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CrystalCierlak
06-19-2012, 10:14 PM
So I came up with the idea for this cover the other day and quickly made a mockup in Photoshop (for a few hours). I have to use my older Dell laptop since my Macbook Pro doesn't have Photoshop on it, and the color differences between the two are very noticeable. I went back and forth between the two and have come up with a version that I really like, but I still see some places where it can be improved.

I'm concerned with title placement and visibility of the text. I'd also like to read any thoughts on initial impression of the graphics, if they pull you in or not. Any comments/constructive criticism in general would be very appreciated.

Image: http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-7.jpg

I'm also playing around with the idea of flipping the image 90 degrees, which I have an example of here:

http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/landingimage2.jpg

The font on this image is one from the first image, but I feel like it could be better. In fact, I think all of the text needs work to increase visibility.

Edit: I added a new version in post #18
Edit 2: I added a new version in post #33
Edit 3: I added a new version in post #40

Alpha Echo
06-19-2012, 10:18 PM
Frankly, I'm impressed. I think the text needs a little work, to make it a little more readable. But other than that, that's pretty awesome!

veinglory
06-19-2012, 10:29 PM
The text should be clearer and you don't need "a novel by". Other than that the graphic is nice. It makes me think YA sci fi with female protagonist. Is that on target?

CrystalCierlak
06-19-2012, 10:38 PM
Frankly, I'm impressed. I think the text needs a little work, to make it a little more readable. But other than that, that's pretty awesome!

If I may ask, why "impressed"? I take it that's a good thing. I do agree about the text and it's something I've worked on for about 8 versions of the cover. The perfectionist/OCD in me wants to get it just right.


The text should be clearer and you don't need "a novel by". Other than that the graphic is nice. It makes me think YA sci fi with female protagonist. Is that on target?

Thank you. Does "A novel by" make it sound as if it's some sort of great announcement? Like, "and now, a novel by Crystal Cierlak, whom you've obviously been aware of your entire life." It seems a bit wonky to me, lol. I can definitely change it.

You're not far off on the subject. It's new/adult (the MC is 25) and definitely sci-fi/romance with a bit of fantasy.

Cyia
06-19-2012, 11:00 PM
25 isn't "New Adult". It's plain adult. New adult is the categorization for college years, so you're looking at 18-22.

CrystalCierlak
06-19-2012, 11:17 PM
25 isn't "New Adult". It's plain adult. New adult is the categorization for college years, so you're looking at 18-22.

Well people seem to have differing opinions on that. Why is a three year age difference (22 to 25) so significant in terms of genre when a story about someone in their 40's or 50's (two or three decades in difference) is also considered adult? I'm mostly going by generation so if it helps, consider it a book for Millennials (which is 18-30).

SBibb
06-19-2012, 11:25 PM
I actually like the cover and the text treatment. It took me a moment to read "Thanatos" but Zoe felt clear. You might check it at thumbnail size, but I think it looks intriguing. :-)

Edit: I'll note that your last name is a bit hard to read, though.

Gale Haut
06-20-2012, 02:23 AM
This is a nitpick, but I hate it when I see stars overlapping planets is these kinds of images.

Other than that, it looks good. The text is hard to read though.

Filigree
06-20-2012, 03:33 AM
It looked less like a star than a J.J. Abrams-style lens flare. But the dual planets do give a distinct sf impression. I agree: see if the text is clear in a thumbnail version, because that's going to be your first online exposure.

merrihiatt
06-20-2012, 05:30 AM
The collision is stronger in the 90 degree version, but it will be a challenge to get the image in the right dimensions for a book cover since it is wider across than from top to bottom. I like the blue and pink, reminds me of a young woman and young man colliding emotionally, as well as literally (as in the blowing up of two worlds).

CrystalCierlak
06-20-2012, 08:07 AM
The collision is stronger in the 90 degree version, but it will be a challenge to get the image in the right dimensions for a book cover since it is wider across than from top to bottom. I like the blue and pink, reminds me of a young woman and young man colliding emotionally, as well as literally (as in the blowing up of two worlds).

