can I get some feedback on my book cover design?

Previous Question

I have some limited experience with graphic design, but it’s all self taught. I’m a better artist than I am a graphic designer. I did draw something for a book cover to my story though, and I want to use it. Problem is making the cover look more professional. I’m not good at the fancy book covers I see other people make, but I want to be. Below is the current book cover I have, as well as the drawing I made that I definitely want to be a part of it. As it is now, the cover is very simple, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I feel it needs more. How could I improve the cover to look more engaging to a reader?

Current book cover:

And the art I want to be included no matter what changes I make to it:
synthetic_blood-removebg-preview-removebg-preview

Ok, I have worked on it again and hopefully made some improvements. I had to go back and paint over the original drawing I did to make it a little crisper, less pixelated, and more high quality in general, as well as adding more contrast. Then I used Canva to look for better fonts to use. Still was difficult because there weren’t a whole lot of options in the realm of sci-fi as well as adding effects to the fonts. Still, I did what I could with what resources I had. I came up with two different designs. Which one is better? I’ll add a poll for easier answers, but any feedback would also be appreciated, so long as it is constructive.

Cover #1:

Cover #2:

Which cover is best?
  • Cover #1
  • Cover #2
  • Neither, keep trying to come up with something better

0 voters

2 Likes

I would raise the saturation and contrast a bit.

Something like this.

Maybe also make the author font a solid color so it stands out a bit more from the title.

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Perhaps raising the contrast would be a good idea, but the saturation looks a little weird to me, plus makes the silver/white look blue, which is not what I’m aiming for. Still good feedback, thank you! I’ll mess around with that a bit.

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The problem with putting in a busier and darker background is that your hand has a glowing edge to it. What ever you do to the background, the hand has to be darker unless you get rid of that almoat “edge detect”.

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I don’t necessarily want a darker background. I actually was going for a stark white look. Regardless, there’s no real way to get rid of that. I’ve already used a background remover.

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I just more meant that it limits your options, is all.

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Ah, I see. Well, that may be true. I suppose I’ll just have to do what I can. But I still would like any suggestions that could help improve it.

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I’ll break this down into the major points

background
I don’t think you need that harsh edge, which kinda makes it look like the hand is hanging over a table. A smooth gradient would be much better, with the dark blue on the left and the white to the right.

main image
While it has that painted quality, the image itself isn’t very crisp. I’m not sure how you could improve that, if it’s a drawing (since I’ve never done the like) but I’m assuming some smudging, blur and the sharpening should do the trick. It is a very pretty image though, and I would personally be attracted based on this alone. I do think that the hint of a shadow, a deep blue that’s barely just visible, will help to make it pop more against the background.

title text
Okay, so I’m assuming this is a sci-fi, based off the title. The font and effect is one that’s almost childish, for lack of a better term, and not something that would be considered professional. You’d also want to, for the sake of stability, ensure that Genesis fully supports Synthetic:, as in being the same size or a touch bigger, if you don’t want to make synthetic: smaller, and ensure it’s all capitalised, since the mix of upper and lowercase doesn’t work for the design. I think the gradient again would work nicely for the text, just reversed, and add in your drop shadow and just the hint of a stroke, not too obvious though. Something chrome should work well I feel.

author name
Stability again, make it all uppercase, make it smaller by a couple of sizes and then space it out, jut a touch. You can apply the same layer effects for the title here, but that’s up to you. My only problem is that it’s far too big, so you’re forced to squish it up close with the title.

random
General tips, just to make use of what you have. If you can add onto that drip in the drawing for the text, it’d be perfect, and that means you can move the title up higher, not have the bottom quite so crammed with words. And if this is sci-fi, a hint of texture will do nicely. Maybe some tech circles or the like in the empty space, brushed over in dark blues and then the opacity turned down until it’s just barely visible again?

But yeah, this is all I have. Hope they help! <3 Let me know if yo have any questions!
I’m trying the drawing it out with a few effects fyi and I’ll pop it in here when I’m done, if this is okay with you?

samples of what I feel would work well but ye

5 Likes

I agree with deathinreverie about the image. If you remove the background, its quality recedes. Sharpening it would also look a bit awkward. Have you tried looking for higher quality images? The font’s great, but it isn’t very prominent. Have you tried placing it elsewhere; somewhere in the center?

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I actually did want it to look like it was hanging off of a table because it’s from a scene I will eventually write where that’s happening lol. But I do really like the suggestions you’ve given. Those example pictures are a lot better than what I’ve got so I think I will listen to your advice.

