7.3.07

Design help...

Tim Drake is having me design the cover for his follow up book to There we Stood, Here we Stand. I would like your feedback...both from a design standpoint and as to it's overall concept (would Lutherans be offended with the way I hacked Luther up?)--Oh, and no, Tim isn't getting Pope Benedict to write the foreword... it's a placeholder :)



this is the cover for the first book:

12 comments:

Lawrence Klimecki said...

I like it Ted. It's a nice follow up to the first book. The only thing that presents a minor distraction to me is the way Luther's face is broken up, it gives the impression of him being grossly overweight (well to me anyway but I've been told I get distracted by really odd things:). I would suggest keeping more of his face together as was done on the first cover. I can't speak to what would offend Lutherans but maybe that would help. I really like the overall feel though, good job.

Herreid said...

What about putting the title and text on a parchment nailed to a door? That'd be cool (but maybe offensive.)

Ben said...

As I mentioned, Ted, I can tell you what seems wrong, but I don't have a good idea of how to correct it....

The parchment would bee cool, but wouldn't carry over the design of the last book, which I think you want since this is a sequel to a previous summer blockbuster hit. But John right that you should keep the face a bit more together because since our brains tend to want to connect lines between the pieces he ends up looking a little like Jabba the Hut.

The main thing that strikes me is that there is not enough simple contrast. In the first book Luther is a dark shape on a white field. This cover you just posted uses dark grey agains black with a little airbrush in the middle. so the shatter effect doesn't read as instantly as it does in the first version.

Also the text might be lined up on too many lines.

What if you tried using the bluegrey textured background as the whole background. Carry it into the grey? Then it would look like it was painted as a shattered figure...

BPHatke said...

Huh, my comment doesn't show up on the site.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm graphic designer/Catholic convert and came across this post.

I like the concept but I'm afraid you would be stepping on some toes with it. The first design is subtle in respect that the image could have been dropped, even by accident. But the new one takes a different tone in that it appears as if it has been hit with a projectile. Lends itself a little too much towards an intentional act. Also, Luther's face now resembles Jaba the Hut. Not a good look for him.

I might suggest for the second one you concentrate on not what was left behind, but what was gained. Gravitate more toward the concepts of growth, renewal, awakening etc.

Just some thoughts.

Thanks,
Gary Deckard
garydeckard@hotmail.com

regina doman said...

I agree with Ben. The "branding" continuity is important. The first cover doesn't strike me as very strong at all (did you do it? Hope I'm not offending...).

Gah. What if you took the image from the first book and made it a white sihlouette on a black background? Now, I know that wouldn't work, really, because I don't know if you'd recognize the shattered white pieces as Luther. But it might be something to start with. I'd change the colors before I changed the shape.

I'm speaking as a marketer, not an artist, btw.

Chances are the two books are going to be displayed next to one another at the point of sale. So I would say the one cover should flow into the next one.

... but if you could have started from scratch and redesigned both covers, I think your take on the design is stronger than the original book's. And the parchment on the door idea is pretty cool too!

(What about taking the original design and putting it on a parchment nailed to the church door???)

As it is, I think you're safer working within the parameters established by the first book in a more rigid way.

I don't know if John Barger told you about the postage stamp test -- he hammered it home on me, I know. If your book design is reduced to the size of a postage stamp, is it still recognizable? I would guess that you'd have to be able to recognize the sequel as being connected to the first book, even as a postage stamp size. The best market for the next book are folks who bought the first one. Therefore, the two covers should look somewhat the same.

Spoken (written) by someone who's redesigning all the covers of her book series and is wrestling with this very problem...

Abigail said...

I think the concept of Luther being fractured in some way is an interesting take... Perhaps reducing the contrast in the grey areas of the shards would minimize the harshness a bit though?

The only thing that's throwing me a bit is the type. I like the type that runs down vertically, but the type stacked in the middle is throwing me in terms of continuity. Maybe less leading?

I do like that typeface though... Garamond? And the red ornament is nice touch.

The Glaswegian said...

Remember to change 'forward' to 'foreword'.

The Glaswegian said...

And I would drop 'Author of many fine books'.

bPHatke said...

Holey Moley! Ten comments! Smallpax is hoppin'!

StubbleSpark said...

Some alternative suggestions:

1) I have always thought the division of the Mystical Body of Christ at the hands of Luther as types of the physical wounds of Christ scourged at the pillar. I understand the desire for continuity, but you why not make one element of original the focal point of continuity. Is there a reason we have to have both the cracks AND Luther's mug on every single edition? By the third and fourth book, that might become maddening.

2) Comical approach: Luther swinging the axe of the Solas at a great Oak representing the Church. When the axe strikes, it breaks instead of the tree being felled.

3) Use cracks to separate an image of Luther from that of the Church. Too simple? At least it portrays visually what the title says.

The Perseverance Podcast said...

I like the new design for book II a lot! It really catches the eye. And like Abigail said, the little red ornament is a nice touch. I didn't realize that Luther was supposed to be splitting apart though. To me it just looked like it overlays a picture of Luther. Maybe darken up the drop shadow along the edges? Very nice though.

I don't really know if it is any more offensive than the first book cover, but then again I am not Lutheran. I have a lot of respect for Lutherans and get along great with them.