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buz
01-30-2017, 03:54 AM
Howdy-do...

So here's a question.

I hired a stellar typography guy to make a cover for me. I'm very happy with all of the text and surrounding swirliness (though I may ask him to tweak color slightly, but basically---AAAAAA).

But--he asked me for an image to put in the empty space, and I was kinda...buh? I dunno. I tried. And tried some more. Then it occurred to me I should probably hire someone to draw something. But since I'd already stuck my foot in it, I tried a little bit more.

So...I don't know. I did a thing. I'm basically asking if I should give up and hire someone or if this looks good. If the image does the beautiful typography stuff any justice. It probably doesn't? But I've been staring at it too long now...

Anyway. I've done a quick cut-and-paste of my image onto his cover mockup to give an idea of what it would look like as a whole. But there is some wonkiness surrounding the image himself--ignore that, if you would :) (He will incorporate it into the cover better than this.) I'm mostly looking at feedback on a) whether the image itself looks amateurish and b) whether it fits in compositionally and stylistically. Like, if I should hire someone with a better eye than me, basically. :D

Doop. Anyway.

Here be the thing.

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/smokewhale_zps5xntnncc.jpg

"My image" being the whale.

So. What do you guys think...?

Thank you for reading/looking :)

slhuang
01-30-2017, 10:03 AM
LOVE the typography, as you know :greenie

I also love the image. I love it less as a companion to the typography, and I'm afraid I don't love it at all as an image for the story/genre itself (sorry!).

I'll address these separately --

Matching the typography:

* I think you need something that's a little bit more stylized rather than realistic. Something like silhouettes / paper cutouts, or some sort of artistic strokiness (that's a technical term), or something like the art in Adam Christopher's covers, or... something. This doesn't mean that you can't do the image yourself, but maybe you'll have to hire someone with Photoshop skill to adapt it, if you don't feel you have that skill. Dunno. :D

The image content:

* I don't like the whale as representing Numo (either genre or story). It's too... pleasant, lol. It makes me think it's going to be a sweet ballad about whales in love. Seriously, buz, the whale's only role in the story is to explode! ...Hmm, come to that, a dead whale would be better. But maybe not. ;)
* If you want an "object" cover, might I suggest a dandelion? Or maybe even better, a wilted dandelion? A wilted, stomped-on dandelion? A dandelion shedding its fluff until it only has a few strange-looking spiky bits left? This could be done in silhouette or with a limited palette, maybe...
* What happened to the sketch you drew of Numo and Hammerfist? THAT WAS GREAT. I don't know if it could be Photoshopped / adapted to fit the space and the style, but I'd dig something like that too. It shows the creature-ness of it.
* Other ideas: a bloody knife? A raised creature-esque fist? A raised creature-esque fist holding a bloody knife? Something else having to do with revolution? I mean, this is an action-thriller-weird-fantasy-comedy-dramady with tons of feels; I think you need something in the imagery that directly subverts the "love" part, if you can. And bonus points if you can show off the world at all.
* Or, just a silhouette of Numo? Possibly with a dandelion? OR OR OR what about just Hammerfist's eyes surrounded by GLITTERY BESTIALNESS? (Yes I realize "bestiality" is the noun. "Bestialness" sounds more like what I mean.)

Mmmm, okay, sorry, I just tore apart your whole idea. I'M SORRY. *hugs your ankles*

dpaterso
01-30-2017, 10:58 AM
I thought that looked lovely, lol.

-Derek

Silva
01-30-2017, 11:15 AM
Um

GORGEOUS

I do notice the whale is a little off-kilter in relationship to the text. I do not notice that the whale itself is problematic, which it seems is what you are actually asking for feedback on?

However, I also like slhuang's suggestion about the dandelion because I am a sucker for dandelions and you could make the fuzz match the white text and the stem/leafy bits match the gold text Or even just have one dandelion chute lying there with the seed part golden and the chute part white.

But it's all so beautiful.

chompers
01-30-2017, 01:55 PM
I love it. It looks like a literary book though, if that's not what you're going for. It also makes me think of Jonah and the whale.

buz
01-30-2017, 03:59 PM
LOVE the typography, as you know :greenie

I also love the image. I love it less as a companion to the typography, and I'm afraid I don't love it at all as an image for the story/genre itself (sorry!).