I had never even considered the blue and pink as gender references. That kind of blew my mind as there is definitely that kind of dynamic between the female MC and the male MC. Very interesting.

Nick Rolynd
06-20-2012, 09:36 AM
I'm impressed. The image and the title are gorgeous, but I would recommend adding a white border/shadow around the letters for your author line. Your last name is particularly hard to read because that one spot on the blue planet is darker than the rest. Simple fix, though. Great work. =)

(Also, I like the original version better than the 90 degree angle thing.)

Perks
06-20-2012, 06:21 PM
I think it's a striking cover. Nice work!

Cyia
06-21-2012, 12:25 AM
Well people seem to have differing opinions on that. Why is a three year age difference (22 to 25) so significant in terms of genre when a story about someone in their 40's or 50's (two or three decades in difference) is also considered adult? I'm mostly going by generation so if it helps, consider it a book for Millennials (which is 18-30).


Because the maturity / experience difference in a 22 yr old vs a 25 yr old is vastly wider than that of a 40 yr old vs a 50 yr old.

22 is the average graduation age for undergrad work. By the time someone's 25 they'll either be in grad school or well established in their career path. The "finding yourself" stage is over. Many, if not most, are considering families and it's more likely that they've already got kids of their own.

CrystalCierlak
06-21-2012, 05:42 AM
Because the maturity / experience difference in a 22 yr old vs a 25 yr old is vastly wider than that of a 40 yr old vs a 50 yr old.

22 is the average graduation age for undergrad work. By the time someone's 25 they'll either be in grad school or well established in their career path. The "finding yourself" stage is over. Many, if not most, are considering families and it's more likely that they've already got kids of their own.

Well that wasn't my life experience and research actually shows that that traditional path is no longer actually "traditional". Many people are going to school later in life, they're more likely to put off having children and getting married (IIRC 1 in 3 are more likely to put it off). And that's just in the Millennial generation alone.

I was 26 when I graduated with my BA in Art and I'm now 29 and working on a MA in Media Psychology. When I graduate with my PhD I'll likely be between 34 and 36 years old. My boyfriend of 4 years and I very much want to get married but are putting it off, as we are with having children.

So there's no typical experience for a person of a particular age. Yes, at 29 I'm a different person than I was at 20/21, but between 22 and 25 I was still trying to figure out my identity. So that's how I cater to my characters... through my life experiences.

Plus I did say it was "new/adult" meaning new-slash-new-adult.

Channy
06-21-2012, 06:03 AM
This is a nitpick, but I hate it when I see stars overlapping planets is these kinds of images.

I see what they're getting at. It bothers me too a little bit.

Maybe if you had the more concentrated planet area denser, and starless? The middle where they begin to merge with the mist could maybe have some stars, scarely, but there. But the little twinklelights on the planets bugs me a bit too.

Your surname is hardest to read, as it merges into space.. but if you took out the "a novel by", as already suggested, and centered your name, then the problem would fix itself.

Nonetheless, it's beautiful! Definitely impressive for a DIYer, and if you have the skills to, why the heck not.

CrystalCierlak
06-21-2012, 11:51 AM
I'm looking forward to making the recommended changes you guys made. Thank you so much for your input everyone!

CrystalCierlak
06-26-2012, 12:24 AM
I made a few changes, mainly to the stars overlapping the planets, the "a novel by" text, and how my last name appears. To me it still looks as though the last part of my surname is disappearing. I may start over and re-build from scratch. Hmmm...

Here is the newer version:

Link to full-size image (http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover.jpg)

veinglory
06-26-2012, 12:33 AM
I would suggest fading the name to a dark gray and giving it a shadow to help it stand out.

CrystalCierlak
06-26-2012, 12:38 AM
I would suggest fading the name to a dark gray and giving it a shadow to help it stand out.

I tried. The background is set against is basically like a gradient so when I change the text color it becomes lighter on one side and darker on the other. I can't seem to find the perfect balance.

