Author Topic: Cover Art  (Read 148 times)

Offline Amara

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Cover Art
« on: August 10, 2018, 01:30:40 am »
The discussion on unpopular opinions had a couple of posts on cover art and I thought a separate thread, in the right folder, might prove interesting and lively. So . . . do you prefer photographs or illustrations? Does it depend on the book? How about the typeface? Can you be turned off by design choices on the cover or have you ever been persuaded to buy or read a book because of great cover art? Is cover art more important for fiction than nonfiction? Are there colors you'd like to see more of on cover art or are there any colors are are so repugnant to you that you never want to see them? Do you own any artwork that is a blown-up cover? Let's talk!

I have been utterly fascinated by the original artwork (top image: https://www.princeton.edu/~graphicarts/2010/05/celestial_eyes.html ) for The Great Gatsby. Princeton Rare Books Library owns the original drawing (without title and author) as well as the original cover. (I have purchased the rights from them to reproduce it as art for my home and office. It amuses me to think of people meeting in my office and having those eyes looking down on them.) I also adored these metallic cover designs for F. Scott Fitzgerald's books published by Penguin in 2010: https://mymodernmet.com/6-stunning-f-scott-fitzgerald/



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Offline a clever screenname

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 09:50:18 am »
Personally I prefer covers with illustrations to photos, more so for fiction than non-fiction.  I will actively avoid any romance novels with covers that feature only shirtless men or overly impassioned couples, mostly because I read on the bus and other public places and don't want to answer 'what are you reading' questions with those.

I will admit that I have bought books solely because of the cover art. I wasn't interested in reading the Nancy Drew book series when I was growing up, but I have recently bought a couple with the newer cover art (example: https://www.target.com/p/the-secret-of-the-old-clock-reprint-hardcover-by-carolyn-keene/-/A-15067967 ). They currently sits in my still-to-be-read book horde, so I still don't know if I would recommend the books.

Offline Kiwi Cupcake

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 03:01:03 pm »
I prefer illustrations to photos. Not a fan of cartoon-like covers but I can live with them.

The only covers I dislike are if illustrations of people look cheap; like they couldn't afford a quality artist. The person will look between a portrait and a cartoon. The features are off kilter and creepy. I don't know why they don't just have a cover of an inanimate object in those cases.

Offline Airelenaren

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 05:28:51 pm »
I avoided the Harry Potter books for years because the German cover art looks so boring and ugly. Eventually I found some English copies at a book store, which looked much more intriguing, so I started reading them and was positively surprised.
I later orgered one of the new books early and it came with a bookmark that had the German art style on it - with a picture that looked like a vomitting snake (I still have no idea what that was supposed to refer to, or who thought that was a good idea). I can't imagine how local children get into these books when they look like that.

On the other hand, I started reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and later the follow-up books) pretty much solely because it had metallic shiny art on the cover (and the pictures looked weirdly appealing without actually telling me anything about the plot). I usually read no science fiction and almost no comedy, but the short description on the back of the book sounded decent enough, and I turned out to love these books.
The cover art of the first two is still among my favorite.

I don't really know if it makes a difference to me if a book cover uses a drawing, paintig, photograph or even computer graphic. It's mostly about the colors, the overall look of it, and how well the chosen style matches the genre of the book.
I also have a few books that have no pictures at all on the cover. Fonts, size and color of the letters can also look more or less appealing.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 05:33:41 pm by Airelenaren »

Offline Lynn2000

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 05:34:29 pm »
Well, as I said in the other thread, I do judge books by their cover. It's such a broad topic, though, it's hard for me to generalize. It's definitely possible for a cover to turn me off, if it looks cheap or childish (for a non-child book), or seems at odds with the plot summary.

I see a lot of this when I go looking for free Kindle books on Amazon, which often come from less-established authors without a big publishing house behind them. It's a crucial form of advertising, because we live in an age when there are so many books to choose from, and it's so easy for someone to make a work available with little-to-no vetting by experts. On Amazon the cover picture is pretty small, like a postage stamp, so if something looks bad even at that distance, I'm not interested.

Offline Kiwi Cupcake

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 05:52:53 pm »
I avoided the Harry Potter books for years because the German cover art looks so boring and ugly. Eventually I found some English copies at a book store, which looked much more intriguing, so I started reading them and was positively surprised.
I later orgered one of the new books early and it came with a bookmark that had the German art style on it - with a picture that looked like a vomitting snake (I still have no idea what that was supposed to refer to, or who thought that was a good idea). I can't imagine how local children get into these books when they look like that.

German covers are something else.

