Before I could start churning out covers, I needed to make sure a consistent design was in place. The first step, to facilitate faster browsing and scanning, was to make sure the same information always appeared in the same spot. We identified three signifiers that would always be visible and clear—subject, type of learning material and grade level.
I wondered how strict we should be in regards to 1 color and 1 typeface. In regards to teachers and students: is ordered uniformity too boring for them? And certainly a design for 1st Grade Counting would not look the same as a 10th Grade lesson dealing with inequality. After getting some feedback from teachers and looking at what teachers were sharing on Pinterest, we opted to make the covers less on the uniform side.
Planned in tandem with a redesigned search/browse page, we set about standardizing the displayed information as well as taking the first steps to form a distinctive look. After the logo and title, space still seemed a bit restricted, so we settled on separating the grade and subject and putting it on the card.
For freelancers, I developed a checklist of things to consider when making a cover as well as a template to start. I developed a graphics library for them to use to facilitate faster turnaround time and ensure consistency of style.
Jump to 2 years and 2,034 covers later. Most of the back-covers are complete and a system is in place for new covers. Here are some of my favorite covers below.