Channy
06-26-2012, 03:17 AM
Well what if you extended the white cloudy area behind the name? Is that portion of the picture a fixed point, or can you still add to it via a layer? I think maybe if you extend it down to your last name, specifically the K and maybe a tiny bit beyond, so that it's not obvious that the sole purpose of it being there is because of the name, then I think you're golden.

Also, still nitpicking but there's still 10 stars or so in the blue planet. XD Sorry, but it is yours, so if you like those there, keep them. But I think that now the planets have been purged of stars, they look even more out of place.

Gale Haut
06-26-2012, 05:10 AM
I like the newer version better. Very nice job applying feedback.

Jessianodel
06-26-2012, 05:32 AM
The cover seems empty to me, but that's probably more because I'm used to books with blurbs on the front and little images from the publisher.

So besides that the cover looks really professional and well done! I noticed that the title letters are slightly shadowed but your name doesn't seem to be shadowed. It's really a very small thing, but as a suggestion you could try and see if it looks better one way or the other.

Really awesome cover!

CrystalCierlak
06-26-2012, 08:26 AM
Well what if you extended the white cloudy area behind the name? Is that portion of the picture a fixed point, or can you still add to it via a layer? I think maybe if you extend it down to your last name, specifically the K and maybe a tiny bit beyond, so that it's not obvious that the sole purpose of it being there is because of the name, then I think you're golden.

Also, still nitpicking but there's still 10 stars or so in the blue planet. XD Sorry, but it is yours, so if you like those there, keep them. But I think that now the planets have been purged of stars, they look even more out of place.

Yeah I'll definitely try that out to see how it works! I still have the original .psd with all the layers to play around with so that's not going to be a problem.

So without the stars the planets look empty? But it looks better when the stars aren't there?



I like the newer version better. Very nice job applying feedback.

Thank you! :D



The cover seems empty to me, but that's probably more because I'm used to books with blurbs on the front and little images from the publisher.

So besides that the cover looks really professional and well done! I noticed that the title letters are slightly shadowed but your name doesn't seem to be shadowed. It's really a very small thing, but as a suggestion you could try and see if it looks better one way or the other.

Really awesome cover!

That's something I was thinking about recently. It doesn't have a tagline or anything of the sort on the cover. That's not really something I thought about but I'm going to look at other book covers and see how I can learn from them to make mine better.

The letters around my name have basically a color outline that's sort of like a drop shadow. That's the piece of text I'm having the most difficulty with so I'll have to just play around with it until it looks good.

I'm really touched you think it looks professional. Guess I'm putting my art degree to good use! LOL

Gale Haut
06-26-2012, 08:42 AM
When it comes to commercial design, whitespace can be a godsend. I advise to compare your image to bestsellers in similar genres and see if it is more or less naked than most.

Jessianodel
06-26-2012, 09:10 AM
Yeah, listen to Gale as he is, from what I've seen so far, waaay better at this than I am. Possibly even infinitely better ;)

Channy
06-26-2012, 11:37 PM
Yeah I'll definitely try that out to see how it works! I still have the original .psd with all the layers to play around with so that's not going to be a problem.

So without the stars the planets look empty? But it looks better when the stars aren't there?

Oh good, then I think it'll turn out perfect.

Oh no, not empty in a bad way, sorry. I just meant that when you left some stars in (after you purged most), they look out of place, when the planets SHOULD look empty. So there's these few randomly placed stars at the bottom that kind of stick out, when there aren't any in the design of the (pink) planet when it's solid.

You know what I mean? It sort of comes across as.. get rid of all of them (in the planet areas) to make it look cleaner. Leave a few and it looks messy or out of place.

CrystalCierlak
06-27-2012, 04:44 AM
Oh good, then I think it'll turn out perfect.

Oh no, not empty in a bad way, sorry. I just meant that when you left some stars in (after you purged most), they look out of place, when the planets SHOULD look empty. So there's these few randomly placed stars at the bottom that kind of stick out, when there aren't any in the design of the (pink) planet when it's solid.

You know what I mean? It sort of comes across as.. get rid of all of them (in the planet areas) to make it look cleaner. Leave a few and it looks messy or out of place.

