painting tutorial.

This tutorial documents what happened when I was commissioned to create Ruan The Little Red Squirrel. Each job is different, but most have similar processes—this tutorial documents my experience, and yours may vary

In this tutorial, I cover:

  1. What to Expect From Your Publisher or Author
  2. How I Set Up a Book Cover in InDesign CS6, which will cover the terms and settings you will need to be aware of when setting up a document.
  3. Rough Jacket Layout: To give the client an idea of your intentions and to ensure all the vital elements are in place.
  4. How I Put the Layout Together
  5. Taking Our Layout Into Photoshop to Begin Sketching
  6. Rough Colour Composition—Why This Is Important: To ensure that the illustration will be eye-catching and balanced and the right elements are drawing the viewers attention.
  7. Final Cover Layout in InDesign including the barcode, ISBN, the final blurb text, the heading, author and illustrator credits and spine text, including the book title, the author, the illustrator and the publisher’s name.
  8. Changing the Blurb Colour
  9. Changing the Colour of the Title Text
  10. How to Create a Book Spread
  11. Book Layout and Planning—Maintaining a Flow Throughout the Book
  12. Creating a Rough Colour Palette
  13. Adding the Finished Artwork Into InDesign
  14. Exporting the Book as a PDF
ruan the little red squirrel book front back cover tuts+ envato
rowena aitken envato tuts+ illustration making of ruan the little red squiirrel
rowena aitken envato tuts+ illustration making of ruan the little red squiirrel
rowena aitken envato tuts+ illustration making of ruan the little red squiirrel

I adored making this book and I am more than happy to show how I made it! Playing around with colour and shape is great fun! I adore illustrating animals and Ruan was SO fun. I hope I get to create many more children’s books very soon! This tutorial will give you a step by step guide to my methodology of creating a children’s book.

Ruan The Little Red Squirrel by Rachel McGaw and published by Forth Books is available from Amazon UK

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