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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I HAZ NEW EDIT? I added another cover based on new suggestions for comparison.

EDIT: FINAL version added. Thanks so much for the advice!

Greetings!

I have a horror series that's starting off as short stories and being combined into a novel when it's all finished. The first installment should be finished next Friday, and I was hoping I could get some feedback on the cover I came up with. I messed around for a while with different stock photos, and this is the one that stuck out most to me. I used an image through StockFreeImages.com. I manipulated it and added the appropriate text.

This is meant to be a classic horror story about a small town in the South. A visitor arrives with promises of fulfilling everyone's wildest dreams... for a price. Sometimes the fee is something insignificant. Sometimes, the price is higher than could ever be paid. (Not a final blurb. Just to give you an idea)

Anyway, here's the cover I did. I did a few others, but they honestly weren't that great. This one seems the closest to the atmosphere of the story. I was trying to be simple, but eye-catching.

Final note. I usually wouldn't use black text on a red background, but I think it works in this case.

Here's the final version!



And the old one:
 

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I like that shade of red. It works very well with the white.
But I'm afraid that as a thumbnail, this isn't going to work at all. The black font will disappear. The background image won't show up well. Even at this size I first through the background image was just some abstract shape.
(caveat: I'm currently viewing this on a high-contrast laptop monitor, so the darks are really dark)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm. I like the concept of the image. I wonder what I can do to take care of those issues? Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe I should stick with all white and do something to make the background sharper somehow.
 

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Perhaps lightening the road, just a small amount and making the clouds darker, to make it more ominous?  Is there room in the image to pull it down just a little, so the THE is resting soundly in the sky.
 

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Yes, I think lightening the road a bit (or at least the white painted lines) would help.  As for the font...  I agree that the words in black seem to disappear in the smaller versions.  I don't know how to work with fonts, but can those words be lightly outlined in some way, or given some sort of texture to make them stand out?

Also, is there a reason you have it listed as "Part One / Arrival," instead of "Arrival / Part One"?  Just a question..... 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm am now working with it to see about putting a white outline around "GOOD" but I don't like how it looks around "arrival" and "david" so far. I'll have to mess with it.

Jena H said:
Also, is there a reason you have it listed as "Part One / Arrival," instead of "Arrival / Part One"? Just a question..... 8)
Yep! Part One of The Good Man is called "Arrival." Part Two will be called something else. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
humblenations said:
Just need to get the red right ... it's a little too dark at the moment for my tastes. I always like to put a little orange in it as well with red. Red that's 100% is a little too harsh. Try somewhere around here:

Sweet! I'll give that a try and post the results. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just did my first update based on suggestions of using a touch of orange and lightening the background image up. Here are the results so far.

 

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David Scroggins said:
I just did my first update based on suggestions of using a touch of orange and lightening the background image up. Here are the results so far.

To me, that loses the "horror" feel completely. What if you just lightened the black text to dark gray?

 

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David Scroggins said:
I just did my first update based on suggestions of using a touch of orange and lightening the background image up. Here are the results so far.

I think it looks pretty pro. But, as someone said, it's hard to get horror from it.

And the text needs to be bumped four pixels to the right. How's that for anal retentive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's also a great idea. I thought about it, but I didn't try it for some reason. I'll give that a whirl and see how the final version comes out.  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
jasonzc said:
And the text needs to be bumped four pixels to the right. How's that for anal retentive?
I noticed that too. I bumped it to the right a bit and it looked odd. I bumped it back to the left and it bugs me. I'll probably kick it back to the right again.
 

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I like the brighter red. I'd probably put a grunge layer overtop and choose an eroded or distorted font to up the horror vibe. I'd probably also increase the kerning between the letters so the words stretch the whole way across the cover.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ruecole said:
I like the brighter red. I'd probably put a grunge layer overtop and choose an eroded or distorted font to up the horror vibe. I'd probably also increase the kerning between the letters so the words stretch the whole way across the cover.

Hope that helps!

Rue
Those are excellent suggestions. Does anyone have any suggestions for fonts that have a similar look to the one I'm using, but eroded? I'll have a check around. I'm pretty in love with the style of the one I'm using, so it would have to be close in appearance.
 

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David Scroggins said:
I just did my first update based on suggestions of using a touch of orange and lightening the background image up. Here are the results so far.

What if you have a cascading of blood effect that had red over the top half of the cover as it then turned to streaks of blood lower down? I'm thinking that would convey the "horror" element.
 
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