Gotcha. That makes perfect sense now. Thank you for clarifying!

Old Hack
07-07-2012, 10:31 PM
Crystal, could you please reduce the size of your image in your first post in this thread? We have to keep images down below 400 x 400 pixels here as it causes problems for some of our users. Thanks.

James D. Macdonald
07-07-2012, 10:55 PM
The graphic is fine (other than the stars being visible through the planets, which should be an easy fix).

The words "A novel by" aren't a problem; you see them on all kinds of legitimate novels. (Mostly they signify "this is mainstream/literary.")

Having the text essentially camouflaged is a problem. It needs to be legible at postage-stamp size. Consider strong primary colors for the text.

Toothpaste
07-08-2012, 01:34 AM
Have you looked at the cover thumbnail size? As James said, in this day and age it's almost more important for the cover to look good as a thumbnail than full size. And the title should be legible if possible. Which I worry this one won't.

But I must say, in general, I think you've something really nice here :) .

CrystalCierlak
07-09-2012, 10:29 PM
Crystal, could you please reduce the size of your image in your first post in this thread? We have to keep images down below 400 x 400 pixels here as it causes problems for some of our users. Thanks.

Sure thing! (Sorry I didn't see this until just now)

CrystalCierlak
07-09-2012, 10:37 PM
Have you looked at the cover thumbnail size? As James said, in this day and age it's almost more important for the cover to look good as a thumbnail than full size. And the title should be legible if possible. Which I worry this one won't.

But I must say, in general, I think you've something really nice here :) .

Thank you for the compliment. Unfortunately at this point I think I'm going to have to sacrifice a bit of the artistic quality of the text for something rather plain. I don't like the idea of doing the text in a solid color but I'd rather people be able to see the words in a thumbnail size than to skip over my book because it isn't visible. I almost wish I could have a different image for the thumbnail and leave the cover the way it is.

Anyway, here is a new iteration of the cover. It's a different size and I reconfigured some of the coloring, added in some lighting fx and cleaned up the font a little. I'll find a way to make a solid font work with the stylization of the current font.

http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-2-1.jpg

Channy
07-10-2012, 04:40 AM
I think that looks great now! Sometimes you need to be wary of too much contrast, but I feel that there's enough for everything to stand out, in a different way. The name pops, your name pops, the planets pop.. It's pop-sical! Still not sure on the A Novel bit, but in a different font, it gives it a different feel.. almost.. more technically, alluding that it is definitely a Sci-fi. It doesn't doesn't hurt the cover this time, as much as the plain text did last time.

Fantastic, good luck!

CrystalCierlak
07-10-2012, 12:31 PM
I think that looks great now! Sometimes you need to be wary of too much contrast, but I feel that there's enough for everything to stand out, in a different way. The name pops, your name pops, the planets pop.. It's pop-sical! Still not sure on the A Novel bit, but in a different font, it gives it a different feel.. almost.. more technically, alluding that it is definitely a Sci-fi. It doesn't doesn't hurt the cover this time, as much as the plain text did last time.

Fantastic, good luck!

Wow! Thanks!! I was trying to allude to something a bit different with the "A Novel" font. I've never actually used that font before and I just thought it was so cool and technical looking against everything else going on. I'm very happy you picked up on that!!

Channy
07-11-2012, 12:51 AM
Neither have I, but with most fonts you can tell right away what it's trying to convey, and I think this time it actually helps the cover. It's not like you're using it as the main text of the title, because then that would be overkill. The text of your name and title are plain, well, font plain, but the A Novel bit adds the touch of genre that it needs. Great job.

I like shiny, bright covers and this is definitely one I would pick up and at least flip through, by simply judging the cover.

Toothpaste
07-11-2012, 02:00 AM
Okay, now I'm getting stupid picky, but I am a cover obsessive, so I hope you'll take it all in good faith :P . I like how the title is easier to read, and I don't have a problem with "a novel", it's done all the time, and I think it's cool :) . But there's something about your name at the bottom that doesn't sit well with me. It kind of makes me think of a text book. I really liked how you had your name right under the title etc in the last version. Is there any way you think you could make your name a bit smaller and put it in the middle of the Earth like planet? So not quite attached to the title, but still in the image?

