Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Writers' Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-12-2010, 11:06 PM   #1
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
Cover Design

So, I just got myself a trial copy of Aperture (w/Toonit!) and GIMP and Inkscape.

Anyone ever play with these? What are your thoughts on them for creative design/coverart?

What styles/fonts/etc. do you guys use?

What catches your eye on a (digital) bookstore?
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
Dusty Bottoms
Banned
Dusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipse
 
Posts: 187
Karma: 8178
Join Date: Apr 2010
Device: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
So, I just got myself a trial copy of Aperture (w/Toonit!) and GIMP and Inkscape.

Anyone ever play with these? What are your thoughts on them for creative design/coverart?

What styles/fonts/etc. do you guys use?

What catches your eye on a (digital) bookstore?
I pretty much use Gimp / Inkscape exclusively now, but I did use Photoshop and Illustrator for a long time. For me some book covers are works of art and some are merely great designs and have been thought out more than just slapping some text over a picture. Never ever ever ever use Comic Sans (or derivatives), it's the worst typeface on earth, and probably in the Universe.

At the moment I'm going in a completely different direction with cover art and making it part of a 'whole' design, with the website and the rest being part of that design. In that vein I've colour coded the covers, making them flat and uniform across the board. Gollanz did this in the 80's for their hardbacks-they had bright yellow jackets with nothing but the title and author on there (really caught your eye wherever you were in the book shop or library).

Here's the original and the new version to show you what I'm doing. Also, because I'm doing the new color-coded versions in Inkscape they're vectors, which means I can scale in any direction with little degradation.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	redmoon1.png
Views:	117
Size:	58.2 KB
ID:	51483   Click image for larger version

Name:	REDDOG1.PNG
Views:	121
Size:	12.5 KB
ID:	51484  
Dusty Bottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
I'd probably be the minority here, but I like the original better than your new edition. The vampire skull is kind of..strange for a western (which I must read - - give me now!)

Do you draw every cover by hand? Comission an artist? Or just go trolling the interwebs for CC photos to use and abuse?

I like the look of illustrated covers, but I can't draw a stick figure. So, I discovered a plugin for Aperture called "ToonIt!" which basically rotoscopes your image into something vageuly resembling an illustration. I used to use a similar present when i played with Poser/Daz3D, but the results were always subpar.
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
Dusty Bottoms
Banned
Dusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipse
 
Posts: 187
Karma: 8178
Join Date: Apr 2010
Device: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
I'd probably be the minority here, but I like the original better than your new edition. The vampire skull is kind of..strange for a western (which I must read - - give me now!)

Do you draw every cover by hand? Comission an artist? Or just go trolling the interwebs for CC photos to use and abuse?

I like the look of illustrated covers, but I can't draw a stick figure. So, I discovered a plugin for Aperture called "ToonIt!" which basically rotoscopes your image into something vageuly resembling an illustration. I used to use a similar present when i played with Poser/Daz3D, but the results were always subpar.
I can't draw anything, maybe the odd doodle here and there. I use free images from places like SXU and just let my imagination run wild.

One of the things you might want to consider with any design, is consistency. The red skull/western thing makes no sense because it's taken out of context of the whole. Once it's within the whole you'll see the red skull is part of the 'Horror' section of my pulp imprint. As below:





All the books in any one section are color-coded, branding them and giving the whole company a specific 'look'.

Here are the covers for the Kin series, again it's all about consistency across the design.

Oh and here's the original cowboy image as it was before I messed with it:

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	kin1.png
Views:	109
Size:	160.5 KB
ID:	51485   Click image for larger version

Name:	kin2.png
Views:	106
Size:	63.2 KB
ID:	51486   Click image for larger version

Name:	kin3.png
Views:	112
Size:	126.6 KB
ID:	51487  

Last edited by Dusty Bottoms; 05-12-2010 at 11:49 PM.
Dusty Bottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
And then I guess its just a matter of playing with filters/shadows/brushes to get the desired result? That SXC webpage is probably the most amazing site ever. Now I need some tutorials...off to google

Last edited by jaxx6166; 05-13-2010 at 03:36 PM.
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
Gimpology

After spending about three hours searching for tutorials (and finding some unsavory spamilicious sites) I discovered this page. It's got a whole boatload of tutorials for everyone else that may be interested. The most useful ones that I've found so far were about blending multiple images together to create one (Steampunk and blending.)

And then there's THIS one for creating a "typography poster," which I plan to basterdize when I go home to make a cover.

My eyes are open and I am in love. Now to play later.

Last edited by jaxx6166; 05-13-2010 at 07:03 PM.
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
Brushes are amazing. You should use them
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
Dusty Bottoms
Banned
Dusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipse
 
Posts: 187
Karma: 8178
Join Date: Apr 2010
Device: None
Just to open up the design aspect a little more in this thread. I've found it amazing how the restrictions of modern web design (CSS markup etc) force design into a different direction and that's not always necessarily bad. Because you have to think about bandwidth and accessibility you have to think differently, create more broadly than you would have to for covers (where the limitations aren't as restrictive). Here's what I came up with over the weekend... not finished, but I'm only just learning CSS at any level (the bottom level at the moment ) The introduction text becomes the navigation for areas of the site. Instead of a visual button (which takes up space and bandwidth) coloured and linked text does the job.

