• U.S. members: The Federal Government is offering each household in the United States four (4) free at-home Covid-19 test kits. https://www.covidtests.gov/

What kind of art?

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

What's your favorite kind of cover art?


  • Total voters
    12
Status
Not open for further replies.

Gale Haut

waxing digital artistic
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
3,057
Reaction score
574
Location
The Swamplands
Website
www.galehaut.com
Just a basic question because I'm curious... What's your favorite kind of art on a book cover?

• Simple and sweet photograph
• Spectacular photo art
• Painting
• Digital Painting
• Complex typography + layout (no flashy imagery)

If you can provide a link to an example on amazon or BN and share a bit about why you have the preference, that'd be cool. :)
 

Toothpaste

THE RECKLESS RESCUE is out now!
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Messages
8,745
Reaction score
3,096
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
www.adriennekress.com

Little Anonymous Me

Moar Whine
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
4,805
Reaction score
548
Location
The Sixth Circle of Hell
I kinda cheated and voted in two categories. Mea culpa. :D

I don't tend to think about covers too much, but your thread got me curious and I looked through my TBR board on Pinterest. Most of the books that drew my eye have covers like this or this. Also, I apparently avoid all things colorful. :tongue Mysterious, faceless people and creepy landscapes make me want to find out what's going on, it seems.

ETA: Because Toothpaste's sig is staring me in the face, I shall point out that her Corsets and Clockwork cover definitely made me look twice.
 
Last edited:

Polenth

Mushroom
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
5,015
Reaction score
725
Location
England
Website
www.polenthblake.com
I tend to like more symbolic covers and I'm less interested in photorealism. So it's not about how it's produced, but what it shows.
 

Gale Haut

waxing digital artistic
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
3,057
Reaction score
574
Location
The Swamplands
Website
www.galehaut.com
I agree with the sentiment that as long as it's extremely well done it shouldn't matter. Does anyone ever feel like one type of image often conveys the idea of the book better to them as a potential reader?

To answer my own question, I feel like a successful vector layout is a really impressive thing.
 

frimble3

Heckuva good sport
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
9,038
Reaction score
1,825
Location
west coast, canada
What style do you call Josh Kirby's Terry Pratchett covers? I know they're paintings, but what really grabbed me in the first place was that there's so much going on: It's like he tried to put the whole story on the cover, like a movie trailer. Sadly, I could see that sort of thing vanishing, because it doesn't show up well in on-line 'thumbnails'.
 

Brightdreamer

Just Another Lazy Perfectionist
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
9,465
Reaction score
1,629
Location
USA
Website
brightdreamersbookreviews.blogspot.com
I admit being partial to paintings (digital or traditional - a good digital artist can do anything a traddy painter can do), due to my specfic partiality, but I've seen them all done well. Even the simple text-on-black can draw the eye with the right font, color, and layout.

I've also seen them all done horribly, in ways that did nothing to promote or even match the feel of the book.

My least favorite covers would be second-rate computer graphics or obvious cut-and-paste stock art junk. That's the stuff that says someone either doesn't know any better or just plain doesn't care.

frimble3- I love those kinds of covers, too: the ones you can look back on after you read the book and point out all the fiddly bits from the plot. I remember seeing many more back in the 1980's. I think they can still work in the modern age, if they have a good flow of shapes and colors that reduces well; you may not see all the fiddly details in a thumbnail, but you'll see enough to be intrigued. (I also think that it's not just Amazon shopping that's dooming them; there seems to be less interest in taking that kind of time on a project. I've read that Michael Whelan is considered a rarity these days in that he actually reads the scripts of books he illustrates, and takes the time to thoroughly think his images through to communicate as much about the story as possible.)
 

kuwisdelu

Revolutionize the World
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
38,198
Reaction score
4,542
Location
The End of the World
I like cover art that's more like classic album art (think anything by Storm Thorgerson).

I don't like cover art that feels like it's trying to be a movie poster. A novel has characters and narrative, so we gotta have characters on the cover, and try to position them to tell something about the narrative, right?

No, I don't like that.

With good album art, there often isn't a specific narrative, so you have to be bit more creative to capture the themes and feel of the music.

I want cover art like that for novels, too. I don't need models who are supposed to be the characters posing dramatically. Give me something that suggests.

Whatever else I may think of the series, I think the Twilight series has decent cover art.
 
Last edited:

Alessandra Kelley

Sophipygian
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,450
Location
Near the gargoyles
Website
www.alessandrakelley.com
(I've read that Michael Whelan is considered a rarity these days in that he actually reads the scripts of books he illustrates, and takes the time to thoroughly think his images through to communicate as much about the story as possible.)

Michael Whelan retired from painting book covers almost twenty years ago. But yes, at that time he was quite unusual in that he had the clout to insist that publishers let him read manuscripts before he painted the cover images. Few artists had that privilege.
 

Brightdreamer

Just Another Lazy Perfectionist
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
9,465
Reaction score
1,629
Location
USA
Website
brightdreamersbookreviews.blogspot.com
Michael Whelan retired from painting book covers almost twenty years ago. But yes, at that time he was quite unusual in that he had the clout to insist that publishers let him read manuscripts before he painted the cover images. Few artists had that privilege.

Officially, yes. Unofficially, he's still doing covers - the latest Brandon Sanderson series has MW cover art (Words of Radiance images shown here), and I half-expect him to be tapped when Tad Williams' Osten Ard sequels hit the market. And he still appears to read the manuscripts; the characters and world look pretty spot-on to me.
 
Last edited:

CetiAlphaVI

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
73
Reaction score
4
Location
Indiana
Typography here, but I'm a design nerd and I love modifying and arranging type. I also feel that properly set and properly chosen type can convey any emotion in the book.
 

girlyswot

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
2,227
Reaction score
389
Location
Cambridge
Website
myromancereviews.wordpress.com
I feel like the different styles can all work well depending on the kind of book they're being used for. I voted for simple photo, because I mostly read contemporary romance and I think that is what tends to work best for contemporary romance. But for, say, fantasy or literary fiction, you want a more complex, symbolic look that might be better conveyed using a painted cover. And so on.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Elizabeth George's book Write Away