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New Darwinian Laws For Every Business [resubmit]

The author says:

This is a resubmit, taking into account many of your suggestions. I also received some additional thoughts from Derek. Am I getting closer? Thanks again for your help and comments.



[original submission (as Survival of the Fittest) and comments here]

Nathan says:

Hmm.  The artwork is certainly less crude, though I don’t know that it’s still uncrude enough. And for what it’s worth, I disagree at least halfway with Derek, in his comment on the original post, regarding the need for a different title: I think that the wholesale replacement of the original title with “New Darwinian Laws For Every Business” is a mistake because, while it’s more accurately descriptive, it’s also more clinical and less evocative; not only is that less immediately appealling, it runs counter to the comment you made on that same post that you were indeed going for a “whimsical” approach.  Perhaps a longer, colon-divided title/subtitle — “Survival of the Fittest: What Your Business Can Learn From Darwin,” or somesuch — in which the subtitle is only slightly smaller than the title, and thus both are readable at thumbnail size.

Of the visual examples contributed, I really think that Viergacht’s mock-up is definitely the direction to go: it’s got that element of whimsy, it’s clean and clear, the text dominates and the image supports the title and effectively communicates the voice in which the book is (reportedly) written. Heck, I’ll reproduce it here because I think it’s that good.



You can really see the appeal if you place your revised version beside his in thumbnail.  The cartoony vibe from his big fish really makes it for me:

FrontcoverV15 Cux7rxs[1]

I think that with a slight wording tweak so that the business aspect of the book is visible from the thumbnail, that’s really the way to go.

Other comments?


  1. I absolutely don’t understand why the badly-drawn fish is still on the cover. I can only assume that someone involved with the book project drew it, and thus, it’s immune from being chucked–but it ought to be.

    I do NOT like the fonts used at all; they are too fine for a cover. Also: green book covers seem to just tank, pun intended, badly. Green doesn’t seem to blow up buyers’ skirts.

    And this is also one of the rare times I disagree with Derek. I don’t see any charm, or whatever it was he saw, in the original drawings. To me, there’s nothing Thurber-esque about them, sorry.

    Viergacht’s version, hands-down.

  2. I agree with the others: your design doesn’t have to be exactly like Viergacht’s in every single aspect, but his is closer to what you want. The original title is better, and the fish need to be… not necessarily as crisp and well-delineated as in Viergacht’s mockup, but more clearly predatory. I do like how you’ve arranged the school of little fish in the shape of a bigger fish with its mouth open (and at a slight angle, which makes them look a little more dynamic), but right now all the fish look like herbivores. Give all of them some teeth and put some grins on those fish faces. (For the big fish, as in Viergacht’s example, making it look like it’s grinning anxiously adds to the playful tone of the pursuit in this picture. “Uh, y’all excuse me while I take a powder…!”)

    Right now, your big fish is looking rather resigned to being eaten, something that never applies to real creatures and businesses in a cut-throat dog-eat-dog situation like the one your book is presumably describing. Make him look like he’s frantically either trying to fight back or evade his predators, the same as any real organism or organization does. Put some more energy into this cover. Don’t make everyone look as dreary as any of the corporate drones in your target audience; they’ve got enough boredom in their lives already.

  3. One thing that is missing is the bigger fish. That could be represented by just some large, toothy, open jaws big enough to take in all the smaller fish, coming in from the right side of the cover. (The protagonist would, of course, be expected to escape this demise, possibly by reading chapter “Q” in the book where it describes how to activate the oil slick and ejector seat.)

    I like the colors on the green cover, but it reminds me of a textbook, and the green water reminds of the aquarium I had as a kid.

    1. V:

      It just happened to be a great mock-up. It suits the book perfectly. For this particular thread/cover, your head oughta swell. Nice job. 🙂

  4. Speaking of, V?

    Do you do cover work? I don’t see a link to your sig–could you reach out to me via my website (click my username, use the contact form at my site) if you do and are interested? We keep a list of recommended cover designers for our clients and prospective clients, and I’m always on the hunt. If not, or if you’re doing something else, whatever, thanks anyway.

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