As many of you know, and if you don’t know you need to find out, URBAN AINT DEAD is all about giving the people who contribute to your favorite authors and their work their shine! This go around, we are shining our spotlight on Akire of AK Covers!
1. First and foremost, how do you feel about the current state of urban fiction book designs? When you look at the urban charts and see all the covers of the trending books, how does it make you feel?
To be honest, I honestly feel like the cover market is over saturated. At the same time, I am proud to see the charts lit up with urban books.
2. Where did your passion for graphic design begin?
I’m a creative at heart… so anything that involves creativity I dive in headfirst.
3. How did you know that you wanted to be a designer of urban book covers?
When I first started as a writer… there weren’t many urban cover designers around. There were literally a handful. I saw a need pursued it.
4. What are some of the most challenging aspects of being a graphic designer?
Learning new ways to reinvent yourself. I never want all of my designs to look the same. It’s fine to have a signature style, but saying stagnant will get you left behind in this business.
5. Are there any design elements or requests that you wish authors would let go of?
The colorful text, all of the extra fluff on the covers. I’m sorry but it makes the covers look like old No Limit/ Cash Money album covers.
6. Which genre’s do you most like creating for?
7. Do you prefer when authors come with their own ideas for covers, or when they give you free rein to be creative?
LOL… don’t kill me, but I prefer free reign. You can give me a concept or a small snippet of what the book is about and I can make it happen. Most of the time author think they know what they want until they see what they wanted and it’s not giving. I’ve never had a customer not love a cover they let me just have creative control over.
8. What are some of your favorite covers that you’ve designed so far? What makes them special to you?
Newest would be The Love Scars Series. And any cover I’ve done for author Alecia J. Because she has entrusted me to all of her independent covers.
9. Amongst all of the graphic designers in the urban fiction community, what makes you and your designs stand out from the rest?
I’m a student. I never stop learning. I incorporate elements from all genres into urban covers.
10. If there was anything that you would like authors to keep in mind before reaching out to work with a graphic designer, what would it be?
Be realistic… everything will not be exactly how you want it to be, but as designers we work to get as close as we can to it.
11. Do you have any advice for individuals who want to dive into graphic design?
Learn the program you want to work within first… taking cover making classes will only get you so far. There are tools and techniques that you still need to learn and study to make you stand out.
12. What’s next for AK Covers?
More designs, more clients, more learning!
Thank you so much Akire for your time and all that you do for the Urban Fiction community.