The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: Cover Designer Interview

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Today, we are thrilled to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. And because I’m obsessed with cover stories, we’re chatting with Marci Senders, the lead designer for Disney-Hyperion and the woman behind the gritty, attention-grabbing cover for The Darkest Minds. Thanks to Marci for stopping by today!

darkest mind blog tourWhere did you start with design ideas for the cover of THE DARKEST MINDS? What was your original concept, and how did it evolve to the final design?

Our very first comps had the Psi symbol…they were pretty and more colorful. We also tried showing figures and more conceptual directions. Ultimately, we went back to the Psi symbol but in a much grittier way.

As a designer, talk about the importance of color palette, typeface, etc. when putting together book covers for a specific demographic?

The goal of a designer is to get the tone of the book across as quickly as possible. Since the symbol was really rough, the title was kept really simple and it is easy to read over the background texture. We kept the background colors dark and muted to go with the story and the help pop out the bright orange symbol and type. You also find out that the color orange is as symbolic as the symbol itself.

Why go with a design-based cover, as opposed to a photo-based cover or a more traditional illustration?

This is a bold story and I think showing the bold symbol works really well with the tone of the book.

What do you hope the cover conveys to potential readers?

That The Darkest Minds is an intense story. The gravel texture and the symbol created out of an oil spill hints of the road trip storyline.

Can you tell us a bit about what you’re thinking for the sequel’s cover?

The next cover in the series is still in the works but I will say that the symbol that we are going with hints to the adventures ahead.

The Darkest MindsAbout The Darkest Minds:

When Ruby awakened on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” Because Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby knows that she is one of the dangerous ones and, when the truth comes out, she barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run and desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her, Ruby joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what she did to her parents.

When they arrive at the safe haven, East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work too, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. And soon Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

The heart-pounding first book a near-future dystopian series, Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds will leave you begging for the next installment.

Alexandra BrackenAlexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.  She recently relocated to New York City, where she works in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books.  You can visit her online at or on Twitter (@alexbracken).

The Darkest Minds Blog Tour Schedule


2 thoughts on “The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: Cover Designer Interview

Add yours

  1. wow cool 🙂 It’s on my ” up next to read” book list as it is getting high praise! I bought it last week! It should be good!

  2. You know, when I saw the first chapter it had this cool old paper look that I thought something was wrong with my kindle! I love that it looks so different from a lot of normal covers.

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