LOL, that's fair. You're probably right. :)




* I don't like the whale as representing Numo (either genre or story). It's too... pleasant, lol. It makes me think it's going to be a sweet ballad about whales in love. Seriously, buz, the whale's only role in the story is to explode! ...Hmm, come to that, a dead whale would be better. But maybe not. ;)
* If you want an "object" cover, might I suggest a dandelion? Or maybe even better, a wilted dandelion? A wilted, stomped-on dandelion? A dandelion shedding its fluff until it only has a few strange-looking spiky bits left? This could be done in silhouette or with a limited palette, maybe...

LOL, oddly, I thought I shouldn't go with a flower because I thought it would make it look too "nice"/"soft". Pleasant. :p But if there's some way I can modify it...I dunno. Whurrrr

It was initially a more humorous-looking dead whale, but I couldn't make that work either. :)


* What happened to the sketch you drew of Numo and Hammerfist? THAT WAS GREAT. I don't know if it could be Photoshopped / adapted to fit the space and the style, but I'd dig something like that too. It shows the creature-ness of it.

That would...require a LOT of modification, lol. But it's a fair point. I could see what could be done....


* Other ideas: a bloody knife? A raised creature-esque fist? A raised creature-esque fist holding a bloody knife? Something else having to do with revolution? I mean, this is an action-thriller-weird-fantasy-comedy-dramady with tons of feels; I think you need something in the imagery that directly subverts the "love" part, if you can. And bonus points if you can show off the world at all.
* Or, just a silhouette of Numo? Possibly with a dandelion? OR OR OR what about just Hammerfist's eyes surrounded by GLITTERY BESTIALNESS? (Yes I realize "bestiality" is the noun. "Bestialness" sounds more like what I mean.)

Mmmm, okay, sorry, I just tore apart your whole idea. I'M SORRY. *hugs your ankles*[/QUOTE]

LOL, it's fine. I went with the whale because it's the first thing I thought of, other than flowers (which I thought would be too romancey). It's hardly a great basis for coming up with a cover. I like your thoughts...I just have to figure out how to...do it. :p *licks you hardest* Thanks love <3


I thought that looked lovely, lol.

-Derek

Hahaha, thank you :)


Um

GORGEOUS

I do notice the whale is a little off-kilter in relationship to the text. I do not notice that the whale itself is problematic, which it seems is what you are actually asking for feedback on?

Well, both. I've tried different angles with the whale and it always looks a bit weird to me. I just couldn't tell if it was because I was staring at it too long. :)


However, I also like slhuang's suggestion about the dandelion because I am a sucker for dandelions and you could make the fuzz match the white text and the stem/leafy bits match the gold text Or even just have one dandelion chute lying there with the seed part golden and the chute part white.

But it's all so beautiful.

Hmm, that's a thought. :) Thank you, Silva. :)


I love it. It looks like a literary book though, if that's not what you're going for. It also makes me think of Jonah and the whale.

Hmmm, all right, that sort of lines up with what sl said above -- it's not exactly literary, so maybe even it looks all right, it sends the wrong message. :)

Thank you guys! I will try to get something else going...eventually. Buh.

Having to go to work is the inconvenientest...

Cindyt
01-30-2017, 08:28 PM
I'm not keen about the whale but it has a certain pull with the typography and swirliness.

Alessandra Kelley
01-30-2017, 09:06 PM
A whale skeleton, perhaps?

buz
01-31-2017, 07:20 AM
I'm not keen about the whale but it has a certain pull with the typography and swirliness.


Hahaha, well, the typography I'm very happy with. :)


A whale skeleton, perhaps?

Worth a shot... ;)

Thank you guys for your feedback :) I really appreciate the look-sees. I might impede on your kindness a little further if I can...

I've slapped together a few more ideas. Again, quick cut/paste jobs and I didn't clean things up as much as I would if I knew it were "final" but just trying to get a feel for how these work with the typography and what sort of "feel" it promotes for the book...

What do y'all think?

1) Fire Poker & Saw

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/sawpokerheart_zpssgh2wemc.jpg


2) Fist & Flower

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/fistflower_zpsyt0jy7oh.jpg

3) Skelewhale

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/skelewhale_zpsarjccc7l.jpg

4) The MCs in Hastily Scribbled Silhouette
http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/loversilhouettes_zpsdcguuugi.jpg

slhuang
01-31-2017, 08:10 AM
1) Too hard for me to see what this is. I'd ax this one.

2) LOVE IT. HUGELY LOVE IT. Idea, composition, everything. Maybe someone who hasn't read can weigh in on what it makes them think of the book?

(Note regarding what you said about flowers: I agree that you shouldnt use *pretty* flowers! But unpretty flowers I think are great for this, and #2 I think is perfect, but again, get a weigh-in from a non-beta.)

3) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA I did a spittake on the bus over this one. It is such a perfect encapsulation of the spirit of the book!!!!

Again, get some not-read opinions, but I ADORE this. And the composition works so well with the typography.

4) Hmm, I love your art and I def think this could be made to work, but I think it would take some compositional and stylistic tweaking. Not sure what though. *unhelpful* For some reason it's also coming across to me as more static than the others.

So my choices would be: #2 and #3 are both fucking great imho, but get other opinions. :) #4 I think you could figure out, and the image is supes awesome, but it's not quite grabbing like the others at this very moment. I would't pursue #1.

Note: I'm viewing on the bus on my tablet so everything's in thumbnail, which is good, cuz that's the size you want it to read super well in. :D

slhuang
01-31-2017, 08:13 AM
Actually, now that I'm thinking about it -- can you change #4 compositionally so Hammerfist is overlapping the typography more on top? That might be all it takes for me to adore #4...

Alessandra Kelley
01-31-2017, 08:23 AM
The fist one looks good, but I am totally prejudiced and partial to the whale skeleton. :heart:

Silva
01-31-2017, 08:25 AM
I like #2 and #4 a lot. :) Disparity of sizes in #4 might have more of an impact if flipped (smaller figure in the bigger space, bigger figure in smaller space/overlapping text a little).

be frank
01-31-2017, 08:27 AM
Count me in for the skelewhale. Though I feel like the flipper's impinging too much on the "M" underneath. Curious: How does it look if you flip the whale so it's facing the other way?

My no. 2 choice would be (appropriately) no. 2. But IMO the fist/dandelion image should maybe be shifted across to the right a little. eta: So the wrist is sitting above "ox" maybe?

Mclesh
01-31-2017, 08:29 AM
buz, I'm happy with your cover--love the typeface--except if I didn't know better, I'd think it was The Love Song of Humo and Hammerfist. I'd fix the Ns so they look obviously like Ns and not Hs.

As for the images, my favorite is #4, but if you could move the whole image over to the right a bit, I think that would work a little better. My second favorite is #3. Something about #2 bugs me (even though I totally get it for your story!). #1 I'm not keen on. It's just meh for me.

Overall, though, it's a gorgeous cover to go with a brilliant story.

lolabelle
01-31-2017, 08:30 AM
As someone who (a) has no idea what your novel is about and (b) has very little knowledge of artwork....

I will say that I looked at the image in the first post before reading your post--and I just assumed that's how the book was supposed to look. If I didn't know anything else, I would have just said "Oh wow, what beautiful letters and a cool whale." Then my mind drifted to Moby Dick and Jonah. Not sure if that's helpful, but that's what happened.

I then viewed the other images you posted:

1). I can't really tell what it is and it looks weird.

2). Looks a little "power to the people" to me. Suggests to me it's a political book of some sort (maybe that's what you're after, maybe not)

3). I like that skeleton whale. It really makes me wonder what's going on and what the book could possibly be about...history? science? death? looking at the cover, I'd want to flip to the back and read the blurb.

4). No idea what this is and it seems messy.

Hope this helps! This seems awfully exciting!

lolabelle
01-31-2017, 08:33 AM
love the typeface--except if I didn't know better, I'd think it was The Love Song of Humo and Hammerfist. I'd fix the Ns so they look obviously like Ns and not Hs.



+1 to this

I also thought it was an H, but it looked kind of funny so I thought maybe an N...but I wasn't sure...

ajaye
01-31-2017, 09:06 AM
I love the skeleton with the heart, it screams weird and off the wall. I agree with BF about seeing how it looks flipped, and maybe curved a bit to sit in the space nicely.
Also agree I read Numo as Humo.
Also I need to read this book.

VeryBigBeard
01-31-2017, 09:49 AM
I'd probably buy #3 purely on the cover, if that helps. I'm no expert in covers, and maybe that I'm irresistibly drawn to whale skeletons says something about me, but that's the truth. I'd buy it.

#4 makes me want to look inside. Haven't read this book. Have read other Buz, so possibly a slight bias here but #4 looks suitably weird. There's something promising about the two characters. I want to know what--and, by extension, who--they are. I'd read the first pages to see if the voice matched the weird cover. Knowing your voice, I'm 99% sure it would. (I also like that you drew #4. Not only is it gorgeous, it also seems to fit better. I have no eye for art so I can't really say why.)

I don't love #2 that much. It feels like it's trying to be thematic. Having not read the book, I get the sense that this is Relevant but I don't know that I'd be intrigued by it. This could very well be extremely subjective, though.

