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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Don't worry, I didn't design this myself, so you're not going to hurt my feelings :)

As the title says, this is a non-fiction (how-to) book on goal setting.

I don't hate the cover, but I don't love it either. It feels like something's off -- or something's missing, maybe?

Any ideas?

 

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A nonfiction cover doesn't need to capture the atmosphere of a book in the same way as a fiction cover, it just needs to be clear and informative - which this is. I wouldn't call this a pretty cover, but it does the job admirably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Daphne said:
Perhaps it is the colour? Could you have the same design in a different colour?
I guess it could be done, but this is supposed to be a cork board with a piece of paper on it, so I don't know how much the colors can be changed. I thought about a lighter cork board, but I think then the piece of paper will be kind of lost on it.

Just trying to figure out what to tell the designer before I get back to him. Maybe the whole thing just doesn't work and he needs to start over. I'm not sure.
 

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The only think I think might make it fell "off" is that I don't find the font type of the title fit the background. You've got a clean font on a piece of paper on a corkboard (though the background looks more like wood then corkboard, it's too shiney).

Maybe a fonttype that looks closer to writing (doesn't have to look like actual handwriting, just less "clean" than this is)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
kiazishiru said:
The only think I think might make it fell "off" is that I don't find the font type of the title fit the background. You've got a clean font on a piece of paper on a corkboard (though the background looks more like wood then corkboard, it's too shiney).

Maybe a fonttype that looks closer to writing (doesn't have to look like actual handwriting, just less "clean" than this is)
You might be right about the font.

Were you thinking of something like this?
http://www.typolution.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/scripts.jpg (the "writing" part, not the "hand" part)

or these: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_wXG-O0Gal_o/SpKq8anSeoI/AAAAAAAADX8/eoz5XIEPdWQ/s400/handwritten-fonts.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
kiazishiru said:
They're too tough.

I like the small font you use for the post-it on the cover, something like that but with a more visible/normal font?
I don't know how to explain it >.<'
I didn't design this, so I have no idea what the font is :) And I obviously have no eye for fonts!

ETA: I'm going to ask for a change of fonts, but any other suggestions are welcome.
 

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Am I the only one that really likes the cover?? Because I do!

Maybe if you made the paper whiter, or brighter, it might help? I don't know, because, again, I like it just the way it is :)
 

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I feel the cover doesn't work because of the message you're trying to convey.

This is supposed to be an inspirational book. It's supposed to motivate, help clarify, and give direction for writers.

What it currently looks like is something you find in an attic, something from a thriller. Generally it says "messy/uncontrollable/chaotic." The tilt of the paper, the splotches, the aged paper all convey the exact opposite message I think you're trying to target.

I would work it from a place of bright, powerful, good feeling design. Go with a positive colour scheme (blues, golden yellows, earthy greens), use images that make the writer feel good about what they do, and are ready to take on what you're providing them.


Aside from that this cover in general feels empty. As the title is what is the focus, instead of like a fiction book where you can use an image to carry the message, the title needs to be larger and be a main element. It should be taking up the entirety of the piece of paper. At the moment I'm expecting something else to be at the bottom section of the paper, and the post it note isn't enough.

I hope this helps! As ever, take what feedback works for you and leave the rest :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Scarlett_R said:
I feel the cover doesn't work because of the message you're trying to convey.

This is supposed to be an inspirational book. It's supposed to motivate, help clarify, and give direction for writers.

What it currently looks like is something you find in an attic, something from a thriller. Generally it says "messy/uncontrollable/chaotic." The tilt of the paper, the splotches, the aged paper all convey the exact opposite message I think you're trying to target.

I would work it from a place of bright, powerful, good feeling design. Go with a positive colour scheme (blues, golden yellows, earthy greens), use images that make the writer feel good about what they do, and are ready to take on what you're providing them.

Aside from that this cover in general feels empty. As the title is what is the focus, instead of like a fiction book where you can use an image to carry the message, the title needs to be larger and be a main element. It should be taking up the entirety of the piece of paper. At the moment I'm expecting something else to be at the bottom section of the paper, and the post it note isn't enough.

I hope this helps! As ever, take what feedback works for you and leave the rest :)
My original idea was actually what you suggested: the kind of goal setting book you find when you search in Amazon. They usually have arrows, lightbulbs, charts (that kind of thing) as part of the design to convey organization and goal setting.

The reason I didn't want something like that is that the point of the book is that creative people are different when it comes to setting goals. They might be disorganized or need a more creative way to set goals. So I didn't want to go with a typical happy/bright goal setting cover because that's what all the other books have.

I do see the point that this might have the opposite effect because it's too chaotic. I'm going to ask the designer to create a second option that has that brighter/feel-good essence and that way I can compare the two.
 

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Yeah I totally get what you mean about the arrows and vector images etc. That sort of design is so boring to me! And yes, creative people are different when it comes to setting goals but I don't think this concept taps into that idea.

You don't need to be that corporate when you're thinking non-fiction. Go with just a sense, a feeling. Authors are gut instinct people.

And this sort of design can be fun! It doesn't have to be stoic, you can really get into some unique ideas. Here are some great examples of creative, smart non-fiction:

Vintage images:


Witty and clean design:


Beautiful image and typography conveying the life of nature (in your case, you could convey the life of writers circulating lol)


Funny and totally relatable:
 

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The concept is good  and I like the sticky note. But I'd go for a different piece of paper for the main note. How about something cleaner, but not bright white, with maybe a coffee cup ring? Lined paper? Crumpled? I think if you got better images, especially that cork board, it would be better.

As for typography, definitely different fonts. I'd make  GOAL SETTING larger, fill up some space, then put FOR WRITERS larger, try to get it on one line. Then the sticky note, which I like as is, and your name seems large enough, when I zoomed out.

Oh, and maybe a push pin instead of a nail, since it is a bulletin board. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Scarlett. That helps.

A while ago, I had another cover designed for this book but wasn't sure about it either. It sort of has that vintage look you mentioned, but I thought it was too obvious.



I'll take a look in Amazon to see if there's something I like and could use as an example.
 

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I agree with the other comments: the brown colors and blotches don't appeal to me. Scarlett had some great feedback.

I would go with cheerful, organized, and beautiful. I suggest using objects that writers are familiar with: an attractive laptop and a sleek thermos of coffee, maybe a notebook and a beautiful pen. When most writers organize themselves, what do they actually use? Corkboard with sticky notes? Or their computers? I use a computer.
 

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dotx said:
Thanks, Scarlett. That helps.

A while ago, I had another cover designed for this book but wasn't sure about it either. It sort of has that vintage look you mentioned, but I thought it was too obvious.

I'll take a look in Amazon to see if there's something I like and could use as an example.
I think this is better, but the battered, vintage look, isn't appropriate, imo. My first impression was of one of those old war recruitment posters you might see stuck up in a bar somewhere. It's not a terrible cover by any means. I just think it could be improved. :)
 

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Scarlett said exactly what I was going to.

What about a stack of messy papers? Or a pile of crumpled papers? Something like that can look both messy, but still have that upbeat, inspiring feel to it.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 
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