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Old 01-10-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
Al Stevens
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First draft of cover for "Beached"

Comments appreciated. I'm particularly interested in what this cover suggests to a browser with respect to the story itself. And, of course, the usual critiques on layout, etc.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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A plane crashes on a beach, like Lost.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Same as what MythMonger said.

Your base image has a lot of potential. The elements all look appropriate to me, in terms of what you are placing on the cover. But the type and placement is sloppy. It looks as if the type has been placed without much regard for your cover image.

Try drawing from the colors that are already present in the image and integrating your type into the concept or theme with regard to the elements within your cover image.

This looks like a fairly straightforward job. I would do the type and placement for you using this image for 25-50 bucks, no gimmicks. I'm available this weekend. Send me a PM if interested.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
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ditto the Lost vibe.

I like the cover, but the clouds make the BE in beached a little hard to read. I'm wondering if it will be muddled if the reader is looking at it in thumbnail size.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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My initial thought is that I would expect something more bold for a post-apocalyptic story. Have you seen Alex Adams paperback White Horse cover? It screams WOW! All caps on the title, dark image, white text, one glimpse of color.

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Old 01-10-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamiekswriter View Post

...the clouds make the BE in beached a little hard to read. I'm wondering if it will be muddled if the reader is looking at it in thumbnail size.
That was a problem, so I added a drop shadow to pull it out. Maybe it should be brighter. The last s in Stevens is similarly obscured. I might shorten and reposition both parts to make them more prominent. I'm using all of the photo, So I can't shift it around. I like the diagonal definition of sky and clouds, and I'm trying to reflect that in the layout of the type.

I'm not familiar with "Lost." A book?

ETA: Found it. TV show.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
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My main reaction is that in a post-apocalyptic world, there would surely be no large passenger aircraft?
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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It doesn't look post apocalyptic at all. It looks like a story about people in danger on a plane, or maybe a missing plane story at a stretch.

I'm not sure you have the means to do it, but I'd suggest a tighter focus. Angle the image so that you're looking up over the wing into a maximum of two or three windows. Show a horror-stricken face in one, and maybe a reflection of the post-apocalyptic landscape in the other. If you have access to clip art, you should be able to find something that works.

Regardless of if you want to do something like that or not, right now, it's a generic image. You need more "WOW."

Also, proportion-wise, your name is far too large. The title needs to be the biggest word on the cover, with your name significantly smaller.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
My main reaction is that in a post-apocalyptic world, there would surely be no large passenger aircraft?

Of course there would. But they wouldn't be flying around for long. Consider what must become of whatever's aloft when the apocolypse takes place.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:51 AM   #10
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Generally books that are described as post-apocalypse are more than a few minutes or hours "post". Hence my confusion.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:51 AM   #11
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Thank you, Cyia. That's quite an idea.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
Generally books that are described as post-apocalypse are more than a few minutes or hours "post". Hence my confusion.
Understood. The story begins with the flight, which is indeed over in a few hours, but the story itself is about survival afterward.

Your point is well-taken, and the cover might lead browsers to the wrong assumptions. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:01 AM   #13
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I would assume it's the cover of some kind of current-day thriller/disaster/survival story. Not post-apocalyptic.

And seconding what has been said about the type.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:55 AM   #14
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I would assume it's the cover of some kind of current-day thriller/disaster/survival story. Not post-apocalyptic.
Even though that's how the subtitle identifies it?

Thanks for the comment.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:04 AM   #15
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Even though that's how the subtitle identifies it?
Welcome to the Art & Design forum where we critique images.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Even though that's how the subtitle identifies it?
Given the image and that impression, I wouldn't get as far as reading the subtitle. And even if I did, the disagreement between the two would be another reason to move on -- because mixed messages look unprofessional.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:21 PM   #17
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Even though that's how the subtitle identifies it?
I should probably call it a tagline.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Stevens View Post
Even though that's how the subtitle identifies it?

Thanks for the comment.
Take a look one day at the bookstore at just exactly how many books there are. There's a lot of us that will peruse covers by eye, and the image had better pop and grab us, with a direct relation to the story itself.
I see the image, first thing that pops to my mind is some event on a plane or a cross country love story.
Pass and move on. I probably wouldn't even read the cover, other than curiosity to see why it's put in the wrong section of the bookstore.
Post apocalyptic? Does their apocalypse start after they land or when the arrive at Cabo?
Sorry, that was uncalled for.
Pick something apocalyptic.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #19
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Does their apocalypse start after they land or when the arrive at Cabo?
Before they land.


Thanks for the comments.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:04 AM   #20
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Without the words "Post- apocalyptic," I would've thought this was about people downed in a plane crash or shot down in a war. The picture doesn't quite capture your plot ...
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #21
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I agree, and thank you. I'm still looking for a good photo of a jetliner with mushroom clouds on the horizon. Or a way to Photoshop it. Good mushroom cloud pics are hard to find.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #22
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I also immediately thought of Lost, what with the plane, the title, the 'story of survival' bit.

Also agree the sizing is way off - looks odd with the name and title equally large, or close.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:24 PM   #23
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Thanks, cornflake. I noticed that they are rerunning Lost on a cable channel. I'll have to watch an episode or two. Gilligan's Island in the 21st Century?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:48 PM   #24
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I agree, and thank you. I'm still looking for a good photo of a jetliner with mushroom clouds on the horizon. Or a way to Photoshop it. Good mushroom cloud pics are hard to find.
Try talking to Melanie over at Ink Slinger Designs. She's an AWer and does great work!
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