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Book cover art

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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You shouldn't be trying to do anything for a professional attempt for another five years at least. And in those five years... practice every day.
    "Practice everyday" is obvious, tautological advice. No shit. And please stop assuming I'm not genuinely trying to improve or that I'm not serious about this. (Edit: just to clarify, "professional attempt" here is, quite simply, a website. Functionally, what I'm doing here is basically the same as someone starting a webcomic, but with a lot more writing and a lot less artwork.)
    But, you are determined to produce crap right now, so do whatever you want and stop asking us. You know what our answers will be.
    So your opinion is that the map and the website header are also "crap" and cannot be improved without years of practice?

    Qingu on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    well again, i think you're assuming you can do something that would usually take the skill of a trained graphic designer to pull off in a professional manner.

    from a typography standpoint, you need to work on the kerning
    particularly, in the first word, the A and the d in adventures have an ugly amount of space between them that needs to be kerned

    really decorative fonts like that quite often need a lot of work, you can't just toss em down and hope for the best

    layout wise, you're using a step layout that is confusing and doesn't flow
    you have the title off to the right side, and then the word "table of contents" small underneath that, beside it is the site buttons which i feel should stand out a bit more, right now they are in the same font in a less popping color than the title, which makes them confusing, they feel more like they are a part of the title than something interactive.

    it looks like you are using 3 or 4 fonts that don't work well together.
    in good design, it is nice to pair sans serifs with serif fonts but you should know what you're doing and make wise decisions.
    right now, part 1: the exodus just stands out way too much from the rest of it, making it somewhat of an eyesore
    couple that with the "table of contents" done in a different font, different color on the opposite side and it just all adds up to a lot of visual confusion and poor design choices

    read a few tutorials on typography and layout
    so short answer: yes, good design, like good illustration also takes years of practice or at least a bit of research

    beavotron on
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    Toji SuzuharaToji Suzuhara Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It doesn't sound like he's trying to print this, so it wouldn't be a cover on a physical book. Naïve art is a lot more accepted on the internet than in a book store since it tends to be a lot more free. He's probably not going to win too many fans with the cover alone, but the stakes are much lower for internet publishing. It's not as crucial to have amazing presentation because he doesn't have to move a thousand units languishing in a warehouse.

    (It would be nice if it were more professional, though.)

    Toji Suzuhara on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    see i personally feel presentation is everything
    especially on the internet where there is just so much crap, if you want to be noticed, you have to put the time effort and in the case of outsourcing, money into it if you want it to pay off and be worth it
    if it's just for fun, who cares?
    but if you want to be taken seriously, you have to take it seriously.

    beavotron on
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    Toji SuzuharaToji Suzuhara Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You are very right, Beav, but he's only going to do it his way. There's a nichey fanbase for everything, and he'll probably capture that. If he wants more he's got plenty of tips for him in this thread.

    Toji Suzuhara on
    AlphaFlag_200x40.jpg
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    beavotron wrote: »
    well again, i think you're assuming you can do something that would usually take the skill of a trained graphic designer to pull off in a professional manner.

    from a typography standpoint, you need to work on the kerning
    particularly, in the first word, the A and the d in adventures have an ugly amount of space between them that needs to be kerned

    really decorative fonts like that quite often need a lot of work, you can't just toss em down and hope for the best

    layout wise, you're using a step layout that is confusing and doesn't flow
    you have the title off to the right side, and then the word "table of contents" small underneath that, beside it is the site buttons which i feel should stand out a bit more, right now they are in the same font in a less popping color than the title, which makes them confusing, they feel more like they are a part of the title than something interactive.

    it looks like you are using 3 or 4 fonts that don't work well together.
    in good design, it is nice to pair sans serifs with serif fonts but you should know what you're doing and make wise decisions.
    right now, part 1: the exodus just stands out way too much from the rest of it, making it somewhat of an eyesore
    couple that with the "table of contents" done in a different font, different color on the opposite side and it just all adds up to a lot of visual confusion and poor design choices

    read a few tutorials on typography and layout
    so short answer: yes, good design, like good illustration also takes years of practice or at least a bit of research
    I was actually asking for criticism on the header artwork. :)

    The design critiques are welcome—but with regards to the typography in the title and the "Part 1," it's simply a placeholder right now (so, known issue). I'm going to attempt a cuneiform-looking script, but if that doesn't work out I'm definitely going to switch the title font.