EDIT: And also, when designing its not just book-covers, but logos for series (which my pulp venture will be focusing on). You want the total experience across the board. Logos are also below for the (tentative) starting line up of the company.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot.png
Views:	107
Size:	125.3 KB
ID:	51748   Click image for larger version

Name:	logos.png
Views:	109
Size:	125.4 KB
ID:	51749  

Last edited by Dusty Bottoms; 05-17-2010 at 05:50 PM.
Dusty Bottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
DrZoidberg
Connoisseur
DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DrZoidberg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 72
Karma: 345846
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: Sony PRS-600
*start of shameless plug*
My wife is a professional artist and does, among other things, book covers. So far she's only done erotica, but she can do anything she's asked to do. She's got quite a few now for a number of authors and publishers.

www.paintinator.net

*end of shameless plug*
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
I like the logos. It's making me think more outside the box about what I should do as far as "branding."

What do you think the best dimensions to start with for a cover design are? How big should they be? I'm using 768x1024 px right now. It seems like a good size, maybe too big though.

I'm finding inkscape a bit intimidating right now, but Gimp is a lot more user friendly.

Last edited by jaxx6166; 05-18-2010 at 07:42 PM.
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 08:14 PM   #11
Dusty Bottoms
Banned
Dusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipse
 
Posts: 187
Karma: 8178
Join Date: Apr 2010
Device: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
I like the logos. It's making me think more outside the box about what I should do as far as "branding."

What do you think the best dimensions to start with for a cover design are? How big should they be? I'm using 768x1024 px right now. It seems like a good size, maybe too big though.

I'm finding inkscape a bit intimidating right now, but Gimp is a lot more user friendly.

I go slightly narrower at 740x1024px as it just feels the right size to me. Inkscape, like most vector programs, has a narrower role in design. For logos it is a must as you need to scale the logos far more frequently and anything done in the Gimp or any raster based program would come out looking like crap (jagged edges etc). Conversely if you use Inkscape to do covers it always looks a lot crisper but you lose the organic feel you can get from the Gimp. Here are some new covers done in the Gimp which I really couldn't replicate in Inkscape (I tried, believe me )

Oh and make sure you have the SAVE FOR WEB plugin installed in the Gimp, it'll save a lot of headaches down the line if you need to optimise.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	dazzle.png
Views:	124
Size:	13.3 KB
ID:	51781   Click image for larger version

Name:	deader.png
Views:	121
Size:	36.9 KB
ID:	51782   Click image for larger version

Name:	red-moon.png
Views:	114
Size:	23.1 KB
ID:	51783   Click image for larger version

Name:	blooddawn.jpg
Views:	119
Size:	19.3 KB
ID:	51786  

Last edited by Dusty Bottoms; 05-18-2010 at 09:33 PM.
Dusty Bottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #12
Dusty Bottoms
Banned
Dusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipse
 
Posts: 187
Karma: 8178
Join Date: Apr 2010
Device: None
Here's what I'm working on now. Combined using Inkscape and Gimp. Inkscape for the shapes (Moon, Deco Rays, Buildings), Gimp for texture overlay and text. I'm going for a Deco/40's look but I'm not all the way there yet. Still, with free software on a free Operating System (Ubuntu) I don't think it's halfway bad.

Dusty Bottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #13
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
LOL. Dusty, that's funny. This is what I just finished up. I wanted to put the city in a glass bubble, but that isn't working too well. =)

I'm an idiot...It took me this long to discover I can upload photos directly to the site. I thought it only accepted word files and stuff. Duh. There will be no more imageshack uploads
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	New_cover2.jpg
Views:	121
Size:	194.9 KB
ID:	51789   Click image for larger version

Name:	New_cover.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	183.4 KB
ID:	51790  

Last edited by jaxx6166; 05-19-2010 at 12:36 AM.
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 10:46 PM   #14
jaxx6166
Wizard
jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jaxx6166 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jaxx6166's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,222
Karma: 769316
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eternal summer
Device: 350, iPad, PW
How'd you manage gradient text? I couldn't figure that out..
jaxx6166 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 11:35 PM   #15
Dusty Bottoms
Banned
Dusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipseDusty Bottoms can illuminate an eclipse
 
Posts: 187
Karma: 8178
Join Date: Apr 2010
Device: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
How'd you manage gradient text? I couldn't figure that out..

Write out your text. Highlight by clicking inside the text. Create new layer (the highlight should still be showing). Apply gradient to the highlight on the new layer, it will fill the highlight with gradients. At least that's how I've been doing it.

EDIT: You should see it in the picture below. The highlighted text has a dotted flashy line around it, you then 'fill with gradient' or use 'gradient tool' on an empty layer.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot-2.png
Views:	132
Size:	434.2 KB
ID:	51787  

Last edited by Dusty Bottoms; 05-18-2010 at 11:39 PM.
Dusty Bottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
iPad Win an Oberon Design iPad Cover at The Gadgeteer JanetCinNC Apple Devices 1 08-05-2010 01:10 AM
Design the ultimate 505 leather cover and I will manufacture kevinofengland Sony Reader 23 03-05-2010 05:26 PM
Disappointed with my new Oberon Design cover sayhello Sony Reader 31 02-27-2010 09:39 PM
Accessories Help Design My Kindle 2 Cover/Case moxy789 Amazon Kindle 11 02-24-2009 11:37 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:33 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.