Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cover Design (Part 5 of 5)

After my initial drafts of creating my own jacket, it was clear I would have no intention on sending drafts to 1106 design for input.  They already ran me around and produced terrible concepts, so what kind of insight could they provide for me?  Behind schedule and with a bad attitude, I began pondering how I could design this cover myself.
It wasn't soon that everything hit me.  Not only did I need to make the cover, I needed to make the spine and back cover too!  AND... let's not forget to then adjust it exactly to how my printer (not selected yet) would need the file to the EXACT .01th of an inch.  Aye.  I looked more into designs I enjoyed and what would be fitting for my book.  I knew it should be rather simple and a creative use of the "shorts" cartoon.  I decided I would make a series of options and slowly eliminate them by either personal opinion or preferences from family and friends -- after all, the cover image is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of a book for the most part, and unlike editing or layout, the book cover is something in that everyone's opinion is 100% valid.
I had too many revisions and ideas to put into this blog, but below were my main ideas of direction in both color and basic pattern - you can see that they are all basically the same aside from color, font and basic layout:

I have a lot of random concepts in my draft folder, but they all sort of look like what is above.  I slowly narrowed down my selection to BLUE and slowly discovered the space SPECKLE to what evolved into what it eventually became:

This concept humors me because all of my paintings are SPLATTERED and speckled, so the fact that my book cover is similar makes me happy.  It also gives a unique feel of art instead of a bad book cover.  In the end, I am happy with my design and am still amazed I did this myself.  Looking back, would I change anything?  The font gave me the only problems.  I'd still choose it, but make the title a bit bigger (especially the spine) and probably work a different solution for the RED, which "bleeds" a little, meaning, it makes it hard to read when put in different environments.  When holding the book, it looks great and I am happy with the design.

  • Highly do not recommend their cover design services
  • Highly recommend their interior design services (to compensate for the above statement)
  • Thinking about my wasted time and money, I paid them OVER $700 TO SCREW with me regarding this cover image!  It still makes my blood boil.  If I think about it in a positive perspective, I think of it this way:  I paid them over $700 to waste my time, but they undercharged me for other services, such as PROOF READING and book back-cover copy.  ALSO, at the end of everything, they sent me a bill of additional hours spent on additional hours used for interior design.  I asked that since I opted out of the cover design, this saved them hours of work and they work that into the bill.  THEY CALLED IT EVEN!  So, with my thoughts they under-charged for those two services, let's say by $300 and they gave me about $100 or so - thats $400 in savings to some degree, which leaves about $300-$360 in wasted money, which isn't THAT bad...
  • I'm still pissed, but I am happy with how my book looks right now.  It looks GREAT and especially doesn't look like a NON-FICTION book as most cover designers (at least the affordable ones) make books.  Yes I wasted COUNTLESS hours working through not only my problems with 1106 regarding the cover, but then having to design the cover myself.  ALSO, because of 1106 I learned of istockphoto, which is an AMAZING place to buy images for commercial use! Not to say that PAYING THEM over $700 is worth discovering a website, but that is one aspect that makes me happy.  PLUS, competition makes things better.
  • In the end, I do wish I didn't go through them, but I can't help to ponder what my book would look like if I didn't.

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