Tech Talk with Debi Warford

Debi Warford Design

ladyofthehavenDebi Warford is a graphic artist who specializes in making authors look good. As you can see by the example here, her book covers capture the heart of the story. Click on the picture to enlarge. Notice the detail? The model was not visiting this castle. Debi set the model’s photograph against the background. The result is seamless. Also notice how she blends the colors and uses tone. She put the light in the window of the castle and stuck a couple of stars in the night sky. The reader’s eye is drawn to detail and they will want to pick it up and look inside. That’s what writers want. Debi’s covers sell books.

So why hire a professional? Why not do it yourself? I asked Debi those questions and more.

Tell our readers three things about yourself.

1. I’m a graphic designer who decided later in life to start a new career.

2. I’m also a jewelry designer with an Etsy site. I specialize in Victorian and Elizabethan style jewelry and rosaries. You can see my pieces at

3. I’ve been a strong Christian since 1991 and am very involved in my church. I do quite a bit of pro bono design work for various ministries.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in this field? I was in my mid-forties and feeling very stagnated in my job. I decided to try to reconnect with the things that have always inspired me: creating beautiful things, calligraphy and drawing, and my love of books.

Why do people find it so hard to pay someone else to professionally design a book cover? I think a lot of people don’t understand what professional designers bring to the table. It’s more than the ability to use Photoshop. We are trained in the same artistic principles as fine artists, and we bring those principles to every cover we design. We are also trained in marketing principles and the psychological effects of color and object placement to make the reader want to pick up the book.

cover-back_9781939603203_2700What makes a good book cover attract attention to the viewer? Good use of color, the right typography for the subject matter, and placement of images to create the mood of the book are all important.

What are the advantages of hiring someone to help, compared to do-it-yourself templates? The biggest advantage is giving the author more time and energy to do the thing that they do best—write. Knowing that you don’t have to worry about marketing your book, that your team of editor, cover artist, formatter, etc, are all doing what they do best, frees you to write the very best book possible.

What services do you provide for your client, in addition to the artwork? I also design everything that is associated with a graphic designer: business cards, logos, swag, brochures, websites, anything you can think of that’s printed or on a professional website, has been (or should have been) touched by a graphic designer.

Anything else you’d like to say regarding your field? Being able to do what I love is a great gift, for which I give thanks to God. It is my pleasure to bring a book to life by bringing its cover to life. I have met so many wonderful people through this career, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It is indeed a gift to be able to do what you love and when you do it well, everyone is blessed by the fruit of your labor. Thank so much for sharing your knowledge with us today.

Readers, I hope you will visit Debi Warford’s Facebook page and also her Etsy shop. DebiWarfordIf you decide to use Debi’s graphic skills for your book cover, mention her interview here. The first three customers to mention Writing Prompts and Thoughts and Ideas…Oh My, will receive 10% off the cost of her services. Contact Debi via her Facebook page, or leave a comment below.

Debi Warford graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. Debi is quite adept with employing the most modern technology to the most fundamental artisan methods to create her visual messages. In addition to publishing industry specific designs, Debi also works with commercial arts, graphics, and signage work. She is also a disciplined calligrapher and her illuminated scripture manuscripts hang in many homes. Her hobbies include designing jewelry and firing timeless pottery.

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