Anne Bishop had a series called Black Jewels which I loved and visited her website often. The day she posted the German covers there was quite a reaction. Oh My. :o I don't know who that horrible B-movie she-devil creature was on the cover but it sure wasn't the nice little girl from the book.
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Offline Winterlight

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 10:38:08 pm »
I just looked and the German covers were just as awful as I thought I remembered them being. *shudders*

Fantasy author Jim Hines did a series of posts on cover art, and how sexist it can be. Not arguing that there's anything wrong with sexuality or showing off a model's body, but the angles you see in women's poses vs those in men's poses are pretty telling. And as Jim points out about a followup post by someone else, when someone who's a trained contortionist and martial artist can't pull off a pose, that says a lot about how unrealistic and ridiculous they can get.

http://www.jimchines.com/cover-posing/
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 10:44:07 pm by Winterlight »
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To whom you speak,
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And how, and when, and where.
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Offline Felicia

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2018, 11:49:50 pm »
I don't think I place much stock in cover art, but get the title wrong and I won't even bother to read the back.

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2018, 10:13:58 am »
I went to look up the Harry Potter German covers and found this: http://www.mtv.com/news/1840221/11-craziest-harry-potter-book-covers-around-world/

I had never really thought about the need to change cover art for different countries.  But seeing the huge difference in just the one series I guess explains the need.  Different things appeal to different cultures.

Offline Apis Mellifera

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 11:56:18 pm »
OK, I think this Golden Deer Classics outfit must be trying for the most bizarre look with Anne series book covers:
Anne of Green Gables
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Golden-Classics-ebook/dp/B078W95XCY/ref=sr_1_154?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534132364&sr=1-154&refinements=p_27%3AGolden+Deer+Classics

Anne of Ingleside
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Ingleside-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B075WW6Z2B/ref=pd_sim_351_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=515TMAARKSB8Y6H4RFM1

Here's a boxed set with a really disturbing cover picture
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Stories-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B076P9M562/ref=sr_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534131532&sr=1-26&keywords=rainbow+valley

Rainbow Valley
https://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Valley-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B0785V2LHR/ref=sr_1_39?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534131800&sr=1-39&refinements=p_27%3AGolden+Deer+Classics

But then it looks like they have trouble with anything that has a female main character.

Who is this?? Certainly not Sara Crewe
https://www.amazon.com/Little-Princess-Frances-Hodgson-Burnett-ebook/dp/B079VTXBY5/ref=sr_1_73?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534132120&sr=1-73&refinements=p_27%3AGolden+Deer+Classics

Rilla of Ingleside -- Did they use the same model from the Windy Poplars book?
https://www.amazon.com/Rilla-Ingleside-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B077ZB6YB1/ref=pd_sim_351_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Z2N121JEPH76QJ2T3DR9

Anne of Avonlea
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Avonlea-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B077ZFDZZ4/ref=pd_sim_351_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=AZD5X4P340HMCBH6BCCX
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Offline shadowfox79

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 02:11:31 am »
Quote
Here's a boxed set with a really disturbing cover picture
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Stories-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B076P9M562/ref=sr_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534131532&sr=1-26&keywords=rainbow+valley

That hollow-eyed stare is going to give me nightmares.

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 04:30:36 pm »
OK, I think this Golden Deer Classics outfit must be trying for the most bizarre look with Anne series book covers:
Anne of Green Gables
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Golden-Classics-ebook/dp/B078W95XCY/ref=sr_1_154?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534132364&sr=1-154&refinements=p_27%3AGolden+Deer+Classics

Anne of Ingleside
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Ingleside-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B075WW6Z2B/ref=pd_sim_351_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=515TMAARKSB8Y6H4RFM1

Here's a boxed set with a really disturbing cover picture
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Stories-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B076P9M562/ref=sr_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534131532&sr=1-26&keywords=rainbow+valley

Rainbow Valley
https://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Valley-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B0785V2LHR/ref=sr_1_39?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534131800&sr=1-39&refinements=p_27%3AGolden+Deer+Classics

But then it looks like they have trouble with anything that has a female main character.

Who is this?? Certainly not Sara Crewe
https://www.amazon.com/Little-Princess-Frances-Hodgson-Burnett-ebook/dp/B079VTXBY5/ref=sr_1_73?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534132120&sr=1-73&refinements=p_27%3AGolden+Deer+Classics

Rilla of Ingleside -- Did they use the same model from the Windy Poplars book?
https://www.amazon.com/Rilla-Ingleside-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B077ZB6YB1/ref=pd_sim_351_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Z2N121JEPH76QJ2T3DR9

Anne of Avonlea
https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Avonlea-Golden-Deer-Classics-ebook/dp/B077ZFDZZ4/ref=pd_sim_351_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=AZD5X4P340HMCBH6BCCX

Those are...um...interesting.

Offline Amara

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Re: Cover Art
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 04:43:28 pm »
Every once in a while, I enjoy looking at images of old pulp fiction. Several years ago I discovered what has become my favorite one, Nympho Librarian. It makes me laugh every time.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/265571709248137102/