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Fake Book Covers, Round Two!

After all the great input (and I appreciate it!) on Livejournal, here's round two of the first fake cover!

I lightened the background and ran a light green gradient over it to make it contrast more starkly with the dark swatch, ran the author name to the edges to match the title, and increased the size of "THAT." Ditched the words at the top, and made the little memoir bit not-a-script so it doesn't contrast so starkly. Feedback welcome!

And now, for another small design amusement, here's my attempt at a horror cover:

There is actually a chance I will someday publish a horror novel called "The Twisted Ones" since I have it about 30K written, but it's a ways off. (Actually, I should probably put a THIRD pen name on these suckers so that people don't trip over the images a few years hence and think I've written books I haven't written...unngh. Too many of me! Still, maybe I'll finally get a chance to be Ingrid Quaile...)

I gotta admit, I would happily read the hell out of "I Didn't Plant That - A Gardening Memoir."

Maybe you could start making book covers for all of Pastor Drom's opuses from Scarlet Wombat Publishing?

Ha! I thought of that, actually...

Actually I thought the comment at the top of the original made it quite clear that the book 'behind' the cover didn't actually exist.

I really like that bottom one!
I have a little trouble with the letters going right to the edge of the tree trunk on the other. For some reason it makes it hard to read for me. And my mind keeps wanting to put some sort of punctuation after THAT. The problem is, it keeps changing every time I read it depending on the voice I hear it in.

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Ingrid Quaile needs to do the Gardening Memoirs thing. Oh yes. Tell her to get a wiggle on.

Please please please make these big enough to use as a slipcover for a real book, and then put them for sale online. I would so buy them to use when reading in public.


I love 'em! What if you added just a tiny splash of color anywhere on the second one? Like, maybe just do one letter, word or line in red - could really grab the eye. Could be too much, though; it works well as is.

My husband calls it "Fuck If I Know" gardening because "What is that?" "Fuck if I know." A bit less retailer friendly though. :D

There is a gap around T. Kingfisher in the first one, ant it makes you name considerably easier to read than the title. I would add that gap back in at the top to all four lines of the title rather than running all the words to the edges, since putting it on the edge like that immediately draws the eye to it, just like in a picture when something is too close to the corner or creates an unintentional line where contrasting colors meet.

Also, center justification is an unofficial graphic design no-no, like using comic sans, copperplate or papyrus. With the way you have broken up the subtitle specifically it creates an oddly round shape where the rest of your shapes are stark and hard. I would break it so that the lines of the subtitle are approximately equal in length, or put it on two lines.

This is not to say center justification does not have its place, especially if it fits. My production professor especially thought it was lazy and more often than not would make us do something else, since she also taught typography.

First cover:
* I find the letters of the title being flush up against the edges of the dark trunk area makes it pretty hard to read. Even a tiny margin like you've got around T Kingfisher would help. (Also I think maybe I'd be inclined to move "that" over to the left or a bit left of centre to balance things up a bit more.)
* The font for the memoir section has a bit of an unfortunate "default computer font" look to it (not sure if it's actually Arial, but it looks a lot like it) that makes it feel a little amateurish, IMO, especially in plain white - maybe a slightly fancier serif font or something for a less generic look?
* And finally, possibly consider giving the dark centre section more of a 'tree' shape? I think even a simple suggestion of roots at the bottom and branches at the top could give it a much stronger look, especially in thumbnail form. Very poorly bodged quick mockup:

Second cover:
* This one looks great! The only thing I would say is that the title maybe comes off a bit bright white compared to the more off-white background above (even if that's possibly only an optical illusion from the contrast). Maybe dull it down a fraction and see what that looks like?

I agree on the 'memoir' text comment (and hazelchaz' comment below.) I think you need a slightly less common font that's a heavier weight and possibly has a more horizontal and less vertical look about it.

All the other bits I'm leaving up to the experts. I already like the second one but then I'm not always good with aligning and justification in text.

Some possibly useless comments:
Consider color-blind people. Contrast is good. "I Don't That" is an odd but intriguing title.
I'm told that "a face on the cover sells books." I don't know how true it is, but I've noticed that many covers seem to have a face-like effect if I look at them with my glasses off, or in the thumbnail where all details are lost and the general shapes pop out.
Like The Seventh Bride cover in the sidebar, which becomes a skull - black eye-holes, red nose-hole, jagged gold teeth....
That said, the horror cover kind of has a face - the white sky nose with the lake below as a mouth, and the path is a neck.

When you're doing light-on-a-dark-background, it needs to be a heavier weight (more bold) than when it's the other way around. (At least, that's what I learned reading "Oglivy on Advertising." YMMV.)

Edited at 2016-05-17 05:42 am (UTC)

"The Twisted Ones" is excellent! It's got the right amount of ominousity. (That's a real word. Honest!)

The top one looks off to me. Maybe the text is too close to the middle panel border, so maybe widen the middle strip?

Hmmm. What would your horror name be?

I'm thinking "Queensmarrow". Queen instead of King, and because bone marrow is really creepy.