Chances are you’ve heard of the book “The Purpose Drive Life” by Rick Warren, an influential Christian pastor who founded Saddleback Valley Community Church in Southern California, a megachurch attended by 20,000 people weekly. The tome has sold well over 30 million copies in more than 50 languages worldwide since its publication in 1992. With the approach of the book’s 10th anniversary this fall, Warren and his publishers decided the time was ripe for an update – and a new cover design courtesy of 99designs. (Book cover design is a rapidly growing category at 99designs – click here to learn more about it and see some examples of recent covers.)
Thousands of cover design submissions for the refreshed book, to be re-titled “What On Earth Am I Here for? The Purpose Drive Life,” poured in from more than 600 designers around the world; you can view them on the contest page here and also read the full design brief drafted by Warren’s publisher, Michigan-based Zondervan.
What was Zondervan after? In the brief, the publisher informed designers that “the image of the tree and its roots is a key visual metaphor and should be strongly considered when building the design,” but emphasized the goal of creating a cover that was fresh, modern and compelling to an audience new to Warren’s work.
Brian Montes, a 25-year-old graphic designer from Davao City, Philippines, wound up with two designs in the top five Zondervan shortlisted, and ultimately won the $3,500 prize.
Montes, who goes by the 99designs screen name ianskey, specializes in book cover, magazine cover and logo designs. He joined 99designs in 2010 with the aim of enhancing his design skills and having the opportunity to conceptualize new types of designs. Here, he shares his thoughts with us on the contest and his win.
Why did you enter this particular design contest?
The prize amount, of course, got my attention! But I also felt a special connection to the contest. I’m a Christian, and my church held a series of “40 days of purpose” sermons using “The Purpose Driven Life” as a guide. The book inspired me to strengthen my principles in life, so designing a cover for the new edition was personally a very meaningful opportunity for me.
Also, I’m always on the lookout for contests with active contest holders who provide a lot of feedback to designers along the way, and where many designers are competing. Zondervan was extremely responsive – one of the best contest holders I’ve ever encountered.
You’ve entered a lot of contests and have been successful in many of them. Do you have any recommendations for how contest holders can make their contests appealing to designers, and improve their interactions with them?
I think contest holders benefit from being open to creative suggestions and ideas from the designers entering their contests. They should also be quick to respond and give feedback, so designers have time to make revisions. And, if they want to get the best designs possible, it always helps to increase the prize amount because some of the best designers tend to be very picky about which contests they enter.
What do you plan to do with the prize money?
It’s the most I’ve ever received for a project, and I plan to use it to help start my own design business and help my church.
How do you feel about the idea that your book cover could be seen across the globe?
It’s truly an honor and privilege to have won this contest – my family and friends are thrilled and so proud of me. It’s exciting to think my cover design may be seen in bookstores worldwide and could help Rick Warren’s messages touch more lives. And, of course, I hope it indeed proves eye-catching to a new generation of readers!