I kind of end up squinting at #1.

I didn't mind the original at all, either, but can't speak to its relevance.

All of them look neat in some way, and draw the eye.

Typeface is lovely but I also misred Numo as Humo.

Cindyt
01-31-2017, 11:42 AM
A whale skeleton, perhaps? It certainly go with the lines.

Cindyt
01-31-2017, 11:43 AM
On second look, the fist and flower rocks.

JulianneQJohnson
01-31-2017, 11:54 AM
I have no idea what the book is about, so I can't speak to suitability. I love the original whale, I think the entire cover looks fantastic. As for the other tries, I love the whale skeleton. The first one doesn't read, I don't like the fist/dandelion, whale skeleton rocks, I like the one with the drawn MCs.

Good looking cover!

Oh, and I thought it was Humo as well.

Bacchus
01-31-2017, 02:06 PM
Hi Buzhidao, as a relative newb I am not up to speed on what this work is about so I thought the best thing I could try and offer would be my initial thoughts on what the book might contain when I pick it up at the bookshop, based purely on the cover.


1) Some kind of weird DIY/self-help/philosophy book - along the lines of "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" - how much I love DIY and how it's helped me reach a state of meditative tranquility with bruised thumbs.

2) M/M romance or dark erotica with a velvet fist in an iron glove motif.

3) A love story/romance based around archeologists or paleontologist, almost certainly experts in their fields - Indiana Jones without the action scenes.

4) For some reason this made me think of a series of childhood books (which I loved) about a neanderthal boy called Littlenose (of the Bignoses).

The original whale made me think of Douglas Adams; possibly something to do with the whale in the original hitchhiker book, or possibly the salmon of doubt. In conjunction with the title I would be expecting some kind of M/F romance, possibly set amongst innuit type people who were somehow forced into a more Western Society and displaced. If that's not it, I might write it because it sounds like a good read.

It is very good looking cover BTW, and I love the typescript, but I also thought that "Numo" was "Humo".

There seems to be a design link between the script and your avatar (c:

slhuang
01-31-2017, 03:59 PM
Thought about skelewhale:

You have another novel in which half the characters are skeletons... would this cause confusion among readers if they read that first (in the future) and thought Numo was part of that world? BUT I STILL LOVES IT MY PRECIOUSSSSS.

I think I disagree with the people who said to flip it -- I think I like that it opposes the text angle. :greenie

buz
02-01-2017, 06:09 PM
Wheeeeee

Thank you all so much for your feedback! I really appreciate you guys helping me on this. It sounds mostly like 3 is the favorite? Although, also, I guess SL may have a point about thematic issues (though, to be honest, in my head, I imagine the two books in the same *world* ((water deer? burrowing owls? get it? nudge nudge lolol)), just not anywhere in the same *vicinity*, but that's a technicality and probably not your point). Um, so--I played around with 4 a bit more as well.

I feel like an eye doctor... (1 or 2? 3 or 4?) but. Just a couple of modifications for anyone's perusal, if anyone has the patience left :) Just fiddling with the image on my end, as the typography is the artist's to fiddle with -- I appreciate the feedback on the lettering; I'll pass it along and ask if a slight mod can be made :)

(Again these both would need a bit of cleanup on the details but...going for overall impressions)

1) Reverse Skelewhale

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/reversesskelewhale_zpsvppdyt8b.jpg

2) Modified Silhouettes

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/loversilhouettes2ensmallened_zpsvy93sssa.jpg

For anyone who sticks with me this far--thank you so much! And reppies will be coming in a sec ;)

slhuang
02-01-2017, 06:12 PM
I like the skelewhale MUCH better the first way you had it (unflipped, going opposite the text).

But that doesn't matter because NUMBER FOUR IS MY FAVORITE BY FAR NOW EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

*jumps up and down in enthusiasm*

ElaineA
02-01-2017, 06:17 PM
I don't think you could go wrong with either one. They're both striking.

I do like the skeleton in this position better, but as I've told you, I have a tendency toward an aesthetic where things are in nice alignment. I just think it fits in the space better this way, and I like how the fin overlaps the D's without obscuring them.

be frank
02-01-2017, 06:23 PM
I like the skelewhale MUCH better the first way you had it (unflipped, going opposite the text).

See, I like the newly flipped version better, because I think the divergence of the "fist" part of "Hammerfist" and the skelewhale's tail gives just the right amount of opposition between graphic and text (as opposed to having the whole graphic in opposition). I also think the flipper interferes less this way.

