9781400034772_custom-9f03e18c061c3f9a68dd77b16d2cfbcda8c42e0b-s6-c30 The-No.1-ladies-detective-agency 9780349116754

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

So I choose this book because I just picked it up from the library to read during my holiday. In the end of March I leave for Botswana on a two week camping 4×4 safari with my husband. Its  trip of a lifetime and I was looking for books to read during the evening to get me in the spirit of Botswana. The book is extremely popular and already has many alternative book covers and also because its a HBO series now, it has DVD series covers and advertisements. The first thing I was going to do was do a little research on the book. Whats it about? Who are the characters? What is the environment? What does the audience already know from reading the Title and what do we want them to know when looking at the cover?

Who is the audience? I figured it was anyone who can read first of all. its a great book and ways to read. Its also on a lot of reading list for people traveling to Botswana. But since the book has the word ‘detective’ in it, the audience could be anyone who is interested in detective, crime solving novels or stories such as sherlock Holmes.

I picked out some Key words such as: Botswana, Ladies, Africa, Detective agency.

The Audience already know that its a detective and crime solving novel from the title. So its important to show the location and energy of the book through the illustration. The image should relate to the environment. The location of the story is important and hugely discussed in the book. I could show african font styles, textiles, motifs. Maybe structures or african animals.

mock up 1

In my thumbnails I copied some of the elements we see already in the book covers I’ve seen.  I also tried making some of my own and played with layout. In the end I wanted to use an animal on the cover as the originals have. But I was going to make my own animal and I thought of a hippo. They are all over botswana, they look nice but they are extremely dangerous and mysterious under the water. I found an image of a hippo popping half its head out the water and it reminded me of a sneaky hippo spying on somebody.


I took that image and traced it on Adobe Illustrator. I changed the colours to make it a little bit more playful. mockuphip

I took that vector image and put it on photoshop so that I could add more elements and create the book cover. I used some african style textile boarders to create a fun boarder. I also used the pen tool to create different colour shapes to represent water and also break up the composition.

mock up

It doesn’t seem like I experimented with text but I did on the program. I just forgot to take screen shot pictures of my process with that. In the end this font choice was my favourite.

I received feed back on all my thumbnails and the two down at the bottom were my choices after the feedback.

Click on the image to see my feedback and my response to it.

mock up 2

My final mock ups are below.

73mockuphippoo 2mockuphippoo


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