    What is a "step layout"? I'm trying to simplify the layout as much as possible. I'm eventually going to design it for the iPhone, and I want the two versions to be as similar as possible.

    The small "Table of Contents" is probably not going to be there (the page I posted is a special case)—on normal pages that space is used for "page numbers." Are you saying they'd look better on the left, as opposed to the right? (I'll post a "regular" page in a little bit).

    Thanks for the critiques, dude. Is very helpful!

    Qingu on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    step layout looks like a set of steps

    or flows as such when the viewer is looking at it

    yours had the title in the top right corner
    "table of contents" staggered slightly to the left under it
    and then the actual contents left justified

    so it created "steps"

    beavotron on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I think you could do your own cover, but it would need to be a lot more simple. I'm thinking along the lines of Persepolis' recent cover: persepolis_cover_big.jpg

    There's also this

    persepolis.jpg

    SkyGheNe on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Heh, Persepolis (and Wind Waker) are the styles I tried to copy with my people drawings. Those Persian flourishes look hard though. And that cityscape in the background. And anyway, I'm going to give up on doing the cover myself.
    beavotron wrote:
    step layout looks like a set of steps

    or flows as such when the viewer is looking at it

    yours had the title in the top right corner
    "table of contents" staggered slightly to the left under it
    and then the actual contents left justified

    so it created "steps"
    Ah. So you're saying the title header text should be on the left?

    My concern with this is that I actually want the reader's eyes to glaze over the title for most of the pages. The "pages" of the book are arranged like single-post blog entries, and you click through hyperlinks to "turn" the page. So every page is going to have the header, and I don't want it to compete for attention with the beginning of the page's text. Here's a more typical page:
    book_for_pa2.png

    Same goes for the page number. I feel like, if these elements are on the left, then the reader is going to read them first before they read the text, when they click to a new page.

    (As such, "Kingdom of the Mystics" should probably be lighter as well)

    Qingu on
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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    beavotron wrote: »
    you need to work on the kerning

    A tip I want to share regarding this subject: It's easier to judge kerning spaces if you flip the words 180 degrees. This way, you can break what the mind sees as normal and can judge the type with less bias.

    MagicToaster on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    i just slapped my palm to my face at the notion that was just shared that more simplified art is easier

    seriously

    that is an absurd thought and it's people like that who make me, a more simplified artist scream with rage.

    beavotron on
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    BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I didn't slap my face, but I groaned and rolled my eyes

    Betelgeuse on
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    .Tripwire..Tripwire. Firman Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I clapped happily and peed in my pants a bit.

    .Tripwire. on
    sigi_moe.pngsigi_deviantart.pngsigi_twitter.pngsigi_steam.pngsigi_tumblr.png
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    MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I've been at Disneyland. What's going on in here?

    ...oh.

    Metalbourne on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    beavotron wrote: »
    i just slapped my palm to my face at the notion that was just shared that more simplified art is easier

    seriously

    that is an absurd thought and it's people like that who make me, a more simplified artist scream with rage.

    Are you referring to me? I was merely indicating that perhaps going with a more simple design would make things easier - The red persepolis design uses shapes and color with the main character as the focal point of the cover.

    Not really insinuating that doing the art itself is easier because it was "simplified," so don't get your loins all up in a bunch.

    The reason why I used persepolis as an example is because his style reminded me of it and it was something I've been thinking about recently. The cover reminded me of something that he could reasonably aim for and I thought it might help to post what I meant by "simple" (but I guess I should have clarified that I was talking about the design rather than the actual artwork of Satrapi since people love to get offended).

    SkyGheNe on
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    BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    God, I love getting offended. It's so awesome! But yeah maybe I should unbunch my loins; it's so unbecoming of a lady.

    Anyway, the suggestion you're making might appear to be easier to pull off than something art-heavy, but along the lines of what beavo was talking about on the previous page, it requires knowledge in graphic design and typography. I don't think someone with no experience in either of those areas is going to have an easy time of it, even with a lot of helpful nudging in the right direction. It's still going to look amateur. But then again, this isn't even going to become an actual physical book, so maybe it's not as big a deal. But I know I'd be less inclined to take it seriously if it looks amateur.

    Betelgeuse on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Betelgeuse wrote: »
    God, I love getting offended. It's so awesome! But yeah maybe I should unbunch my loins; it's so unbecoming of a lady.

