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Month – November 2014

The Renewing of the Mind Project

The author says:

The title tells much of the story. It is a religious book about transforming yourself and your mind and becoming a better person.

RenewMind-Cvrs-2.indd

RenewMind-Cvrs-2.indd

Nathan says:

I really like it.

I’m not sure that the wide letter spacing isn’t a bit overdone, but other than that, I have no criticisms.

Anybody else?

Among the Red Stars [resubmit]

Cover aged2

Cover aged2

[Original submission and comments here]

Nathan says:

Quite a lot of little tweaks here, most for the better.  Here’s what I’d still have on the to-do list:

  1. Still more contrast to the artwork. Until I can clearly tell in the thumbnail that I’m looking at an airplane, the artwork’s not doing its job. (If you’re hesitant to lighten the foreground airplane further, maybe you could try increasing the red sunset glow behind it to make it stand out.)
  2. Play with the font for the supertitle text — perhaps something serif and period-appropriate.
  3. I’d make it “daring Soviet airwomen.”

Other ideas?

Art and Humor [resubmit – previously Art For the Unwashed Masses]

The author says:

Target audience: Adults and kids who like color and clean humour. I have implemented many of the changes suggested here, as they were very good ideas. I am also considering the following title changes. Again, my objective is to cause a browser to open the book to see if he or she wants to buy it. In your view, will it have this effect? Possible title/subtitle combos include: 1) Title: The ART of the Unwashed Masses Sub: Art and Humour for the common man 2) Title: Art and Humour Sub: A visual Guide to the Curves of Life 3) Title: The ART of the Unwashed Masses Sub: Cautionary tales to guide the common man 4)(current post) Title: Art and Humour Sub: The Illustrated Adventures of a Roving Artist Or any combination of the above. Your thoughts, and new ideas, are much appreciated, Will

Art for the Unwashed Cover1

Art for the Unwashed Cover1

[Original submission and comments here]

Nathan says:

That’s the one weak point of this kind of crowdsourced critique: You’ll get differing, and sometimes contradictory advice.  Here’s mine:

I don’t like the title featured here. I know some people had problems with the original title (I was not one of them); I think that this one is far too generic. I also realize that you’re limited in your ability to retitle, as the word “Art” is part of the artwork and you have to work the rest of the title around it.

And your name could be bigger still. Self-publishing is not a venue in which modesty is a virtue!

I’ll leave it to others to debate the options for your new title.

Chinese Education in Singapore: A History of Violence

The author says:

In this short work of history, Zhang tells the story of violence in the Chinese community of the colony. Set between the founding of Singapore and the shuttering of Nanyang University is a colorful story of secret societies and their wars, of Sinitic languages and dialects, and of suppressions by a colonial government in a free port. Its 70-plus pages are not crammed with historical facts and dates but filled with the experiences of Chinese migrants over centuries. It is an impression of their achievements and a witness to their weakness of character.

cover

cover

Nathan says:

So is the book actually about violence? The impression from your summary is more of social conflicts.  That would make a difference as to whether your cover implies more violence or less than it does now (the fist, especially, gives it a “revolutionary” vibe unmentioned in your summary).

Strictly from a visual standpoint, two things: The charcoal background in the bottom half could stand some sprucing up (not a lot, but a subtle decorative border could go far), and the fist being split between two colors confuses the eye and reduced the immediate impact of the image; maybe moving it entirely to the bottom half would be a good idea. (Again, I don’t have a good understanding of how well the fist fits the book; I’m just talking about visual impact.)

I don’t know how much good further advice would be without understanding the book better.

11/05/14 Update: I’ve added the resubmitted cover:

cover2

 

That’s certainly less ambiguous!

My suggestion at this point is that you tone the red down to a richer color, and add something visual to indicate a Chinese connection — perhaps a pattern like this behind the fist:

(Please note that I have no idea what symbols like this may mean — I’m just thinking in terms of design elements.)

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