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Another cover design, requesting your judgement (1 Viewer)

Eicca

Senior Member
I am continuing my quest to create a cover for my thriller novel that is clean and minimalist, good as a thumbnail, different from other thriller covers and contains enough natural hints to the story's premise. Today I came up with what I feel is my best contender yet. If you would be so kind as to let me know what you think, I would greatly appreciate it.

SmallEyeCoverBeta4.jpg
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Yeah, I like it. Varying typefaces, a simple yet suggestive graphic. I suppose the only change I might make is maybe to apply an embossed type filter to the title, to give it a little depth.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
I like the minimalism and I assume the graphic and the manipulation of the letter 'O' are gunsights.
On the negative front, I could just about make out a hint of blue writing. When I magnified it, I could see the words 'A thriller'. It may be about size but it was hardly visible, never mind readable, but the printed version might be fine. Dark blue on black was as problem in that regard, but I don't have the most up-to-date computer monitor. I suggest you try printing a full-size copy before passing it.
 

Eicca

Senior Member
I like the minimalism and I assume the graphic and the manipulation of the letter 'O' are gunsights.
On the negative front, I could just about make out a hint of blue writing. When I magnified it, I could see the words 'A thriller'. It may be about size but it was hardly visible, never mind readable, but the printed version might be fine. Dark blue on black was as problem in that regard, but I don't have the most up-to-date computer monitor. I suggest you try printing a full-size copy before passing it.

That happened to me too. I think it's a screen thing. If I hold the same image up on my phone, right next to the image on my computer and same size, I can read the blue text just fine. In fact, it looks far better on everything BUT my computer screen.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
I get the concept and I like the target and the gun shadow. However, I think as presented it looks amateurish, and probably what's standing out to me to give that impression is the stair-step look of the center dots. Plus, including the scope effect twice may be overdoing it.

With rare exception, this is pretty much what happens when any of us tries to do our own cover art. lol There are LOTS of artists out there who can take your concept and give it back to you as polished art for $100 to $150. I recommend you explore options.
 

Eicca

Senior Member
It's definitely still a draft, and at some point I probably will send it off to a pro designer. Depends on how much of my editing budget gets used up though...

Here's a slight tweak. Centered the crosshair, removed the redundant crosshair from the title, changed my name out for something slightly less generic-looking. If I could figure out some way to make the large swaths of straight black area more interesting, that would help.

Small DP Eye Cover.jpg
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
It looks like you are using three separate fonts? If not, it has that impression, probably because your name is lower case, the title is upper case, and the 'a thriller' (which I think's totally unnecessary, a little pretentious, and out of place) is in standard case. I think that adds to the amateurishness that was mentioned.

The graphics are okay -- I assume this is some kind of techno-thriller because that's how it looks with the matrix-y code, in which case it works, with the obvious caveat that this image needs to marry up with the theme of the story. I do find the crosshair motif a little cliché at this point, but if you're going for something that looks very genre-y it works okay. Minimalist colors are fine. The blue is good. The simplicity is fairly inoffensive without being especially enticing.

Biggest issue for me is the text. In my opinion, the title and your name should fill or mostly fill that black space. That's the only good way to do it, unless you want to go for some kind of texture (but then it's not going to be 'minimalist') I know you're going for a simple, clean look and all, but the graphic isn't strong enough to make the cover seem 'full' here and I think filling that gap will still achieve the same goal. Try a stronger font, make it at least a little larger and bolder, and I think it'll be much better.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
In my opinion, the title and your name should fill or mostly fill that black space. That's the only good way to do it, unless you want to go for some kind of texture (but then it's not going to be 'minimalist') I know you're going for a simple, clean look and all, but the graphic isn't strong enough to make the cover seem 'full' here and I think filling that gap will still achieve the same goal.

I see what lucky means, I would do it by adding "By" on a line between "A thriller" and the name.
 

Eicca

Senior Member
I changed “A Thriller” back to all caps just for the sake of experimentation and I think that works ok. Definitely still trying to figure out what to do with all the black space. The central graphic has to stay the way it is for one big reason: in thumbnail form or from a distance, it looks like an eye. Much more compelling if you’re scrolling through a website or spy it on a shelf.

Maybe I’ll try some additional subtle gradient on the black spaces. Perhaps if it fades back to deep blue at the top and bottom edge that would fill it out without taking away from the minimalism.
 

Eicca

Senior Member
Here's another minor tweak with some subtle blue fade in the top and bottom. I think it's a step in the right direction for doing something with those large swaths of black. It doesn't readily appear on subpar screens but should print just fine.

SmallEyeCoverBeta11.jpg
 

Eicca

Senior Member
Another quick revision to capitalize my name, which for some reason I hadn't previously thought about. Also you have to click for the full size image to see the fade along the top and bottom.

SmallEyeCoverBeta12.jpg
 

Sir-KP

Senior Member
That 'a thriller' is a hit or miss. The latest version with lowercase and tiny size looks like a blue stain in the middle of the rest.

Try adding more kerning on it. See how it looks.
 

Eicca

Senior Member
The problem with the crosshair is the letters are so small any effect kind of goes unnoticed. But I added it anyway, and maybe it's just one of those subconscious things that feels better instead of clearly looking better. I also made "a thriller" a tad bigger.

SmallEyeCoverBeta13.jpg

EDIT: The way this site compressed image uploads, you can't even tell...
 

TheManx

Senior Member
It's a solid design.

The gun seems a bit redundant -- and kind of detracts from the concept of the crosshairs if you think about it. The letterforms that make up the crosshairs -- no, they aren't legible, but that doesn't matter -- the idea comes across.

I'd go to Amazon etc. -- look at the size the cover will be displayed. You might want to bump up "a thriller" and the author name...

A total nitpick -- I'd close up the letter spacing on the title just a bit -- you're getting too close the edge -- needs a bit more breathing room.
 

Suzilla

Member
I like it, however, I feel like there's too much negative space at the top (which is basically where there's just open space with nothing occupying it. Maybe you can put in the blues at the top to actually show the form of the top of the gun, and move the title so it can be centered on the gun. I'm a huge fan of the simple graphic design that focuses more on the center piece and doesn't focus on being too detailed. Fantastic job
 

Eicca

Senior Member
I added a blue fade to the top and bottom to do something with the negative space. It feels much better to me, even though the computer I'm currently on doesn't really show it. Hopefully you can see it on your end because on a good screen (nice phone or flat panel) it looks real nice. Should print nicely too.

Small DP Eye Cover.jpg
 
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