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Book cover assignment...looking for critique

possum 10 with better bg.png
This is my next assignment: a book cover for a mythological story ( plus lots of other things).
I wanted to use something I had an original photo for so ended up with the ringtail possum.
Any tips, suggestions, critique welcomed.
I guess my questions are : would the cover attract someone to look twice at the book?
Should I do a border or just have it as is on black gloss soft cover?
Is it transferable to a poster or ad? or should I make adjustments?


Staff member
Often the author name is given larger presence than the title.

And you can embellish the name of the author a bit - or even the title - by adding in spot uvs, embossing and such.

https://www.google.ie/webhp?sourcei...&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=book covers spot uv emboss

It's not bad.

The effect on the image is pretty bad though - no real need for that the way it is presented.

How about a black background - outline of the animal, with glowy eyes or something...

Paul Murray

Staff member
I'm not getting 'mythological' from it to be honest. In fact I'd assume it was a non-fiction book about Lemurs from the image. Try and be less literal. There's nothing wrong wth taking a stock image and applying some text (this happens a lot in the book industry), but if this is for an assignment, I'd expect to see some creativity.

Here's an example of a clever animal-related cover - http://thebookdesignblog.com/book-cover-design-inspiration/boy-tigers-heart
I'm not saying you should aim for this level but it's a good example of creativity through negative space.
Thanks for the links and tips Hankscorpio and Paul. I will check them out.....
I did have glowy eyes on possum but didnt like them.
I have to do two covers , each from different countries so it is good to have the links . And i guess I should try stock photos as trying to use my own, limits my options not to mention spending hours editing it to one I liked....
cliodhna 4.png

white tiger 9.png

Okay so these are my two book covers, each from a different country as required for assignment.
I hope they look more mythological in nature. I really can't get into the photoshopped appearance of images merged together and glossy appearance at the end. And I couldn't quite make a negative space effort look mythological.
I am hoping these are passable? Am still experimenting with trying to find my own style .
The clouds with white tiger could be too gaudy? But in real life clouds do have a stark outline contrasting to smooth colour.
I like my banshee girl however, but I am unsure if my taste is terribly unrefined and obviously that of a novice; not sure if it is something that will make me puke to look at later on. According to Irish folklore this banshee was always accompanied by three colourful birds.
Should I keep experimenting?. I have lots of theory to get through also so would love if I could call it quits on these.
Yes..I think I will just paint or sketch something and photograph it..then add type...
At the end of the day it is what I do best and I am not skillful enough with the photoshop tools to pull anything off without it looking amateurish.
I only got a pass for my last assignment..the logo/business card/3d signage for design studio. She ( assessor ) liked the whale tale with patterned colour over the simplified version. There is definitely a point at which one should stop :)
And I lost marks on the proofing of 3d signage. I had the impression people don't opt for samples to be sent , that it is too expensive , and as long as the export is all in order combined with communication regarding specs, one is good to go. I even did a ray trace:rolleyes:
I often think the assessor's who give me a low mark are more professional than those who give me high distinctions and I will definitely be trying harder for phase 3 of this 4 part module.
cliodhna 14 with cover.png
1. Book Cover:Cliodhna queen of Banshees...mythology from Ireland

white tiger 6 w cover.png
2. Book Cover: Bai..white tiger from Chinese mythology...symbolises 'good' things and is often referred to as 'white tiger of the west'.

I am hoping these are considered a MAJOR improvement. I Have had a few days in Dublin and the break from theory and computer helped with ideas ( maybe not tech skills...but...)
Final tweaks plus logo...
cliodhna 15 with cover final.png

white tiger 8 final.png

Logo: Apparently I have to do one for the publishing company ( fictional company ) called ACME and somehow slot it into the a4 poster/book cover. I came up with this. It will do. The idea being it represents a building ( house of publishing etc...)
As always constructive critique is appreciated.. acme logo 1.png