Not sure it will work, but it was an idea I had :) . (totally ignore all of this if you utterly disagree)

CrystalCierlak
07-11-2012, 04:22 AM
Okay, now I'm getting stupid picky, but I am a cover obsessive, so I hope you'll take it all in good faith :P . I like how the title is easier to read, and I don't have a problem with "a novel", it's done all the time, and I think it's cool :) . But there's something about your name at the bottom that doesn't sit well with me. It kind of makes me think of a text book. I really liked how you had your name right under the title etc in the last version. Is there any way you think you could make your name a bit smaller and put it in the middle of the Earth like planet? So not quite attached to the title, but still in the image?

Not sure it will work, but it was an idea I had :) . (totally ignore all of this if you utterly disagree)

No, I actually agree with you 100%! I think it's because the font is so basic and it is very starkly contrasted against the black. I tried it out with the rest of the text and it had a tendency to look a bit heavy in the middle. I'll certainly try to fiddle around with it again because I do want to make sure it is perfect. Maybe a different font would work, too? Hmm.

Toothpaste
07-13-2012, 06:27 PM
I think a different font may be the way to go, but still a straightforward one. One that is less thick/bold will probably make it look less heavy.

Keep me posted!

CrystalCierlak
08-17-2012, 02:48 AM
I know it's been a few weeks but I suddenly had some new thoughts on the book cover and ended up making an alternate cover.

http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-altedition_tumb.png
For a full-size version click here (http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-altedition.png) (1000x1600)

There are still a few minute changes I want to make, such as moving the two planets slightly and adjusting the green of "zoe" (it looks a lot darker on my MacBook Pro than it did in Photoshop on my Dell). Other than that I really really love it. The text is so much clearer to read and I like that the two plants essentially form a loop (an important element to my story).

BrokenSword
08-17-2012, 03:12 AM
I liked the previous version, even with your name at the bottom; for me, everything just popped. This last, while also cool for what it is, didn't hit me the same way. Your title esp seemed less substantive. Also, I'd not use 'by', imo.

Overall, really is striking though.


Michael

CrystalCierlak
08-17-2012, 03:39 AM
I liked the previous version, even with your name at the bottom; for me, everything just popped. This last, while also cool for what it is, didn't hit me the same way. Your title esp seemed less substantive. Also, I'd not use 'by', imo.

Overall, really is striking though.


Michael

Thanks, Michael. I appreciate your honesty. :D

NewKidOldKid
08-17-2012, 06:12 AM
I like the two last versions, actually. Is this for Kindle, though? The cover looks really long.

CrystalCierlak
08-17-2012, 06:32 AM
I like the two last versions, actually. Is this for Kindle, though? The cover looks really long.

Yes. I keep finding conflicting information about the dimension requirements so I'm going by what is stated in the book Amazon released about properly formatting for Kindle publishing. *fingers crossed* I have everything saved in such a way where I could easily put together a new version in a different size, if needed.

Six Alaric
08-17-2012, 09:06 PM
Nice work! I like this latest alternate one best. The larger plane of black makes it look bolder, IMO. The colours of the planets have an eye-catching effect without being garish.

Onlytim
08-17-2012, 09:23 PM
Love the cover art! Nicely done. What do you think about placing the Title at the top and your name at the bottom? Sort of balance the whole cover look and accent the art work at the same time.

CrystalCierlak
08-17-2012, 11:00 PM
Nice work! I like this latest alternate one best. The larger plane of black makes it look bolder, IMO. The colours of the planets have an eye-catching effect without being garish.

Thanks! I like the larger pane of black, too. I like that the text is easier to read.


Love the cover art! Nicely done. What do you think about placing the Title at the top and your name at the bottom? Sort of balance the whole cover look and accent the art work at the same time.

I'll give it a try to see how it looks but so far I really love the two planets at opposite ends and the text in the middle. I do need to make a few slight adjustments but I'm willing to try new things!

Channy
08-18-2012, 06:32 AM
I'm not sure which I prefer.. both have excellent elements.. I like the misty-ness of the Earth planet, but not so much of the pink planet... I liked in the previous version how the planets were larger, it gave me almost an overwhelming, encompassing feeling.. But I like in this new version how the title and name stands out.

But definitely no 'by' in there.. It seems too.. middle grade essay to me. I've never been a fan of 'A novel by," or "By so and so"

aibrean
08-19-2012, 04:10 AM
I use a 6x9" ratio for Kindle and haven't had any issues.

Jessianodel
08-19-2012, 07:24 AM
The thing I like about version 1 is that the middle really pops and makes me notice it. However the top/bottom (depending on where your name is placed) looks really empty. The second version solves the emptiness but isn't as...Pop-y. IDK, I'm probably just helping you complicate the issue lol. If I had to choose, I would probably go with the first version.

aibrean
08-19-2012, 06:46 PM
One thing to consider is legibility from a thumbnail. Can your book title and name be easily read?

twiharder
08-19-2012, 07:11 PM
I like the one on post 40. Very eye catching. Good advice about the thumbnail thing. Never thought about that before.

Six Alaric
08-19-2012, 07:13 PM
Thanks! I like the larger pane of black, too. I like that the text is easier to read.

To be honest, the text is still a little difficult to read.

One suggestion to try (I'm assuming Photoshop usage here, sorry if I'm wrong): poking around the blending options of the text layer and using the stroke feature. With that set to the same colour as the text and positioned at the centre, it would help make it slightly thicker/bolder. Whether that looks good or bad is another thing entirely, lol, but it's worth a try.

CrystalCierlak
08-20-2012, 01:24 AM
I'm not sure which I prefer.. both have excellent elements.. I like the misty-ness of the Earth planet, but not so much of the pink planet... I liked in the previous version how the planets were larger, it gave me almost an overwhelming, encompassing feeling.. But I like in this new version how the title and name stands out.

But definitely no 'by' in there.. It seems too.. middle grade essay to me. I've never been a fan of 'A novel by," or "By so and so"

The planets are the same size in both versions actually. But the dimension of the image itself may be different between versions which, combined with the black space, could give the illusion of size difference. I like that the first one gave you those feelings because that psychological element is very important to the narrative.


I use a 6x9" ratio for Kindle and haven't had any issues.

I'm awful at math/numbers in general so I'm not really sure how that translates to pixel size. I could easily find out though, and I will (since it has worked for you).



The thing I like about version 1 is that the middle really pops and makes me notice it. However the top/bottom (depending on where your name is placed) looks really empty. The second version solves the emptiness but isn't as...Pop-y. IDK, I'm probably just helping you complicate the issue lol. If I had to choose, I would probably go with the first version.

No, I completely understand. That's why I'm torn on both versions. I wish I could make something that combined the two but by the time I add in text placement and whatnot it becomes a hot mess.

I love the idea of using the first version for the print edition of the book, but I also have to consider the spine and back cover which complicates it more. I was thinking the alternate version could be for the ebook but I want it to have that same initial pop feeling.

I guess I've got my work cut out for me!


One thing to consider is legibility from a thumbnail. Can your book title and name be easily read?

That is essentially why I made the alternate version, because the first one isn't as legible in a thumbnail size. Although, the font on the alternate version (which I absolutely love) loses a bit of clarity the smaller the thumbnail gets. But yes, that is definitely a concern, and one that may trump ~artistic license~ if I can't find a suitable compromise.



I like the one on post 40. Very eye catching. Good advice about the thumbnail thing. Never thought about that before.

Thank you! :D



To be honest, the text is still a little difficult to read.

One suggestion to try (I'm assuming Photoshop usage here, sorry if I'm wrong): poking around the blending options of the text layer and using the stroke feature. With that set to the same colour as the text and positioned at the centre, it would help make it slightly thicker/bolder. Whether that looks good or bad is another thing entirely, lol, but it's worth a try.

