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Bride of the Fake Book Cover: Round #4

Thank you all for the advice on the Greenteeth cover! Made a few tweaks to the font and cleaned up some thorns.



For this next one, a reprise of Bryony, I wanted to use the same font, but a rather bolder graphic approach. I have no idea if it works at all visually, but I gotta confess, the thumbnail reads better than the actual cover. (Sure, that's just what I need to do, redo all my back catalog covers. In, y'know, MY COPIOUS SPARE TIME.)



Thoughts, as always, welcome. (I just don't know about the author name there--it really gouges the line of the rose. Maybe I should yank out one of the stems on the right and put it in there in black instead...)

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I think you're right about the stem-yanking, yeah...

Interesting! I really like the original cover, of course, but changing up covers does sometimes catch the eye of new readers, I hear.

Wow, the byrony cover is amazing. At the risk of too much clutter i would consider a tiny clockwork bee, and possibly author in horizontal just under the title..

The remake is pretty, but I really like the matched-theme covers you've done for most of the T. Kingfisher books, and they'd look really nice as a set together (which I'm sure was the intent when you designed them, of course).

Green Teeth feels much better now.

The remake is lovely. Very much in the modern minimalist graphic and text vein. Eye-catching and nice, but yeah, I miss the clockwork bee. The old cover (while not optimized for thumbnails) had character and gave more a feel for what kind of story is beyond the cover. (If I didn't know that Kingfisher was you, this is a cover I would admire, but pass by. Clockwork bees are a better signifier of possible interest to me. But, ymmv!)

And I agree, these make a nice pair of botanically-themed boldly graphic covers!

Now, see, *this* cover *I* would buy because of the cover design, whereas the other cover I would have bought only because I know who T Kingfisher is. (Did buy, because I know who T. Kingfisher is, and because I love BatB stories.) For me there's nothing wrong with the other cover but this is the one that would make me pick the book up at random. :)

There are no right choices! :)

Cycle through covers every 3 months! Change to cover 1, then cover 2, then back to cover 1, then maybe cover 3 if you got inspired...

I like them both (especially the 'Greenteeth' one), but... one thing: The angled set of the 'Bryony' font bothers my eyes-- it's like it's not quite slanted enough to look deliberate, so it makes me twitch and want to set the whole thing straight just as you would a picture that was hanging crooked. Probably I'm anal-retentive or OCD or something, but it just doesn't lie right to me. Other than that, I love everything about it and I think the placement of T. Kingfisher is perfect.

I'm getting the same reaction. It's like FIVE DEGREES off of horizontal and it makes me want to KILL. Well, not kill, but. It annoys me.

Yes! This! Either slant it more or straighten it up. This is just... Aaaaargh!

Yes, me too! The slight cant of the title is like nails on a chalkboard. It doesn't matter how good the rest of the design is, that would be a big negative for me when looking for books to buy.

That said, the graphic is really pretty and I could see inserting author name into one of the dark stems.

It's not just you. It needs just a tiny bit more slant or none at all. Otherwise, GORGEOUS. It would attract my attention.

Widespread slant angle annoyance noted and will be fixed! *grin*

perhaps putting the author name in the Stem?

I like the Green Teeth tweaks.

As for Byrony. Ditto with the other comments about making the title text fully horizontal or more angled. Personally, I'd yank both vines in the bottom right and replace them with the author's name in black in the same curved line it already has. Other than that, very pretty in a "this signals horror" way to my eye/visual lexicon.

I love all these covers!

However, I'm not sure they accurately convey the style/subject matter of the books. Seeing these, I would expect something a lot more modern than what you actually write. The stories would come as surprises.

These remind me of designs on some older paperbacks I picked up as a kid. Maybe it looks more modern to you, but it recalls something older to me (paperbacks that were old in the 80's). It's a fair critique, of course, since that's your perception of it, but I thought I'd throw in my perception.

I agree that it's a throwback design to the 70's! And to older readers, maybe the associations are there. But in modern usage, this kind of style is associated with different things.

One of the biggest challenges for me when making the mental headspace jump from artist to book cover designer was the realization that it didn't matter if I could paint a particular cover if the style wasn't signalling the right thing to readers. There's a style vocabulary that helps signal the contents of a book to readers, and it evolves every few years. That's the thing you have to sit down and figure out in bookstores... taking down a million books and saying 'this is a steampunk alt-history, and this is how the book covers for it and other steampunk alt-histories are similar, and that's how readers realize 'oh, hey, it's a steampunk alt-history.' That sort of thing.

That's always the problem, isn't it? The Greenteeth one I think works, because if nothing else, the title will carry it, but I'm not entirely sure the Bryony one screams "FAIRY TALE RETELLING"

I love the Bryony & Roses cover, and I like how the author name runs along the stem. But what do I know?

Bryony and Roses: I agree with the others that the title's tilt is disconcerting. For the author's name, is there a way you can move the lower-right branchlet down and put the name between it and the dangling petal bit on the rose. And I second the idea of a clockwork bee... maybe in black on the lower-right petal of the rose? I liked the original design for this cover just fine, but this one *does* look more book-cover-y...

Greenteeth looks great!


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I LOVE the Byrony & Roses cover. I think you're right about moving the author name over into the black thorns though.

Am I the only one to read it as Bryony Roses & and then wonder what got left out?

The font would look better if it was curving up like the petals behind it so the words flow round the flower. The weird slant does nothing for it.

The name would look better climbing up the black thorny vine at the bottom right.

Another possibility for the author name: clip out the section of stem it's currently running next to, and then shift it over so that it's in place of the stem.

I thought of that! I didn't do it in the next round, but I'm definitely contemplating it...

I have, in recent months, become addicted to Hermes scarves, notable not only for the multiple times each colour is added to the design in the silk screening process but also for the ingenuity with which they work the Hermes name into the pictures themselves, together with the names of the artists where the artists want to sign them; not all do.

I therefore thoroughly approve of T Kingfisher appearing somewhere in the design; the artist who creates it deserves that recognition but it's also fun for the person looking at it and for it. Mind you, one of the Hermes artists has one or more monkeys hidden in every design, which might not work very well with book covers...


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