Case study

New Lights from Old Truths book cover

For this history book, we combined engaging images from the past with bold, fresh design elements to create something readers will want to pick up and buy.

Project snapshot


Sister Maureen Abbott, Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana

What we delivered

  • Book cover design

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.

Though the book’s content was historical, Sister Maureen wanted a book cover that felt inviting instead of stale. She wanted to ensure that her labor of love found readers and conveyed the lively spirit of its contents. There was also a challenge present in 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!)

And since the book would be available for sale both in-person and online, the cover had to catch readers’ eyes from a distance or at small sizes.

A fitting 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 front cover gives clear, understandable hierarchy to the long book title and information. 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.

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 Bookshop listing.

The front cover gives clear hierarchy to the long book title and information, and the back cover brings more engaging photos and a well-designed quotation reference.
The final printed piece is bright and inviting in its place for sale at the Sisters of Providence gift shop.

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