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A Way Out [resubmit]

The author says:

This is a resubmission for A Way Out. I’ve taken some feedback and came up with this as a possible final product. I’d just need to purchase the flower image so please ignore the watermarks. This memoir is about overcoming depression and anxiety, and finding happiness on the other side. The cover is meant to show hope, that beyond the tears and storms in my mind, it’s possible for recovery and your life can turn into something beautiful.

[original submission and comments here]

Nathan says:

You’ve done a great job of integrating the comments given with the original submission.

The biggest thing that sticks out to me is that the waterdrop is now off-center, but not so much off-center that it appears intentional.  I would bring the drop back to the center; there’s still enough of the face showing on its left to make the flower silhouette recognizable.  In fact, I’d make the drop bigger — with the title enclosed in the drop, the whole title has gotten a little smaller and harder to read since the last version; I’d make the drop large enough to stretch from top to bottom across that empty space, then play with exactly where the head silhouette should be behind it.

The other thing that strikes me is that having “A MEMOIR OF CONQUERING” in larger type to fill the line makes it seem louder or more important than the next line, which it isn’t.  I’d make the type in the first line the same size as the second line, and not worry about it extending side to side.

Good work!

Any other comments?


  1. You might consider swapping your by-line up to the top and your subtitle down to the bottom. The reason being that the current arrangement requires a viewer to start in the middle then skip up to the subtitle, which is not the natural top-to-bottom reading order present in English. As your subtitle, in this case, seems to serve as a second clause for the title this may confuse the reader.

    Alternately, you could also place the subtitle below the graphic in the middle of the page (but that would introduce top/bottom balance concerns that don’t exist in the present version).

    1. I took the picture and tested that idea of yours and your right! The swapped version does read better, the subtitle just needs to be made smaller if the center elements are enlarged.

  2. It’s beautiful, solidly matches the books description with a colour scheme to match.
    I agree with Nathan. There’s still some white space to be tackled and both title lines need to be of equal size. You can try stretching the text of the lower half if needed but it’s perfectly fine if the second line is longer than the first. Fitting it into a box is unnecessary.

    Enlarge the tear drop first until it completely covers the middle section and place it bang in the center; then play around with the silhouette until it fits in a spot you like.

    I can think of no other changesexcept maybe saturate/darken the sentence and byline.

  3. Independently the artworks is nice but you’re using 2 different styles. The tear looks hand drawn and the flower doesn’t. It clashes a bit too much for me.
    (BTW there a zillion free pics of flowers and woman silhouettes. No need to buy one.)
    and maybe something more like this to fill it
    that picture has a great background color too (the blue water spotty look, not the bright yellow)that might be nice to use. Yours is sort of blah, which might be good for a book on depression…lol

    there are lots of nice choices there I just linked the first ones I saw that might do.
    (to make the woman head the flower just use the magic wand to outline the woman then use crop to selection on the enlarged flower.)

  4. Good job!

    The asymmetry of the placement of the tear drop doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I like it! Symmetry can sometimes work against the dynamics of an artwork since it puts everything in balance. I think in this case especially, the off-center placement of the tear works in favor of the subject of the book.

    But I do agree with Nathan that the two lines of the subtitle need to be of the same weight…otherwise they read like two different phrases.

  5. I’m afraid to say I think this is a little weaker than the previous submission. I think both are good designs, but the original one was closer to the great cover this could be.

    This second face/flower element weakens the design for me, especially as it’s one whose placement forces the title graphic to shrink right up. The message was so clearly visually expressed on the first cover. This one leaves me wondering what all these symbols add up to meaning-wise.

    I do think you’re wise to have added in another shade as single-colour covers can be dull. Plus I think a lot of the above advice from others is stuff I’d echo. The two lines of the subtitle need to be of one weight, and the byline should be at the top, subtitle at the bottom. But my wider advice is…

    Well I’ve done my usual and mocked up what i think the best version of this cover would be! The post with all the images is here:

    And the first pass is this:,h_762,al_c,q_85/61b1ee_8662f21737934cfbbdafb1daa2afe39b~mv2.jpg

    First of all, I’ve chosen to use only your excellent teardrop title lockup, without any other graphic elements barring the subtitle and byline, and make it as large as possible.

    Secondly, I’ve added in a subtle background of blue watercolour texture. Partly because it’s a problem for e-book cover when their borders are white (there’s no dinstinction between the cover and the background of the sits it’s on) and partly because getting rid of the pure white background makes things a little warmer. Pop-psych/sociology books have white backgrounds. this is more personal and the watercolour texture somehow suggests that.

    I’ve also played slightly with the colour and contrast. I’ve knocked the levels down overall to make everything a bit darker/bolder, and I’ve added in a little tone variation to the teardrop – giving it a patch of more purple-blue amid the wider green-blue. Then I’ve picked up that shade in the colour of the subtitle’s lettering to bring in the shade more and to tie title and subtitle together more obviously.

    It’s a very subtle bit of colour variation compared to what you did above but I think it’s just enough to make the cover pop.

    The next thing I did was look at fonts. I do like the one you’ve chosen very much, but there’s something that isn’t quite working for me in the text treatment there. It think it’s that the weight of byline and subtitle are too even at the top and bottom.

    And perhaps its’ also that there’s too much contrast for me between the extreme delicate thinness of that typeface against the very bold and dominant title font.

    So I tried a few variations:,h_614,al_c,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/61b1ee_8a411efeab524ce4a6c0aec265c71771~mv2_d_1527_1538_s_2.jpg

    Rather surprisingly the one I think works best here is where the byline is in Saint-Tropez

    It’s not one I’d normally think of for this kind of subject matter, it’s more a light and fun kind of typeface, but I rather think it works. I think it’s a good balance of bold and elegant, and the almost writeen-in-paint look ties into the overall aesthetic, and thereby ties everything on the cover together nicely,h_762,al_c,q_85/61b1ee_4627f75a431a41e6be99e305225f46a8~mv2.jpg

  6. I would be careful about the scale of the tear drop…there is going to be a point—probably already reached and exceeded—where it does not automatically register as a “tear.”

    This is probably a good argument for the inclusion of the profile of the face: it manages to maintain a visual tie between the blue shape and the fact that it is in fact meant to represent a tear drop. (That being said, you might want to consider a profile in a solid color rather than one composed of a pattern which adds perhaps a little too much unnecessary visual clutter.) Otherwise, I fear that a tear drop that fills half the cover or more may fail to make a connection with the potential reader—since, after all, tears are not normally expected to be six inches tall. And even if people were to recognize it as a drop of water…what kind of drop? A rain drop? A tear drop? A drop of dew? A water balloon? They would have to read the description of the book to realize what the cover represents…and that is putting the cart before the horse.

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