PDA

View Full Version : Opinions on my cover design, please



Alessandra Kelley
01-23-2012, 05:09 AM
I'd like to hear people's opinions on this cover which I've done for a mystery written by my husband, Richard Garfinkle. While I paint a lot, I'm always a little cautious about my design work. D'you think it works?


http://www.alessandrakelley.com/img/thumbnails/UD1.jpg

There's a larger version on my website if you'd like to see details:

http://www.alessandrakelley.com/img/illus/pub/UD1bigger.jpg

merrihiatt
01-23-2012, 08:17 AM
My eye is drawn to the white art on the left. Is this for an e-book cover or a paperback cover (or both!)? As a thumbnail, you will lose a lot of detail, especially the authors name. The way the buildings sway inward doesn't seem realistic, although it does convey a sense of something. I'm not sure what. The title is clearly visible, even when I reduce it to thumbnail size.

Eli Hinze
01-23-2012, 08:33 AM
The striking white draws my attention most out of everything on the page, and unless that's where you want the focus to be, I'd consider changing it up. The only thing that really bothers me about the cover is the feathery/blurry black cloud beneath the title. It looks a bit like an amateur Photoshop effect to me.
Aside from that, the painting is really quite nice, though I don't see how it has much to do with the title. Maybe I'm missing something? Either way, good luck!

thothguard51
01-23-2012, 08:38 AM
How does the cover tie in with the title?

Gale Haut
01-24-2012, 02:09 AM
The painting is gorgeous. The photograph in the middle is not integrated well. It needs to be in a frame that lines up with the tile on the floor, so that it looks more like the boy is standing in front of a gateway (I'm assuming that was the intent). I'm also not a fan of the font effect. It's very retro in a bad way, and it also looks really cheesy as the size is reduced and detail is lost. The typeset you chose is fine though.

But again, the painting is truly beautiful. I love the color reflections on the tile that bring all the colors together. Could you make the other elements reflect in the tile as well for better integration? Or if you like I could do it. As I recall, I owe you a favor Alessandra.

Alessandra Kelley
01-24-2012, 07:53 PM
Thanks everyone for your help. I agree that the white sculpture at the left draws the eye too much, and am just about to go back to the easel and fix it.

Gale, thanks for that really generous offer! But I think I'll work on it myself.

I'll also take your suggestions on the typeface, but I really have to get down to the studio now. Hope to talk & thank more later.

EMaree
01-25-2012, 01:03 AM
I'll echo Gale here - it looks like you've got some sort of 3D embossing/metallic effect on the text with drop shadow? I'd keep it simple, just the coloured and outlined font - the metallic effect makes the text more difficult to read. You can use stroke/outlines instead of drop shadow to keep it 'standing out'.

Alessandra Kelley
01-25-2012, 05:47 AM
Er, that was Stroke, I just messed with it a lot. The new typography is a lot simpler and the font effect is gone.

Here's the revised version:


http://www.alessandrakelley.com/img/thumbnails/UD2.jpg

It's for a mystery with metaphorical overtones. The MC at the age of seven, in the late 1960s, discovers a murder scene in his home and either goes mad or retreats into a fantasy world of architecture created by his much older sister, discovering a universe of other worlds as he does so. Eventually he conjures up death as a person, conversing with it. The ambiguity of what is really happening is deliberate.

This is an ebook cover, although I've made the original very large in case we get to do a paperback version. The perspective on the buildings is odd, but it exactly matches the house in the photograph ... well, almost. I've fudged it a bit on the far left. In the original painting it gives a sense of vertiginous looming which is, unfortunately, a bit lost in reduction.

There isn't supposed to be a gate between realities, just one and the other simultaneously. I have made it a bit sharper in this version.

You guys were right about the font effect. It had a jiggly, slightly mad thing going which made it harder to read, and the black just didn't work. The new stuff is absolutely simple.

The author (my husband) doesn't mind that his name is not visible in thumbnail size. Me, I'm not so sure, but I'm not going to push it.

Thanks all for your input.

merrihiatt
01-25-2012, 06:44 AM
I like it so much more now! It almost feels like the person is walking into another world. I am much more drawn into the scene and the artwork to the left is simply there, not an attention-grabber. The title is better, too. Nice work!

Gale Haut
01-25-2012, 07:12 AM
Wow. What a difference small changes can make. Alessandra, this looks so great. I really like it.



There isn't supposed to be a gate between realities, just one and the other simultaneously. I have made it a bit sharper in this version.

Oh, Okay. I get it now. Did you try playing with blending modes? You could soften the edges and have a soft transition. Or maybe even integrate the image into the painting only as reflections...

Okay, I'm not trying to highjack your work, just brainstorming. And the photo still bothers me more than it intrigues me so... :-/



The author (my husband) doesn't mind that his name is not visible in thumbnail size. Me, I'm not so sure, but I'm not going to push it.


Change the font to a higher temperature color like white and the name will pop more.

I love your paintings. I hope you find a finished product you're satisfied with for this project.

Lady MacBeth
01-25-2012, 07:36 AM
Wow. What a difference small changes can make. Alessandra, this looks so great. I really like it.


Oh, Okay. I get it now. Did you try playing with blending modes? You could soften the edges and have a soft transition. Or maybe even integrate the image into the painting only as reflections...



I like the second version much better too, but I think softening the transition between the painting and image might work.

Just want to add that I love your paintings and your husband's novel sounds like a good read. :)

Carradee
01-25-2012, 05:49 PM
The author's name isn't really readable, and is that font free for commercial use? Make sure to check—if it came with your computer, it's probably just free for personal use.

Other than that, it strikes me as a bit busy—but then, I tend to prefer simpler covers. (See the one for A Fistful of Fire as a case in point.)

randi.lee
01-25-2012, 05:57 PM
I like the second version much, much better! The font effect on the first go was a bit harsh.

Alessandra Kelley
01-31-2012, 02:48 AM
The book is up and live on Amazon here, (http://www.amazon.com/Unknowable-Death-ebook/dp/B0073G9YYW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327963588&sr=8-1) with the last iteration of the cover, which is a little tweaked from the version last seen in this thread, including a more readable author name.

And Carradee, thanks for the head's up. I'll have to go double check which fonts were used.

EMaree
01-31-2012, 03:43 AM
Looks great. :)

etherme
01-31-2014, 09:20 PM
Very nice!

Maryn
01-31-2014, 11:16 PM
etherme, take a look at the date on these posts. You've "necroed" a thread from two years ago, pushing the threads with active discussion down one slot and reviving a discussion which has apparently been over for two years.

Not the worst thing you could possibly do, of course. We all get a few free Oopses.

Maryn, pleased to meet you