Asking feedback for a fantasy book cover

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Metruis

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I do have a graphic design degree though it is quite rusty after all these years but here is my two cents - I think If the dragon were larger so that it was cut off by the edge and the title was inside the wings a bit it would look better. The dragon's tail and the wave in the type design would reflect each other. You'd see more of the dragon's cool face. There would be less of a cloudy hole in the middle of the composition.
I second this thought. The composition of the dragon was the first thing that struck me as a bit weak. The coloration isn't all that complex or contrasty, which does suggest "younger audience", it's not bad, it's just simple. I have no problems with the original text design, though I think it does need the subtitle, and if the dragon orientation isn't tweaked, DEFINITELY needs the subtitle there to pull it together.


It's a nice enough cover, though. I kind of feel like the attempts are a typical "not a graphic designer" who really wants to have some input but doesn't know enough about typography to know what is actually wrong. Instead of the text being a different color on top to tie it together, a better choice would be a deepening gradient overlay in the sky, so that the sky itself creates the slight framing that draws the eye in. Or a vignette around the entire thing. Right now the coloration is fairly flat blue throughout, though the clouds look nice it doesn't keep the eye inside. I get what is bugging you, but I personally think as a professional the current text looks great and it's not the text that's the problem.
 

Jennie

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Until there was the subtitle, I preferred 4. The subtitle is necessary to understand the cover. I wondered if you could try an all blue font color (title + subtitle) thus leaving the dragon on its own being red.
With the subtitle, I vote for 7
 

CathleenT

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This is terrific! Thanks, everyone. I value all the opinions--design degree to "relatively clueless." After all, I'm pretty sure every one of us has bought more than their fair share of books.

I spent some time in a bookstore today. And okay, I bought a couple books (Uprooted by Naomi Novik and Crosstalk by Connie Willis). But the rest of the time I just looked at covers.

Lots of photographic Photoshopped stuff, lots of iconic, design-y sorts of things--not nearly as many illustrations as when my taste was formed, which makes this more difficult for me. I dislike using Photoshopped images, especially the #$%& glowing hands covers that seem to be on nearly every urban fantasy out there. I swear, those things make me think it doesn't matter which author I pick up--it all looks like the same damn story.

And completely non-representational art is still a struggle for me--I'm always super-proud when I paint an abstract that I really like. Fusing abstraction and realism together doesn't seem to be the way my mind works, although I did see a few effective examples of it in the bookstore today.

But an abstraction seems to make a weak promise to me. The art may have a fantasy feel to it, but it certainly doesn't promise anything in the way of sub-genre.

It appears that the original font placement is the most popular. I've added another ETA to show the title in all-red font. And I slimmed the dragon's tummy a bit. Hope that makes the dragon a little less roly-poly.

I have no idea how well my cover art will work. But I'd like to thank everyone here for their feedback so I can give it a go. :)
 

Lady Fox

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Am I too late to join the party?

No.7 gets my vote. The tag line/subtitle in blue along with 'To The' in blue brings the cover together nicely. I agree there was something not quite right about the original - felt like something was missing - and I think the subtitle fixes that problem rather nicely. I did like the gold font in original placement but I think the blue/red works better but only if the subtitle remains - otherwise I would suggest sticking with the gold.

Agree that the subtitle font isn't perfect - but I expect that's an easy fix.

LF
 

tiddlywinks

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Pssst:

I'm guessing Cathleen already has this cover in the works with DDD, so not sure she is looking for comments at this point given it's nearly 2 months later...but just a point of clarification on Cathleen's behalf: she feels very strongly about painting her own cover illustrations (which I've seen in person and are cool), so I doubt the cover art itself will be changing :)

Once again, I'll just note I really like the dynamic movement and placement of the dragon on the cover, Cathleen.
 
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