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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [ORX] Cover Art & Layout Help Req.  (Read 5881 times)
greyorm
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« on: November 25, 2006, 04:31:46 AM »

I've stayed up far too late having far too much fun doing this, and I'm going to pay for it when I have to leave for work in just a few hours, but I've put together a series of four possible covers for ORX. Just a couple variations on a basic theme.

You can view the covers on this page. Just a heads-up, they are sized close to 800x600 each (but are optimized for the web). The covers are wrap-arounds for a 6x9. Once I decide on a cover, I will drop the final text in and we're good to go (yes, I had a little fun with the placeholder text).

But before that happens, I'm looking for feedback from you graphic design and marketing wizards; specifically:
  • Is there anything I'm missing that should be on the cover? (note: I do not have an ISBN for this book, so don't worry about it)
  • For those who have experience printing with Lulu, what cover would come out the best with their processes (if any)?
  • Also, I'm assuming bleed of about 1/8" inch all around, anything I need to know that's a bit wonky about how they trim (if anything)?
  • Marketing/aesthetics-wise, does any particular cover, or elements in a particular cover jump out as better designed than the rest?
  • Is there anything wrong with/that I should consider about the basic scheme, or moving around, etc.?

Also, credit where credit is due: the image used on the first cover is by the incredible Ed Heil.
(The other three are all me.)

BTW, I'm also sharing these for fun. Maybe it's the hour, maybe it's the lack of sleep, maybe it's me celebrating getting over a year-long artistic dry spell.
Now, I'm getting to bed. My wife is going to kill me.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
nystul
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Posts: 17


« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 10:14:14 AM »

In general - I like Cover #1 but the text needs to stand out from the illustration. I would suggest graying out the illo a bit - you still get the impact you want but it will be easier to read. I really think you should reconsider your logo. It is very hard to read even under the most ideal circumstances. Simple test - if I see people playing your game at a con I should be able to read the logo as I pass by.
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Alex Gray
Trevis Martin
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2006, 01:47:10 PM »

I like the first cover the best also.  Is that really the best positioning of that image on the cover?  I"m not sure I'd let the nose bleed into the wraparound.   The title needs to be further up your visual heirarchy, both in color and style of line from the illo.  Perhaps the title could be more like the webpage title and in red or orange.  Subduing the starkness of the illustration might help some too, that black and white punch is hard to counterbalance.

Trevis
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 07:39:09 AM »

I'm not a layout or graphics wizard, but I personally prefer the second or fourth. The orc in the fourth is a bit too dark tho', and sort of fades into near-blackness. Also, that it looks like a 3D model is also a slight turn off for me; Fuzz the edges a bit, make it look a tad bit less computer-generated, perhaps.

Also, to counteract the issue that Alex mentions with the readability of the title, perhaps you could take the darker "Orx" behind the white, and move it in front, with the ornate calligraphy white "Orx" in the background? Just an idea.

Anyhow, some good initial offerings.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Thunder_God
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2006, 10:16:07 AM »

For some reason I like the first the most as well, but that's what is pleasing to the heart; and I'm not sure it'd go as well if I were to buy it off a stand.

The third looks wrong for some reason, and the fourth's background looks like something for 12 y'o who watch GI Joe(I actually like the series). You need to put your name in a more prominent spot on all covers.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
jrs
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Posts: 373


« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2006, 11:31:27 AM »

I like the front cover of the second one and the back text of the third one best.  Maybe drop the cover image down so that it is out of the orange stripe.  The orange stripe with the superimposed Orx in two fonts is very eye catching.

I do not like the 4th one.

You will have readability problems with the first front cover.  As it is now, "nasty" is difficult to read, "short" is near impossible, as well as the "the" and "us" in the bottom text.  If you go with the first cover, I suggest making the front cover text orange or some other nice contrasty color so it can be easily read.

Julie
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greyorm
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2006, 10:35:37 PM »

Many thanks for all the feedback, everyone!

What I'm finding is that while I, too, really like the visual impact of cover #1, trying to fix it for use as a cover ends up taking away everything I like about it. I tried a cover bth with the illo grayed out, and another with the illo's position altered so the wholeface fit on the front cover. Unfortunately, neither really flew.

I wanted to place the tweaked versions on the page, but I won't have time to do that until tomorrow. I'll update here when those are available.

I do have a second try at the same high-contrast idea, but once it is up, I think you'll see what I mean about it not being as "grabby". So, unless/until I have a sudden inspiration regarding a way to make #1 work with the high-contrast, all-part-of-one-line style cover, I'm going to take it out of the running.

Regarding the CG-look of the orc in #4: that's an intersting observation. I wonder if that's an effect of the heavy shading and high contrast on that cover, as it is the same orc as from #2 and #3, just blended with the background. So I am curious, do those two look computer generated as well?

I will try out the suggestion of swapping its position with the darker logo and see how that looks. I will also try moving the orc more towards the center.

More tomorrow. I need to spend some actual time with my wife tonight.

Thanks again!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 07:27:23 AM »

Yes, I wasn't clear; All three of the latter, the orc looks CG. It's actually less prominent in #4 due to the much darker shading than in #2 and #3.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
greyorm
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 01:38:04 AM »

Sorry for the delay, I had to choose between sleep and putting up the images. Sleep won.

The redo of #1 -- 1a -- is up. Also, I've put two alternates of #4 up -- 4a & 4b. You'll note the altered title, and in B, the image's repositioning on the cover. Each has its strong points and weak points: A has a lot of light areas, which distracts the gaze from the title, while B is a bit minimalistic, but the title pops more.

Also, like Julie, I'm really liking cover #2's title banner; though the rest of the cover fails to catch the eye. Might play around with that next.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Thunder_God
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 02:06:20 AM »

Make all of the back-cover image in 1a "greyed", not just the part covered by the blurb box, and I still dislike 4 and its versions intently, they just seem like CG from 97.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2006, 11:03:38 PM »

As much as I hate to say it.. I actually most like 4b. If the orc were a leetle bit more distinct from the background, and you were to brighten the ornate Orx script behind the dark up a bit (I didn't even see it on the first perusal) that would be really grabby.

I say I hate to say it because I didn't really like the original number 4 all that much. The high contrast of #1, with it's negative imaging is too jarring to look good, in my own opinion.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
greyorm
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2006, 01:24:38 PM »

Thanks for the feedback, guys. I know whatever final decision I make isn't going to please everyone, but all your criticism and commentary is given consideration and has been very valuable to me in the design process. While I wait for the final proofread of the text, I will be finishing the cover based on the discussion of these drafts -- but if anyone has any further comments or insights on the existing covers, feel free to post them.

Thanks again for your honest opinions!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
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