1. Rain Oxford
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    Rain Oxford New Member

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    Cover Art Critique

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Rain Oxford, Dec 14, 2014.

    This is my first attempt at a book cover for one of my ebooks. Please advise.
     

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  2. Falx Cerebri
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    Falx Cerebri New Member

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    It is not bad but It is not great as well. The title is lost and hard to read. The best part about this cover is Its atmosphere, It is mysterious and dark. I would enhance the central aspect of the picture and add do something with the title so It pops up.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Like the lettering, like the forest, agree the letters are too small.

    As for the symbol and the book, choose one or the other, or, combine them into a single object.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum if I haven't already said that.
     
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  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Make the book the center piece of the cover.
    Make it bigger to minimize the obvious tree backdrop (It acts like a greenscreen which is detracting)
    Lose the symbol or incorporate it naturally into the title or the book. You could tilt the book forward so we could see the writing and the symbol inside.
     
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  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    No he absolutely could not. I'm trying hard to figure out if you know how image manipulation works.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  6. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    If anything I would simplify the symbol, it looks like a drug crazed psychopath has tried to carve a pentangle and failed miserably.
     
  7. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Larger title in a similar font that's a little easier to read. Also, I think the book looks quite cartoony compared to the background. I think it would look loads better if it was tipped and sat on a stand or lectern. I know this means you might have to find another pic of a book but, just my thoughts.

    I think I understand what @A.M.P. is trying to say.

    The other problem, is that the cover as is, is a mixture of real photography and photoshop/clipart pictures. These two separate entities do not play nice together which means it's actually mega hard to pull it off.

    If you take a photograph of a real forest for the background, then you need a photograph of a real symbol and real spell book to photoshop onto it. Adding clip art or computer generated objects will never work. The pixilation is all wrong for a start.

    I know enough about photoshop to fit on the back of a postage stamp (in other words, nothing) but I know this design just doesn't sit right. Listen to @Jack Asher he knows his stuff.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
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  8. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    Agree with everyone else, and it bothers me that the book is floating but near to the ground, so it is not at once clear if it is supposed to be floating.

    I do like the forest image you've found.
     
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  9. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think:
    The colours are wrong; the forest too vibrant of a blue and the book too red.
    The book needs to have a better cutout.
    I'm not a fan of the gothic font, too hard to read easily, especially in a small thumb image.
     
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  10. Rain Oxford
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    Rain Oxford New Member

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    Thank you for the advice so far. Considering all of it, I made these two.
     

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  11. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    These are better, prefer it with smoke. Can you make it so that the smoke is emanating out from the book rather than up from the ground? Also that symbol is messy and it is at a different perspective to the book cover which looks odd.
     
  12. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes much better. I like the one with smoke. You need to center the symbol on the book. Small points, but can you get a book with more leather type luster to it?
     
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Definitely better. I prefer the no-smoke version.
     
  14. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    This is way better.
    I prefer the smoke-free version only because it feels out of place.
    But it does blend the book to match the background more.
    That's the only real issue is how much the two don't match (One's clipart or something the other real)
     
  15. ogu
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    ogu New Member

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    First of all, hello everyone. :)
    Now to the critique, in all of three I like the first one more than others. It does have some issues like others pointed out but the book seems more hand friendly size. The second couple of images, the smoky one makes the book look like it's huge because of the placement of the smoke which is further from the view and yet the book seems it did not shrink as it should.

    Also in the first image book has a lot of light, maybe it was prefered but does not play well with the environment. If the book itself shines, there must be a better way to show it ( a copied layer lightened and blurred maybe or just lines drawn and manipulated)

    I don't know how you come up with the symbol but it looks like it needs more work. If you want to keep both the symbol and the book, for the first image you can use the symbol as an overlayed layer. Make it bigger (maybe with a solid color) and play with layer blending modes.

    The fonts are a good match. I agree others about writings though I am not sure about different fonts for the author and book name. Maybe they can differ in size, color or place. Also I wouldn't use too aggressive gradients and definitely not bevel/emboss. Those make it look less professional when used wrong.

    When you pay attention to perspective and lighting it should come out all right. Also you can go full flat since it's the latest design trend and just use solid colors, soft gradients and non-styled fonts. It might not fit your book's soul though it's easier.

    On a note, I am not a designer or anything. I just designed my own share of amateur covers in the past and got in a fight with a real desinger about one of them. :D I just know how hard these things could be.
     
  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't think that anyone has noticed that the perspective on the symbol of the book is not the same as the book itself.

    If you're using photoshop the fix is pretty simple. Hold ctrl while the image is selected and drag each corner to a corresponding corner of the book cover. Then hold shift and alt when you shrink the image down to a size you want.

    If you aren't using photoshop I don't know how to help you.
     
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  17. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could be a vertically elliptical symbol viewed on the diagonal plane of the book. :geek:
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I didn't notice until you pointed it out, but you're right.
     
  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The two images are of different resolutions and do not appear to form a single image. The book looks like a clear cut and paste job. The text is cheap and nasty. It screams 'self-published and self designed'. Which screams 'cheap.' The forest picture is really good, but I hope you have the legal clearance to use it.
     
  20. Rain Oxford
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    Rain Oxford New Member

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    I changed the perspective on the symbol. I really don't know how to make the book look more realistic, so I flipped the background to change the direction of the lighting. The smoke is both an attempt to make the book more mysterious and to blend the book. I'm not an artist, I'm a writer.
     

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  21. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rain,

    Now that we are on to talking about perspective, which historically, is a really interesting subject on its own, there is a problem with viewing that book and the forest scene as one unit. The book was probably photographed with a wider angle lens, as its vanishing point is quite pronounced as compared to the forest scene. You see how the top of the book is a lot narrower than the bottom. Places like Shutterstock have literally tens of thousands of images of books that are better than the one you are using. I didn't look far, but here is an example. http://www.shutterstock.com/s/books/search.html?page=7&thumb_size=mosaic&inline=87419336 They aren't expensive and will make your cover look great. Get somebody who knows Photoshop to "emboss" (hint hint) the cover of such a book with your symbol.
     
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  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Am liking the smokeless one but try:

    Softening the whole background, maybe by blurring a little.
    Make the book more antiquey, possibly red, thicker but with battered edges and a creased, faded leather look to the cover.
     
  23. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Embossed symbol! Good idea!

    I understand what people are saying about the symbol looking messy but, has anyone asked the author what the symbol means? If it pertains to something in the book, (like a map or instructions) then it really can't be changed.
     
  24. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know the story but I'm guessing antiquey is better for sure. The more I look at it the more I think it needs a moodier tone of blue for the B/G, still too electric.

    If you don't like the smoke but need a distraction, the symbol can be set in gold into the cover and then use a radial blur radiating outwards to give it life.
     
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  25. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    It's quite better now. The book and background don't contrast together as much.
     

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