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Discussion Starter #1
My 18 year old niece, a gifted designer, has generously offered to re-design my book cover. Here are the mockups: http://musterbator.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-cover-art-for-my-kindle-book.html

Any feedback appreciated. I already know that the font needs to change. It's not legible enough, especially at small size.

Not asking for detailed analysis (unless you want to give it). Your gut feeling is great.

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Sam Landstrom
Author of "MetaGame" for 80 cents (you can search on the name in Google-- first hit!)
 

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I like Option #4
deb
 

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I like Option # 2 :)
 

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I liked 4 as well, 2 is not bad either, just depends on whether you like blue or red better.
 

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At first I thought I liked the blue better, but then I decided I liked the contrast of the eye on option #4.
deb
 

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There's really something about the blue for me. I took a long moment to debate it over, and I'm thinking 3, then a tie between 4 and 1.
 

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I'm going to be critical, but only because I think that can be a very good thing.

Option 1 looks like I'd be buying a book about makeup commercials. I can't get past that model, sorry.

Option 2 is definitely the best of the bunch. Why? The focus point is on the eye which is sharper than the surroundings (a good thing), it has a trippy vibe due to the swirlies, probably quite appropriate to your book. Are you sure blue is the appropriate colour, though? I haven't read your book, so I can't form judgement, but that cover makes me feel very calm, and somehow I doubt that's the feeling you want to portray.

Option 3 doesn't speak to me at all. Looks like an opaque ghost-like version of the makeup commercial model again.

Option 4 is just not sharp enough. No focus point on the eye, too much blur, nothing of substance. It looks like a very low-res image has been ripped off the internet somewhere.

Also, I don't see anything inherently wrong with the font choice, but it could probably do with more kerning to increase readability.
 

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I like #3 still.  It seems more concise.  But after looking at it longer, I don't like that itty bitty  piece of the right eye.  I think you should move the image over to get rid of any part of the other eye.
I bet you didn't want alllllllllllllll these opinions, huh?
 

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I liked the original except for the font.  If you put the new font on the old cover, it looks great, but I do agree that the kerning could be increased a smidgen on the new font.

Are you doing the odd capitalization on purpose?  Your last name is LAndstrom... is that second capital letter supposed to be that way.

Second choice is that I like the last one but they are right about the contrast on the eye and it was a fantastic idea to move the whole face over so that we don't see the other eye at all.  On the eye... for the last one... the red bleeds too much into the eye... suggestion of no red in the whites of the eye and no red in the retina.

One last tip... I think that's an outer glow effect on the font that makes it fuzzy.  If you put a drop shadow or an outer bevel, it might stand out better.  You can fiddle around with making the outer glow a different color than the font too.... oh nm... tmi...
 

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Option #1 is the best in my opinion.  It's a striking visual and the blue really makes it pop.  It actually looks very high-tech, futuristic.  The title font is very cool, but needs a darker outline to make it pop a bit more.  I'd find another font and darken it for the "a novel" and your byline.

As for the other options, while the swirly lines look cool, they're also distracting and give it a more amateurish appearance.  I'd stick with a bold, clean, sharp visual any day of the week over crowding the image and making it busier than it needs to be.

My two cents.  best of luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for you generous feedback. I did not expect this many people to weigh in! Not exactly a consensus, but there is some good data here to mull over.

I'm going to point my niece to this thread and we'll huddle on it. And of course I'll be following up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
vwkitten said:
Are you doing the odd capitalization on purpose? Your last name is LAndstrom... is that second capital letter supposed to be that way.
That was my niece messing around I think. I dunno, it's kind of cool and not something I would have thought of on my own.
 

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I like the original cover the best. Just add the new fonts to that and it'll be perfect IMO.
 

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vwkitten said:
That's why I ask instead of assuming it's a mistake. Art is art. =)
I thought it was a mistake, too, and I didn't like it. I wouldn't go with that in the final.

I don't like the font. It looks like MetFgFme to me and the F reminds me of you-know-what word.

I like the color on number 4.

L
 

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Image wise, I prefer the original; to my eye, add the new font and it would be most awesome.

Otherwise...#2.
 

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Sam Landstrom said:
That was my niece messing around I think. I dunno, it's kind of cool and not something I would have thought of on my own.
Not to be mean, but no, it's not cool, if for no other reason than the one you've already seen here in this thread. People would read it and think there was some significance to it. It'd turn what should be an easy name to read and remember into a point of confusion. You never want to distract your customers from the original message in a good design.
 
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