I was afraid of covering the image with it because I thought it would detract from it, but after seeing those samples @deathinreverie made, I’m not so worried about that, so I’ll mess around with it more.

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The art? WONDERFUL. It does have a really odd edge, though? Like incredibly pixellated. Do you have the original art that you made that’s not so low res?

Two things - the cover is almost completly monotone. A darker or differently coloured background could work wonders in making sure your text and your art are the focus point, instead of being washed out. Check your image in black and white to see just how much the colours are cancelling each other out. :slight_smile: I saw someone suggest upping the saturation - a good idea to be sure. You can mask out layer adjustments, so just remove the adjustment from the slime if you don’t like the colour it’s given.

The text is OK, but you can do some fun things with it! Samtech, Suprema, Antonio are my go-to sci-fi fonts rn, they have a lot of overlap with thriller so you can use them multiple times. I’d scrap the drop shadow and either darken the background at the bottom significantly, or do some fun stuff with your text to make it stand out. With the author name, can you change it to all caps and again, lose the harsh shadow? You can toy with a drop shadow if it isn’t so harsh, but overall, they aren’t really used anymore.

As @deathinreverie said, making your title one width is a good idea and is a cheap, dirty way of making your typography look more balanced, lol. Fast + dirty fixes should always be tried before messing with completely different type.

Some quick and easy balancing I’ve done, bc I suck at explaining.

image
image
image

2 Likes

Unfortunately that is the best I’ve got because I drew it last year and lost the original file. I could redraw something similar though at a higher resolution. That’s just a lot more work.

Unfortunately, I don’t have money to be paying for fonts, and looking up those fonts on dafont did not provide anything. I also am limited to ipicy for my designs because I don’t own photoshop, so I was using the best font they had. But I might be able to use my firealpaca (art program) to add the font in instead of using ipicy defaults.

Everyone keeps saying that and I’m not sure I understand what you mean, because it is all the same width. I made the title the same font size, same spacing. :sweat_smile:

@Moonless-Nights @J.L.O @deathinreverie @Micahferb @CoffeebyNight
Pardon me for tagging all of you, but you all had some great feedback to give the first time around. I edited the first post with some variations I made. Could you please take a look and let me know what you think? I’d really appreciate it, but there’s no pressure. Thank you so much!

Cover #2 looks fantastic.

2 Likes

Thank you! I’m glad to hear it.

The image quality is a lot better, and so is the font. Move the title up, and again, reduce your author name size. It doesn’t have to be quite so big. The border too is unnecessary. To be honest though, this doesn’t really look like a sci-fi now. You’d have to search for new background stock to fix that.

It’s not about the same size, it’s about balance. You want the words to be roughly the same length so it’s balanced. Since “Genesis” is shorter than “Synthetic”, you’re going to have to make “Synthetic” either smaller or less-spaced, so it doesn’t look like if might fall of the sides of “Genesis”, in a sense. There are, of course, get-arounds for this as @/CoffeeByNight has shown, but that’s up to you how to execute.

2 Likes

#2 over #1, although #1 was definately an improvement.

I’m going to test two pics for a blended background option. It may just get too busy. Won’t know until I look at it.

Just an idea

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I’m not saying to use this specifically, but if you want to add something that “looks synthetic” to a starfield:

Random Star wallpaper:

Bismouth Mineral:

Blends of the two:

Heavily modded Predator filter/overlay:

Personally, stars that have no galaxies in between them is very synthetic looking, so it fits your title well enough. I also prefer simpler over complex, so I would keep your update is over anything I’m showing. Just more so you can see other options.

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Moving the title up will block part of the original image, and reducing the author name makes it impossible to read in thumbnail size. I know the border is unnecessary but if I don’t include it, it makes the image feel empty and uncentered (even though it is, it’s just at an angle that tricks the eye). If I change the background image, I might be able to find something a little busier to cancel this effect, but I would still want it to be space imagery, so I don’t know how effective that would be. I also don’t want it to detract too much from the main focus/image, so busier might not be better. I don’t see how it looks less like a science fiction the way it is, so I can’t really determine how to fix that. I do appreciate the input though, especially regarding the text symmetry. That does make more sense, thank you.

I actually did play around with the border like that a little while designing. Do you think it looks better?

Synthetic refers to the species in my book. It’s a combination of cybernetic and biological/genetic engineering run by an A.I. called Synthetic Humans. So the background wouldn’t necissarily reflect what I’m going for. Nevertheless, those images, or similar ones, would add a busier background, which I might play around with for another update to my cover, so it’s still helpful. Thank you!