Then again, it's almost 1.30 a.m. here, so take that with salt. :D

onesecondglance
02-01-2017, 06:50 PM
Original skelewhale for me, mainly because the heart (which is essential to making the image work for me) seems to be almost in the way of the lettering on the flipped version. There's more space for it on the original version (whale pointing right), so it appears less crowded and more deliberate.

The picture of the protagonists is cute, but not having read the book it has less impact for me than the whale.

Toothpaste
02-01-2017, 07:25 PM
The whale. By far the whale. As someone who has no idea what your book is about the other image is unreadable, I have no idea what the two thingys are. The whale on the other hand is totally visually easy to understand and the little heart adds a layer of absurdity and humour that excites me.

Please do the whale, please. The other one . . . well the other one doesn't work at all for me.

L. Y.
02-01-2017, 07:35 PM
2) Modified Silhouettes

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/loversilhouettes2ensmallened_zpsvy93sssa.jpg

I really like this one, Buz. It gives me an idea of what to expect from the novel.

The only thing that bothers me is the image touching the font. I have no real idea why, though.

Tazlima
02-01-2017, 08:25 PM
I have no expertise in these things and know nothing about the story, but I love both of these. I think, based purely on the cover image, I'd be slightly more likely to purchase the one with the mouse and the ... I'm guessing that's Hammerfist? I dunno, but I want to read it.

Cindyt
02-01-2017, 09:26 PM
I love the latest.

PastyAlien
02-01-2017, 09:54 PM
This is a gorgeous cover. GORGEOUS. The font is a thing of beauty (although I agree with the N H confusion on "Numo").

The juxtaposition of skelewhale and the heart (which is the name of my next rock band, BTW): LOVE. They're so crazy together, and yet perfectly suited (although I do prefer the original orientation). So that one gets my vote, big time.

I would not only pick up this book, based on its cover, but I would fight others for it, were there a shortage. It says to me that I should expect something unique and wonderful and otherworldly. I can't wait to see this on my bookshelf.

buz
02-01-2017, 10:03 PM
LOL, aahhhh you guysss

Okay. Mmm. Kind of a split. But I think you guys have helped me make up my mind. I will email the artist today with the image and ask him about changing that N a bit.

Thank you guys so much! You have all been VERY helpful and I love you for it *smoosh*

(also more reppies soon. Wheeee)

JulianneQJohnson
02-01-2017, 11:46 PM
I love skelewhale going the new direction. The ornamentation behind him makes it look like he's swimming. I love the second cover as well, but the big guy getting all up in the title makes that last word difficult to read.

Southpaw
02-02-2017, 02:14 AM
Late to the party but my favorites are the skeleton-whale and the mouse-lion one (post25).

I like the whale in this direction; it flows better with the text.

The lion creature is too big in that one and makes the title unreadable, so shrink it a wee bit. And yes the type is gorgeous!

It's a toss on which is bets though, they are both pretty cool.

ajaye
02-02-2017, 03:57 AM
Hmm, I prefer the original skelewhale, unflipped. It seems more balanced overall, and I think the heart is more noticeable.

Sabrina Hartford
02-04-2017, 09:41 PM
I like the original Skelewhale for the following reasons:
1) It fits in more with the design of the text.
2) It follows the direction of the text and so has a sense of motion. It looks like it is about to swim off the book which make it very exciting.

Excellent cover!!

LAgrunion
02-05-2017, 10:10 PM
I haven't read the book, but that shouldn't matter because part of a book cover's job is to entice readers who know nothing about the book.

I strongly prefer the skeleton whale. It's the clear winner, IMO.

As for which direction it faces, I'd say it doesn't matter a whole lot. Either way is fine, and I doubt the orientation will move the needle in terms of sales. But if I had to choose, I'd go with the whale facing right. Facing left looks more harmonious because it flows with the adjacent text, but facing right is more eye-catching for some reason I can't define. Maybe it's that I don't like it when things look too "matchy." Going against the flow can be more ... aesthetically stimulating, if that makes any sense.

Regardless, it is a fantastic cover. I love the little floating heart. At the thumbnail size most internet webpages will use, you probably won't notice the heart. Still, it's a cute detail for those who do spot it (e.g. on a paperback).

And I'm not saying all this just because I usually religiously suck up to you in a vain effort to please you.

Underdawg47
02-05-2017, 10:20 PM
I love the cover with the original skeletal whale facing right. It is wonderful and it doesn't obscure the swirly designs. My second favorite is the original whale.