50 Shades of Gay

I’m writing this on a day where the mummy porn, 50 Shades of Grey book has just become the best selling book of all time. Yes, ALL TIME. Mad. Anyway, this is probably my first attempt at designing (or re-designing!) a book cover and my guess as to the next EL James book, specifically for male homosexuals!?


1 Google sourced hi-res image of the real 50 Shades of Grey cover for reference purposes,
1 sxc.hu sourced 3D Male Symbol image,
1 Clarendon Light Font to match the original book font.


First up was to re-create the original book cover’s background. A kind of dark blue/green felt or fabric texture with a gradient dark (top) to light (bottom). To create a similar texture, I first added the gradient sampled from the original background colours. Then I added a couple of smart filters to this layer, Smudge Stick & Smart Sharpen, in that order, messing with the filter settings on both until it looked like the original background.

Next, I added a glow effect at the bottom right as in the original simply by using a round marquee selection filled with white and with much Gaussian Blur applied. I then set this layer to Overlay and lowered Opacity to 75%. I manually drew in some white blemishes/scuffs around this area to match the original and faded them out a bit via Opacity.

Next I added the text in the same area and at the same size and colours as the original book. I then cut the male symbol out of it’s background with the Pen tool and placed it in the composition, duplicating it and positioning both symbols between the text in a similar position to the original cover’s tie. I edited the symbol colours slightly to match the background and then added shadows under both by duplicating the symbol layers and changing lightness to fully dark and applying Gaussian Blur. I manually drew in some further shadows under the top symbol to make it sit on the bottom one a bit better.

Here’s the final image:

50- Shades of Gay

Published by

Leon Quinn

Multimedia Design company in Leitrim, Ireland specializing in WordPress Website Design, Photoshop and Graphics. www.reverbstudios.ie

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