Gas station without pumps

2018 November 18

New book cover draft 4

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:40
Tags: , ,

My best book cover design so far (Another book cover design) was based on a design by a former student.  My son suggested that the schematic diagram was too wimpy, and that I should make it more cartoony with bold colors.  This also fits well with some of the content of the book, as students are taught to color-code the nodes of a schematic for easier wiring. So I drew the schematic using hand-coded SVG and placed it on the inkscape SVG cover design getting:

I can easily change the colors of anything here, but it is important that the four nodes (the wires in the schematic) be different colors.

Any more suggestions? The feedback from my blog readers on this has been quite valuable.


  1. Yep, that looks much better to me as well. The bolder schematic is quite striking. Nice work.

    Comment by bob therriault — 2018 November 18 @ 22:05 | Reply

  2. I’m not a fan of bright primary colors, but this definitely has a more consistent look than the previous design. Nice suggestion from your son. Its a bit unbalanced that the vertical spacing between “Applied Analog” and “Electronics” is larger than the distance between “Electronics” and the subtitle; I’d rearrange that a bit.

    Comment by RFon — 2018 November 19 @ 05:17 | Reply

    • Also–this is getting nitpicky–the + and – are not perfectly vertically aligned, and the brown and purple inputs are not the same distance from the edge of the gate. It might be worth keeping a “first draft” style drawing as a didactic point, but then I’d try and emphasize it a bit.

      Comment by RFon — 2018 November 19 @ 05:23 | Reply

      • I had noticed the +/- alignment problem. I’m not sure what is causing it, as I have the labels starting at the same x-coordinate. I may need to change the – to a − (that’s Unicode en-dash to Unicode minus) to get better visual matching in this font.

        The gate inputs are also at the same x-coordinate, but the y-coordinates are wrong—I had to move the triangle down to prevent clipping in the bounding box of the schematic, and neglected to move everything else down. I’ll fix that.

        Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 November 19 @ 08:58 | Reply

        • Yeah en-dash will probably make them equal-width. If you want to rely on x-coordinate for centering you have to also set the text-anchor to middle:

          Comment by RFon — 2018 November 19 @ 21:51 | Reply

          • I started with an en-dash, but it turned out not to be the same width as “+” in whatever sans-serif font Inkscape uses (BitstreamVeraSans is what seems to have been used). I ended up switching to the real minus sign (Unicode U+2212, UTF8: E2 88 92) which has the same width and stroke width as the “+”.

            Text anchors don’t help much, as I have no way of knowing exactly where the “middle” of a text string will be vertically for a given font. The SVG spec is not clear, and it may depend on the font. Given that I had little text to place, it was just as easy to use absolute positioning of the default text anchor (left end of the baseline).

            Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 November 20 @ 07:41 | Reply

  3. Hi Kevin, Speaking as a designer, I would put more space between your name and the graphic—”Kevin Karplus” looks like part of the chart where it is now. I would also make the graphic at least 10% smaller to give everything a little more breathing room. And perhaps move your name to the right corner for a more active design. I agree with the comment above that the vertical spacing of title/subtitle could be adjusted. Perhaps put the subtitle in italics? I’m assuming that for a scientific publication you don’t want to get to adventurous with your typeface choice?

    Comment by lisah — 2018 November 19 @ 07:35 | Reply

    • I agree with Rasmus and you about the spacing, and I had already asked my wife if my name was too close to the EKG trace—so your taste in design seems to agree with mine. I’ll adjust the spacing, shrink the schematic, and see what I think of putting my name in the right corner.

      I would prefer a better font, but my preferences in fonts may not work well for the light-on-dark title. I generally prefer serif fonts, but don’t think one would work well here. For sans-serif fonts, my favorite is Optima (I like all Zapf’s designs), but thought it might be too delicate, even in bold, for light-on-dark. I’ve got about 80 fonts to choose from on this laptop, and several more that I did not move over from my old laptop, so if you have some suggestions, I’ll listen to them (as long as they are not Windows-only fonts).

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 November 19 @ 08:38 | Reply

  4. […] Here are some tweaks to the book cover, based on blog-reader comments from New book cover draft 4: […]

    Pingback by New book cover draft 5 | Gas station without pumps — 2018 November 19 @ 13:52 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply to RFon Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: