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CQuinlan
04-15-2013, 10:55 PM
The idea was to get her turning into smoke but I couldn't pull it off. :(

Concerns:

Does it look 'home-made'?

Could you tell it was fantasy from this picture?

Is the font okay?

Are the colours okay?


http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i84/Chizabubble/DSC_0079-1.jpg (http://s70.photobucket.com/user/Chizabubble/media/DSC_0079-1.jpg.html)

veinglory
04-15-2013, 11:07 PM
The concept is workable but the graphic is very blurry and the font is dark and small making it indistinct. I would suggest using a much higher resolution picture and a much larger, bolder font.

Alice Xavier
04-15-2013, 11:10 PM
Hey I'll bite! :)


The idea was to get her turning into smoke but I couldn't pull it off. :(

Concerns:

Does it look 'home-made'?

Yes. For a number of reasons. First, you have some very visible JPG artifact going on in your stock image. Fix this by using a better resolution stock photo (ideally one that is 2000x3000 px or something). Second, the typography doesn't look too hot. Third, you have a weird aspect ratio. Try giving your cover 2:3 dimensions (vast majority of trade-pub ebook have 2:3 covers. 1400x2100 px is the recommended minimum size for ebook covers.



Could you tell it was fantasy from this picture?

Generally, yes. Could be paranormal, too.



Is the font okay?

Not really. Typography is one of those things that appears simple but is actually quite difficult to pull off well. Frequently, the typography is what tips me off that a cover is home-grown. The text effects really aren't working, either. You'll see very little of this on pro covers.



Are the colours okay?

Yeah, the colors are pretty nice.

I think the first thing to work on are getting a better quality image (that's not full of artifact - pro covers will have crisp, flawless photography). Not sure where you sourced this photo, but there are cheap sites like CanStockPhoto where you can get high resolution images for like $5. Then look into the typography. FontSquirrel has great commercial-use fonts (I do not recommend DaFont because even though there ARE good fonts there, 95% of them are crap), and Book Cover Archive (http://bookcoverarchive.com/) is a wonderful repository of beautiful pro covers. Observe the typography.

CQuinlan
04-15-2013, 11:12 PM
Will look into those and try find a better image and font.
Thanks guys!

Alice Xavier
04-15-2013, 11:20 PM
Here's a nice image: http://www.canstockphoto.com/images-photos/sexy-girl-hands-hips.html#file_view.php?id=9506102

And here's a nice font that I think will work well for this cover: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/IM-FELL-English-PRO

Gale Haut
04-15-2013, 11:31 PM
That image is not the right resolution for you cover.

JulianneQJohnson
04-15-2013, 11:36 PM
I'll start by saying I am not a professional, I just have eyes.
I love the idea of the cover. The pic intrigues me, but as others have stated, it needs a higher resolution.
I like the font choice for the title, though slightly bigger might be more readable. However, the font choice fails in regards to the author name. It's too small for that font to be easily legible.
Overall, it could use some tweaking, but my first reaction was "Cool!" Then I got to the nit picky stuff.

Colleen Cowley
04-16-2013, 07:25 AM
Here's a nice image: http://www.canstockphoto.com/images-photos/sexy-girl-hands-hips.html#file_view.php?id=9506102

And here's a nice font that I think will work well for this cover: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/IM-FELL-English-PRO

Ooo, I like both that image and font. The font especially, which looks misty but is very readable.

I like the concept of your cover, CQuinlan. I think you'll really have something with a higher-res base photo and a better, larger font. Make sure you can read the title and your name at the Amazon thumbnail size.

Oh, and yes, your concept totally says "fantasy" to me. :-D

CQuinlan
04-17-2013, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the advice and help guys.


This is the second attempt:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i84/Chizabubble/Covers/DSC_0079.jpg (http://s70.photobucket.com/user/Chizabubble/media/Covers/DSC_0079.jpg.html)

veinglory
04-17-2013, 08:00 PM
Wow. Nice. The only thing I am not totally in love with is the tag line. I would suggest either dropping it or making it a larger italic font. Also, it might ready better as: "What keeps them safe, might kill them all" (?)

slhuang
04-17-2013, 08:01 PM
Much better than the first. Graphic is better, title font is better, everything's better.

Things that jump out at me:

* The author name looks stretched out.
* There's a problem in the graphic on the side of her body, just above her hand. It looks like a Photoshop mistake.
* When I read the title, my eye lands . . . right between her legs, and I feel like I'm staring at her crotch. This could be mitigated by giving her a long, flat black skirt instead of the short shorts, and would also make your author name easier to read.
* I don't like the words in the upper left. I like the concept of having words there in general, to balance the composition, but the font feels off and the words themselves feel weak (with the "might kill them all" part).

Hope this helps! In general, much much better than your first attempt.


Thanks for the advice and help guys.


This is the second attempt:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i84/Chizabubble/Covers/DSC_0079.jpg (http://s70.photobucket.com/user/Chizabubble/media/Covers/DSC_0079.jpg.html)

Alice Xavier
04-17-2013, 08:05 PM
Wow! Huge improvement! The new image works really well and the smoke effect looks really good with the higher-res photo quality.

However, two things I would still nitpick are the underline beneath Mist and the stretched author name - stretching fonts is a big no-no in typography land and tends to add to the 'homegrown' vibe. If you want the lettering to extend the width of your text area, try adjusting the letter spacing (kerning). For the underline, it looks a bit out of place - either use a straight vector line, or get a 100% hard brush and hand draw it so that it looks like the vintagy lettering of Mist.

Some other things you might try would be to make the tagline italic - I just love the look of italic taglines, and it denotes 'tagline' clearly - and perhaps try a sans-serif like this: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/corbert in all caps, smaller size, extra letter spacing, for the author name to balance out the strong look of the distressed Fell font for Mist.

edit: ha, beaten on the italic tagline.

Rachel Udin
04-17-2013, 10:31 PM
I, personally, dislike italics. (italic font, is fine, making it italic is kinda defeating--I can give the lecture on why this is, but it's kinda dull, honestly.)

I'd kill the tagline. To me tag lines say: I couldn't get the image to say what I wanted, so in order to get the image to say what I wanted, I'm reverting to words. (Tagline can work if they are both integrated into the design, and if they actually add/augment, rather than try to replace the image/design.)

I dislike the font... (Reads sloppy typewriter to me, which just confuses me.)

And I have to say that the type setting really doesn't please me. The hard line, for example, is cheap and often discouraged. (It divides the picture plane which is usually a bad idea)

The large size font with NO margins really bugs me. (Since I have been saying type reads on NEGATIVE, not positive space.) Margins help readability, not size. The type also crosses with a pattern, also making it difficult to read. Simplify your type.

(Typography is so thankless an art--no one notices it's right until it's wrong. Though beautiful typesetting still makes me gasp when it's complex.)

Also the stretched font. Please don't...

The typography feels like it was slapped in as an afterthought. You need to think of type as part of the overall design, not a last minute thought. It, too, is a graphic element and should deserve the respect of being a graphic design element.

Though I should note, I was previously guilty of all the above before... XD I learned better.

The image itself has improved from the first draft.

Colleen Cowley
04-18-2013, 05:50 AM
I dislike the font... (Reads sloppy typewriter to me, which just confuses me.)

Really? Even though it's got a misty look to it? I like it, which just goes to show what I know.

SBibb
04-19-2013, 04:45 AM
Much better, it looks a lot more professional. I like the tagline, personally, though I'm not sure about the font. (Agreed, does look a bit type-writer-ish).

For the font, maybe try adding a pale, hazy smoke around the back, like with the picture of the girl, or giving it a faintly perceptable glow. Maybe make the font just a bit thinner, or smaller. You should check that it fits within the cropping guidelines-- depending on if you plan to print with this, as it feels a bit closer to the edge.

But definitly, this looks really good with a few adjustments to the font. :-)

Gale Haut
04-19-2013, 10:18 AM
I really don't like the type.

aibrean
04-25-2013, 07:49 PM
I don't like the type either. There are some proportion issues. The character looks like she's from earth and it's modern, so there is no reason to have an "old" looking font.

I would have gone with a thin font...maybe even Trajan (compliment the delicate nature of mist itself). I'd also think "MIST" would display better. That line is too thick. I'd have gone with a simple but stylish separator.

See some examples below.

http://thedesigner.ws/images/mist1.jpg
http://thedesigner.ws/images/mist2.jpg

Toothpaste
04-25-2013, 08:09 PM
Ooh, I really like the first of the two font suggestions, aibrean.

I also have issues with the tag line. The problem is the "it". It took me a while to figure out that "it" was the mist. It also weirdly reminded me of that line from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: "It rubs the lotion . . .".

I don't think a tag line in general is a bad idea, but maybe there's something stronger out there?

aibrean
04-26-2013, 02:39 PM
That first is Trajan. There is Optimus Princeps which is the free look-a-like alternative.

http://www.dafont.com/optimusprinceps.font

Toothpaste
04-26-2013, 06:24 PM
I am most familiar with Optimus, I used it on my own cover actually :) . It's a really lovely font: http://thatcovergirl.com/2013/04/18/authorthoughts-and-behind-the-design-adrienne-kress-outcast/

Rachel Udin
05-01-2013, 08:17 AM
I dislike separator lines. =P Probably because it screams to me that the person couldn't figure out a better solution to space the elements correctly. And there are some obvious better solutions you can play with. Such as not pressing the size of the font to the maximum, but letting negative space do the work of readability. Mostly, you have to stop thinking of type as a last minute need and start thinking about it as an element that occupies real space. Dare I say it? Thumbnail and experiment some solutions?

Despite that, the three font suggestions seem to fit the description of the story very well. I like the soft serif look.

Optimus Princeps, I have a small quibble with the serif on the s compared to Trajan, but I'm just being picky and freaky.

JQ377
05-06-2013, 12:40 AM
I really like the effects and colors in the second attempt, just not the font. The suggestions are better.

CQuinlan
05-27-2013, 09:21 PM
Hi guys and gals,

sorry for bugging you again. I haven''t been able to get back to thins for awhile but I took on what you all said about the type and the by-line. Then I messed about a little bit and ended up with two versions I like. (Let me know if you think the type could be placed better. :) )

The first:
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i84/Chizabubble/duo.jpg (http://s70.photobucket.com/user/Chizabubble/media/duo.jpg.html)

Or the second:
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i84/Chizabubble/canstockphoto9506102.jpg (http://s70.photobucket.com/user/Chizabubble/media/canstockphoto9506102.jpg.html)

Or neither, both could be better?

Moldy
05-27-2013, 11:22 PM
I really like the first of the two. I have no design knowledge but as a consumer, it's very pleasing.

My only concern would be how it looks as a thumbnail; the words are a bit smaller than in the example with the underline/dividing line.

She looks mistier in the second but I don't think it's worth the dulling of the color.

Gale Haut
05-27-2013, 11:59 PM
I really don't think the graphic is ready yet. The dissolve effect would really benefit from being more precise. Check out the process that this individual went through to get a nice looking particle dissolve effect into smoke: http://www.videocopilot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=56498