Chion cover design – Part V

Thank you, everyone who commented on the last cover design. After some more fiddling, I’ve come up with the following “improvement.” James, I think you were right about the Aliens font, after all. To hell with being a copycat; it looks good, and it gives the cover a nudge in the sci-fi direction.

I wanted to move the title from the top of the cover to the middle, because the shadowy central section is a bit boring and is better covered. The translucent text didn’t quite work on the more varied constrast of the background, so I had to lose it. And since we’re now back to clear, obvious print, I’m putting the tagline back on again.

Another thing that struck me was that people tend to buy books according to genre, and my cover gives no clear indication of what genre the book belongs to. It could be about hunting down the Yeti, for all anyone knows. So, having a sci-fi font and a suitable tagline helps communicate the message: “sci-fi disaster story.”

It’s interesting that no one communicated any particular attachment to the other cover design, the one with the school and the dead kid. Sorry, Eddie (who posed as the dead kid), but the combination of images just never felt like they gelled quite right. I think we’re hitting the nail on the head now. Of course, Mark Stevens, who came up with the “blood on the snow” design, hit it long ago. I think that whatever changes I make from here on in will be small.

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12 thoughts on “Chion cover design – Part V

  1. James Maxon says:

    > I think you were right about the Aliens font, after all…my cover gives no clear indication of what genre the book belongs to

    I think this looks better and more sci-fi. You are right about the cover not giving away the genre – it could easily be mistaken as a mystery. The text does help this.

    > I wanted to move the title from the top of the cover to the middle, because the shadowy central section is a bit boring and is better covered.

    I understand why you did it, but I think it needs to move back up somehow. Maybe not to the very top, but close.

    > The translucent text didn’t quite work on the more varied constrast of the background

    Try to put a textured box behind the text, then dropshadow and 75% the opacity on the box. To me that would make both the title and blood at the bottom stand out more.

    > I’m putting the tagline back on again.

    For some reason I don’t like the way this looks, maybe it’s the outter glow or the fact that the text is so much dark than anything else. To me the Title should stand out more than the tagline. Maybe change your font from black to # 333333 or give it a reddish tint (like # 472C2F) to complement the blood. But I vote to take it out altogether.

    > It’s interesting that no one communicated any particular attachment to the other cover design, the one with the school and the dead kid.

    I remember the school, but not a dead kid! I think the show and blood cover gives it more of a mystery feel, where as the other one seemed to be more in the horror direction (and maybe a little amtureish?) – it depends on what you want to say, and not knowing the story at all, or where it takes place, I’m not sure what that is.

  2. ali says:

    I may be biased but I loved the cover with the dead kid. Ok then I am totally 100% biased & that’s why I didn’t comment.
    However……….my unbiased opinion is that you have definitely hit the nail on the head – this version looks right somehow. More professional – less cluttered – I’d buy it!
    ali

  3. Michael Reed says:

    I’ll make another point about utility: I presume that there will be an alternate version of the title, perhaps on the spine, without the smaller characters between the letters. Again, if someone had to tap the name into a computer, as part of stock control for example, they might be left with some doubt about the proper name of the book.

    As for the tagline: I don’t like the phrase ‘countless millions’ as I tend to avoid fixed expressions. Experimenting by taking words out, I noticed that ‘countless are in need of rescue’ sounds a bit unusual but still makes sense.

  4. Darryl Sloan says:

    James,

    I’m sold on keeping the title in the centre, I’m afraid. I just don’t like the big dark triangle, so if there’s gonna be obvious text, then it’s gonna be on top of it.

    I’ve experiment with boxes before, but it has the effect of almost splitting the snow image in two, which really lessens the impact. All in hall, I’m pretty happy with the title as it stands.

    I’ll likely do a bit more fiddling with the tagline before I’m done. Don’t want to lose it completely, it’s important for clarifying genre to the casual browser. I’m actually planning to plug the book as a thriller. It’s not horrific enough to be horror. Sci-fi content is present though minimal.

  5. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks, Ali. I didn’t think you would be converted. 🙂

  6. Darryl Sloan says:

    Michael,

    Mmm, I thought the title was pretty clear as Chion, even with the Greek letters in between. I was actually going to use the Greek letters on the spine, too. Maybe I shouldn’t.

    “Countless are in need of rescue” sounds grammatically suspect, and it doesn’t convey the scope of the disaster effectively. Maybe “Millions are in need of rescue.” I’ll have another think.

  7. Phil says:

    I like the cover at the minute, although, what would it look like if you put the blood in colour and the rest of the cover in grayscale??

  8. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hi, Phil.

    I remember experimenting with greyscale on this image a while back. It actually detracts from it. The bluish tint on the snow helps it to look cold.

  9. Chris says:

    Out of all the cover designs I’ve seen so far, I must say I like this one best. It’s very clean and effective.

    I don’t think the small Greek letters will pose the problem Michael suspects they will. The Greek font is diminished enough in size and opacity with respect to the English characters so as not to interfere. If some store clerk gets confused by this design, then perhaps they ought to pursue a factory job where literacy and common sense are not a requirement.

    “Countless millions…”, however, doesn’t seem to sit well with me. If the “snow” phenomenon is restricted to countries above a certain latitude, then the number of people in need of rescue is more quantifiable that the current tagline suggests. “Millions in need…” sounds like a better option.

    No matter, I still think the design looks great as is!

  10. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks, Chris.

    Point taken about the word “countless.” These are my current favourites for the tagline:

    “When there are millions in need of rescue, how will you survive?”

    “When there are millions in need of rescue, how many must die?”

    “Millions are in need of rescue. How many will survive? And how many must die?”

    Some might think I’m being obsessive, but I’ve learned that the tiniest things can make the difference between a book that sells and one that doesn’t. When selling Ulterior, one piece of extra information on the auction title kickstarted the sales after they had dried up.

  11. Ed says:

    Millions will die. How can you walk away from this?

    No warning. No Hope. This is war and it has come to you.

    Those who will die, will die. It is your actions that will decide if you be joining them.

  12. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks for your input, Ed. I might work up a variation on your third tagline.

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