Megamemory Kids Book

A book meant to teach kids how to use special techniques in order to enhance their memory. The author wanted a charming, adventurous style that would appeal to children and parents. The entire project encompassed an initial branding, a book cover and a landing page.

The book follows a group of kids who discover the lost heritage of their grandfather and use special memory enhancement techniques in order to solve puzzles in an ancient pyramid. The title translates literally to “The Megamemory Kids and the Sunken Pyramid”.

The Story

Below is a short rundown of the project’s evolution. I talk about how it evolved from sketch to final product, what challenges we faced and my thought process.

Branding

A light blue outline of a child'd head, with the words "the megamemory kids" cut out from it.

The first step was finding the brand. After a quick session with the client determining a mission statement and overall vibe, we settled on a clean aesthetic, mixed with playful, almost childlike fonts.

Initially, there was an idea of using a more literal interpretation of “megamemory”, e.g. using the image of a brain. But in execution we found it lacking in both visual and branding appeal.

I combined an outline of a child’s head with a playful typeface in order to create a pleasing logo. The clients were happy with the initial branding. The selected font had an appealing look when set in only uppercase or lowercase type, while still being very readable. I decided to emphasize “megamemory” in order to set it apart from the rest and use the existing brand recognition of the phrase (see gregorstaub.com).

Sketches

During the ideation phase for the logo, I also sketched the first idea for a cover. It was just a thumbnail and meant to keep the general idea on paper.

We would use a hand-drawn illustration as a basis for the cover, with a white banner all the way around for the logo and title. I chose this approach because illustrations display a kind of innocence and character that flat illustrations and photos often lack and the banner could be used for consistency in subsequent books.

Design

The illustration was to be a hand holding up a wooden torch, illuminating a crumbling wall and revealing Mayan hieroglyphs etched into the wall. These hieroglyphs play a vital role in the book itself as they serve as a central point of memorization.

A very rough cover design, with the white banner, the logo and initial title in the foreground and a crude sketch of a hand holding a torch in the background.

After mocking up a rough cover in InDesign and applying the mark already finished in Illustrator, I drew a rough sketch in Photoshop in order to get a good grip on where objects would be on the finished cover.

The almost finished book cover with all the text correctly placed and everything where it needs to be. The only thing missing is the shading of the drawing in the background.

In the following steps, I finished the major linework of the drawing. In cleaning up the linework I found that the sketched stone wall was too detailed and would create visual chaos with the back copy, so I opted for larger stones.

After some research and experimentation, I found a font that had both a slab serif and sans serif variant. I found that it worked perfectly with the font in the logo. It was neither too playful nor too serious and was (perhaps most importantly) easy to read for kids and pleasant to read for adults.

I used the two weights in order to achieve a fitting visual hierarchy. I decided to insert the major selling points of this book into the banner as this would provide an incentive for potential buyers, giving them a quick peek into what this book provides without having to read the entire copy at the back.

The finished book cover.

Then it was just a matter of cleaning up a bit of Kerning, adding both authors names and finishing up the drawing.

Notable here is the change in the spine lettering. After consulting with the client, it became apparent that the book was too thin to support the height I initially thought I had in the spine. So a completely horizontal arrangement was made with all the words at the top, so they would fit neatly and not become part of the books fold.

The mockup of the finished book. Front and back are visible.

In the end, the clients were very pleased with the end result and the book will is available at hildebrandsons.com, where I also crafted a fun little landing page for the book itself.