I found out about the Doubleday "Origin" cover contest on a fluke, and decided to enter last minute. The only directive they gave entrants was that it had to include basic information ("Dan Brown", "Author of the DaVinci Code", "Origin") and that the book had a modern art theme.
By happenstance, I had just visited the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and had a breadth of inspiration to pull from. I emphasized abstract art, as well as the pixel-esque block art popular amongst digital artist. I also looked at past Dan Brown book covers so that mine would fit in, while still retaining its own identity.
I felt the word 'origin' signified not only a starting point but also eventual growth, so the design for the cover is an abstraction of a tree or flower growing from the earth.
Finalist - Doubleday "Origin" Cover Contest