The Making of an Osprey Cover

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to design the covers of our books. Here Julian of our very talented design department takes us through the evolution of Allies at Dieppe.

'Allies at Dieppe was quite a close run thing. I was given the design brief for the book midway through April for a June release date, and so I knew that I only had a very short time to turn it around. In fact, we weren’t even really sure about the title. Even at this stage, there was still widespread discussion in Osprey about whether the book should be called US Commandos at Dieppe or Allies at Dieppe.

We did, however, have an image to work with:  


This iconic image seemed perfect for the cover; a British Commando giving a light to his US Ranger Comrade, and it immediately reminded me of a creative approach we’d taken with the cover of No Greater Ally. With this in mind, I started to work up some examples, each exploring different idea I’d had.




I also decided to take the cover in a completely new direction, using the equally iconic emblem of the Commandos set against a contrasted background to really make it stand out. What resulted was very different to what we had done before.


Armed with these concepts, I went along to the fortnightly cover meeting, where members of Osprey gather to decide how our books will look. After some debate, we agreed upon design number one. However, there was still some work to be done. If anything, the picture was a little too good, a bit too sharp and clean. I wanted to give this cover more texture; a rougher, more battle-like edge.


So I applied this rather strange image to the cover, and got exactly the texture I wanted.

The cover was accepted at the next meeting, and that’s the one you see today.'


Thanks Julian! Over the next few months, we'll reveal how other covers were made. In the meantime, the floor is open to discussion; did we choose the right cover?