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Opinion on some other cover art

Discussion in 'Cover Design' started by Telcontar, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    I have an artist working up something impressive for the main story I'll be publishing. For the short story, though, I decided to just do it myself - the story will be free, and it's pretty short.

    However, that doesn't mean I want a cover so laughable it'll scare away readers even with the pricetag of donut. So I want your opinion - mostly on the image and whether it is serviceable enough, but if you have suggestions on a better typeface I'd love to hear that too. I'm not crazy about the lettering.

    Here is my cover:

    morte_cover.jpg
     
  2. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    It really does nothing for me. I don't know what the image in the middle is supposed to be, the same goes for the background.

    The font can stay or go, but I think the title should be more prevalent.

    Sent from my Blade using Forum Runner
     
  3. hppavmx704

    hppavmx704 Dreamer

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    I agree with Sash. The image in the middle is confusing, I'm going to say it is a space ship entering hyperspace? The typeface is fine, but I think that the title could use something to make it stand out a little more. Maybe a different shade of red, something brighter perhaps. The background could use a little work also. If it is a ship going into hyperspace maybe some more stars.

    The whole thing might be fixed with just the image having more detail. Something so the readers can tell what it is.
     
  4. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Hmmm,
    I'm confused it this suposed to recall human anatomy class (skull) Or is it supposed to be a space ship?
     
  5. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Shew, at least that part is somewhat visible - it's both. The story is about a haunted space ship, and the concept was to have a spooky-looking ship where the engines look like a skull. Basically, I never wanted to do anything but provide concept art to a real artist. Paying for a cover for a free short story just isn't in the cards, sadly. Hopefully down the road I can afford to have it redone by someone with some actual talent.

    More prominent title, that's probably a good idea Sasha. Take the eye a little off my crappy image. I can do some simple styling on the title to make it look less amateurish, I'm pretty sure.
     
  6. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    It's not particularly scary to me; it needs way more detail. The text placement could be better too, and I'd spend some time choosing better colours for it.

    You'd probably be better off with a plain background, a sci-fi style font, and perhaps a simple silhouette or symbol that's relevant to the story. If you really want to express the identity of the piece with more descriptive artwork, you really need to go the whole hog, and I'm afraid that this isn't nearly there.
     
  7. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Yeah, I was afraid of that. I thought I could execute the concept well enough to at least pass muster, but maybe I would be better off going for just the title and a neutral graphic. Thanks for the reality check, guys.

    Johnny, any suggestions for a Sci-Fi font? I was looking through a bunch and saw nothing that caught my eye.
     
  8. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    If you want to convey a sense of spookiness, something quite minimal. As far as I know, these are available for both commercial and non-commercial use:

    Venus Rising Font | dafont.com
    Neuropol X Font | dafont.com

    (I especially like the Venus Rising one. It makes me think of Alien, but without the stylised 'I'). Can I ask what software you are using? I was going to make some more suggestions, but it really depends on the capabilities of the graphics editor.
     
  9. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    I'm using GIMP. I also like the Venus Rising - it is exactly the sort of thing I was trying to find at first, but couldn't. Simple and monolithic.
     
  10. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    You should mess around with layer styles (not sure what they're called in GIMP) to try and get elements to blend in well. Do you mind me asking what your story is about, other than a haunted spaceship? It might help us make suggestions.
     
  11. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Ask, heck. I'll put the thing up in the showcase. Though if I can't do my little pet concept, I'll probably just be going ultra simple. Maybe a fairy faint blurred-out skull in the blackness of space, or something. Or maybe, for now, no real image at all...
     
  12. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Maybe if you tried looking for stock photos of a steam valve and see if you can play with the borders to look like a skull, then set it above a space background.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  13. Ketsuki

    Ketsuki Dreamer

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    I don't know if this is helpful to you at all but this is one way that works for me: just play with ideas and explore the software's capabilities. Funnily enough this is an area I know a fair bit about as I've been studying graphic design for a few years now. By all means please feel free to ask me questions about typefaces and composition and all that jazz and I'd be more than happy to help out :3

    I've had to learn Photoshop for Uni but I've also dabbled in GIMP too so I know that similiar techniques can be achieved in both programs if you're willing to spend a bit of time just tinkering with things.

    Have you looked at any tutorials before? I've seen a few that offer to teach you tips to make very cool looking work without knowing the ins-and-outs
     
  14. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Tel,

    Give me a week I'll see what I can come up with using the concept you were shooting for.
    Creepy spaceship, engine eyes, space, am I missing anything? IF you end up likeing it feel free to have your guy finish it off.
     
  15. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    I'd love for you to take a crack at it! I certainly can't do it justice.

    Yeah, you've pretty much got it. What I managed to create was a good concept, I still think. That basic look, but more sinister, hopefully... I look forward to seeing your work.
     
  16. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    ship 5.jpg
    Here is something I was playing with, not sure if it is along the lines of what you want. Feel free to have your friend mess with the layers and what not.

    If you want the stock pics I used PM me your email addy. I'll send them along.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  17. xerolee

    xerolee Scribe

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  18. something like this?

    Is this roughly what you had in mind?

    Bear in mind this is just a 20 minute sketch with a qick and simple background photoshopped in for speed. done properly I'd straighten up the drawing and add more detail :)

    spaceship sketch.jpg

    all the best :)

    Graham Hanks
     
  19. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    @Blue Lotus: The colors are beautiful, but I'm afraid I don't really know what I'm looking at. My guess is the center of the light cloud is a skull, and the image in the corner is a ship. If so, then it could look great were it sharper - however, not quite what I had in mind.

    @graham: Great looking concept, but a little too overt for me. I'm looking for a much more subtle effect.

    Sorry to be so picky, guys, and thank you for trying. I always have such strong ideas for my covers and no ability to make them myself. I think I need to work on letting the artist take a bit more license...
     
  20. Thats not a problem - the whole point of doing a quick sketch is it gives a starting point to work from. Now that I know that this is too 'overt' I can make it more subtle. This is the way that professional illustration works anyway :)
     
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