That particular font is tricky. It looks good when bolded so I may try that. I did fiddle around with the blending options, including a stroke, and I just couldn't get it to meet my expectations.

Thank you all for your input so far! It's been immensely helpful!

aibrean
08-20-2012, 04:15 AM
1800x2700 pixels (or anything in that ratio)

CrystalCierlak
08-21-2012, 10:55 PM
1800x2700 pixels (or anything in that ratio)

Thanks.

Rachel Udin
08-22-2012, 04:15 AM
This is a nitpick, but I hate it when I see stars overlapping planets is these kinds of images.


This. It'll bug a sci-fi fan.


Frankly, I'm impressed. I think the text needs a little work, to make it a little more readable. But other than that, that's pretty awesome!
This. Typography is an art that people don't tend to pay attention to.


I know it's been a few weeks but I suddenly had some new thoughts on the book cover and ended up making an alternate cover.

http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-altedition_tumb.png
For a full-size version click here (http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-altedition.png) (1000x1600)

There are still a few minute changes I want to make, such as moving the two planets slightly and adjusting the green of "zoe" (it looks a lot darker on my MacBook Pro than it did in Photoshop on my Dell). Other than that I really really love it. The text is so much clearer to read and I like that the two plants essentially form a loop (an important element to my story).

This one I don't like.

Designer present.

"Discover a new world" isn't needed and by isn't needed. You can communicate it just fine by size relationships. Stop trying to put frills on top. You're not helping the dominant-subordinate relationship. KISS it. You do not need to fill negative space. Extra words hurt you, especially when using geometric shapes like this.

The one in Post 33 is the best.

And why is it the best?

The text is readable. (all text)

I also like it because it's simple, minds margins, feels structured (which is what I think you're going for with all those strong geometric shapes)

Even has a triadic feel to the color scheme. (Red, yellow, blue)

How to improve it the one in 33:
- I would fuss a bit and move your name down to avoid the tangency a bit and to balance the margins. (Maybe to where the S in Crystal hits the bright star below it--if that's too far move it to where the l covers the bright star.) This is also partially because the bright green dot is taking away from the negative space of the name as much as the tangency bugs the hell out of me.
- Take out "A novel"
- Take out the excess stars--especially behind the letters (which is hurting the text readability) It's not that hard to do.. you can either use a healing brush (if you have it smart healing brush), or a Gaussian blur... or if you really want to get into it--smudge.
- And that Battlestar Galactica font--kill it. In typography, your first concern is clarity of reading--that font destroys readability because it makes the viewer work extra hard, which isn't the point of a cover. The cover is supposed to communicate your story quickly and effectively. Less effort, the better. They can stare at the pretty later. (That's why less is more in this case)
- Tips for future revisions: Leave it as *just* the title and *just* your name. I swear, you don't need more to communicate it's a cover.

Other than that, you *should* think about the spine and back cover *at the same time* as your front cover. (I learned this in graphic design class... when designing greeting cards)

aibrean
08-22-2012, 04:49 AM
I like the typography of the Zoe text, but at a small size it becomes too thin. You could rework it by limiting the amount of strokes from three to two and making those two thicker.

Gale Haut
08-22-2012, 05:26 AM
I know it's been a few weeks but I suddenly had some new thoughts on the book cover and ended up making an alternate cover.

http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-altedition_tumb.png
For a full-size version click here (http://www.crystalcierlak.com/Zoe/ZOEbookcover-altedition.png) (1000x1600)

There are still a few minute changes I want to make, such as moving the two planets slightly and adjusting the green of "zoe" (it looks a lot darker on my MacBook Pro than it did in Photoshop on my Dell). Other than that I really really love it. The text is so much clearer to read and I like that the two plants essentially form a loop (an important element to my story).

I like the color vibrance, and that you opened the image up. The centered planets made me feel claustrophobic. I do agree about the title being a little hard to read, but when I see it in your siggy, I see that the lines are bolder and it's not a problem there. :)

Good work. :)