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A Book Cover design

From Kansas to Norway

In a parallel universe, poor young Dorothy and her dog Toto have been captured and flung across the ocean by a tornado. Exhausted, but happy to be alive, they wake up in a faraway place in cold Norway. 

After arriving, and accidentally killing the Wicked Witch in the far North, Dorothy puts on the witch's magical red skis to make her way to the beautiful city of Oslo. She hopes to meet with the wonderful Wizard of Oslo to send her back home to Kansas.

On their way through the fjords and forests, Dorothy and Toto meet the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, who join her on the icy trail. 

Together they carry the burden of their wishes and desires through the deep snow, hoping that the great wizard will make their dreams come true. 




»Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.«


»Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.«

 The Wizard of Oz



»I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!«

Wicked Witch of the West

»There is no place like home!«


Letters from A Viking

I picked fonts that I thought would represent the look and feel of an old ancient Viking writing system, called Runes. I stumpled upon the font Heorot which beautifully represents the shape and character of old runes, yet is readable and fun.

Did you know? The first runic inscriptions, or carvings, are from around the year 200 CE, and have an alphabet with 24 letters. Around 800 CE, the alphabet was shortened to 16 letters. Runes were used to write up until the Middle Ages.




Download Font




Download Font



Click on the iPad to see the Sketch. 

Love, Wisdom & Courage

Dorothy's companions, whom she meets along the way, have their own dreams and desires. They want to have a heart, find wisdom and possess great courage. Noble qualities that seem to be rare in our world, yet can be found in each of us. 

»You've always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.« - Glinda

I sketched what I thought was a northern visual representation of these qualities and brought that sketch into Illustrator on the iPad. I used the pen tool to simply draw the lines and create the shapes for each symbol. 

Click on the iPad to see the Sketch. 


Natural & Rough

I got this texture of a piece of wood from the amazing True Grit - Texture Supply. You can get this and many other freebies when you sign up for the TGTS newsletter. It is an amazing package with more than 100 Free Brushes, Textures, Swatches, Vectors & Templates. I chose the wooden texture to add a feeling of roughness and nature to the illustration as well as to support the idea of Dorothy making her way out into the woods of Norway. 

Download Texture





Creating a Pattern Brush

Adobe Illustrator

1. Create a Text using the Font Heorot (Download Above) and type a comma and a dot to make a pattern.

2. Select Text and go to Object → Expand.

3. Open the Brush Panel and click on the icon at the lower right corner to create a new brush. Choose Pattern Brush

4. Adjust the settings for the pattern brush:
- Corner Tiles: Auto Centered
- Fit: Add Space to Fit
- Colorization Method: Tints

5. Apply your new brush to an object with a stroke. 


Flatten Transparency

Adobe Illustrator

When working with blend modes in your illustrations, it can be hard to prepare the file for print without losing the original look and feel of the color.

In my example I had the shapes of the trees on 36% Opacity and the blend mode was set to Screen. 

To prepare the file for printing, I selected the tree shapes and the blue background and clicked Object → Flatten Transparency.

I applied the changes and ungrouped the shapes and the background.

Now you can see that the tree shapes now have the actual color without the blend mode.

The Bones of a Design

The final cover was completely built in Adobe Illustrator, starting in Illustator on the iPad and then moving to the Desktop App. Everything is vectors using symbols, pattern brushes and the pen tool, except for the wooden texture in the Background.

Thanks to Trine Skaug Væråmoen and the Making Design Conference in Oslo for having me as a speaker where I created this book cover to show the possibilities of Adobe Illustrator.

Click on the Book to see the Outline Mode. 

More Digit


The new and powerful Adobe Illustrator Intertwine Tool. In this deep dive, we will take a look at where to find the tool, how it works, in which tasks it will greatly improve your workflow, and when to be careful with it.

Adobe Illustrator


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