Cropped view of New Lights book cover, featuring a sepia toned photo of nuns with the book's title in two overlapping red and gold circles.

About the book

Sister Maureen Abbott is a writer, historian, and member of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. She spent years researching and writing the latest volume of her congregation’s history. Sister Maureen wanted to ensure that her labor of love found readers and conveyed the lively spirit of its content.

Project to-do list

  • For this historical content, design a book cover that feels inviting instead of stale or boring
  • Ensure clear information hierarchy with the necessarily long book title, which had several subtitles and many words. (New Lights from Old Truths: Living the Signs of the Times. History of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, Volume IV: 1926–1966. Phew!)
  • Consider both in-person and online sales, catching readers’ eyes from a distance or at small sizes.
Paperback book lying on the table.

Project milestone

A fitting front cover

As designer for the Sisters of Providence at the time, Christina brought her own love of reading to the project. First, she selected particular historical photos with personality and engaging faces. Then she combined them with fresh and vivid design elements. To clarify the long title, Christina broke it into shorter pieces, arranging them in order and with a clear hierarchy. The final front cover gives clear, understandable hierarchy to the long book title and information.

Project milestone

Finishing it out

The back of the cover features a quote from the congregation’s foundress from which the book’s title is taken. Christina highlighted the relevant words with their corresponding colors to make the connection clear. Friendly faces in the pictures hint at the book’s contents. Finally, Christina paid special attention to the book’s spine to make sure any discerning library patron would take note.

Book cover design for New Lights from Old Truths, by Sister Maureen Abbott
The front cover gives clear hierarchy to the long book title and information, and the back cover brings more engaging photos and well-designed quotation reference.
The final printed piece is bright and inviting in its place at the Sisters of Providence gift shop for sale, and the spine would catch the eye of any discerning library patron.

Project results

Out in the world

The result is a modern book cover that looks eminently readable. It appeals to the hardcore history lovers as well as the casual non-fiction readers intrigued by the stories within. The book’s cover is well-suited to its contents, and it looks great everywhere, from a physical bookstore shelf to its listing.

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