    Anyway, the suggestion you're making might appear to be easier to pull off than something art-heavy, but along the lines of what beavo was talking about on the previous page, it requires knowledge in graphic design and typography. I don't think someone with no experience in either of those areas is going to have an easy time of it, even with a lot of helpful nudging in the right direction. It's still going to look amateur. But then again, this isn't even going to become an actual physical book, so maybe it's not as big a deal. But I know I'd be less inclined to take it seriously if it looks amateur.

    Yeah I know that much, and the OP seems to understand that...I mean, it seems pretty standard that a professional who has studied something is going to be better at it than someone who wakes up someday and decides to try it out. People do that with me and writing all the time: everybody thinks they can write, but obviously someone who reads and has studied it is going to do it better.

    But Qingu came to the forum understanding and knowing this and wanted helpful advice, whatever could be given in his situation. I don't think things like "practice" are helpful, but recent posts regarding formatting of the page, as well as font types has been invaluable information that pushes his project in the right direction and that is all the OP really wanted.

    It's up to you guys as to whether or not you want to take the time out of your day to help. I mean, it isn't forced, but he doesn't need 12 message of "this isn't going to look professional unless you get a professional" when he understands that and is looking for glaring issues that he can fix, which may take it from being poor to decent.

    SkyGheNe on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Okay, I'm getting sick of the "you're not a professional so you shouldn't even attempt this" advice.

    1. I'm putting it on the internet, for free. This is my hobby.
    2. I'm not going to hire a professional to do it for me.
    3. I'm not going to years going to web design school and art school before attempting to put this on the internet.
    4. If I thought my shit did look professional, or even adequate, I wouldn't be on Penny Arcade asking for advice on how to make it look better.

    I don't know what's up with this—maybe you guys are trying to guard the sanctity of your college majors from amateurs who would deign to try to produce something artistic without proper training—but it's annoying as hell, not helpful, and really just comes across as condescending and belittling when I don't think I'm being remotely presumptuous.

    Qingu on
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    MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Okay, I'll bite. I've got extra time on my hands.

    First off, what I need you to do is erase those two people out of the front of the picture and put them someplace more dynamic.

    Metalbourne on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Okay, I'll bite. I've got extra time on my hands.

    First off, what I need you to do is erase those two people out of the front of the picture and put them someplace more dynamic.
    You and your friends have already convinced me to give up on the front cover picture. (I want a dynamic picture and I accept I'm not going to get good enough in the timeframe I want to publish this.)

    I would still very much appreciate critiques for the map and the header art, and—if you're up for it—the web design (bearing in mind that the title font is a placeholder).

    Qingu on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Just some comments.

    Like others have said, the table of contents is somewhat awkward justified to the right.

    The title of the piece and the navigation kind of throw me off a bit. My eye is drawn to the title, but then it looks back at the navigation which is partly on the same plane and this seems a bit awkward to me.

    SkyGheNe on
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    BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Okay, I'm getting sick of the "you're not a professional so you shouldn't even attempt this" advice.

    1. I'm putting it on the internet, for free. This is my hobby.
    2. I'm not going to hire a professional to do it for me.
    3. I'm not going to years going to web design school and art school before attempting to put this on the internet.
    4. If I thought my shit did look professional, or even adequate, I wouldn't be on Penny Arcade asking for advice on how to make it look better.

    I don't know what's up with this—maybe you guys are trying to guard the sanctity of your college majors from amateurs who would deign to try to produce something artistic without proper training—but it's annoying as hell, not helpful, and really just comes across as condescending and belittling when I don't think I'm being remotely presumptuous.

    Actually, if you reread my post I never said you shouldn't attempt this, just that it will look amateur, which is true. Plus I conceded that it wasn't as big a deal given that it is a web project. Also, I wasn't even talking to you, I was addressing SkyGheNe's point that doing something more design-oriented will make it easier on you. So come off it already.

    Betelgeuse on
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    Pinky_PowersPinky_Powers Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Okay, I'm getting sick of the "you're not a professional so you shouldn't even attempt this" advice.

    1. I'm putting it on the internet, for free. This is my hobby.
    2. I'm not going to hire a professional to do it for me.
    3. I'm not going to years going to web design school and art school before attempting to put this on the internet.
    4. If I thought my shit did look professional, or even adequate, I wouldn't be on Penny Arcade asking for advice on how to make it look better.

    I don't know what's up with this—maybe you guys are trying to guard the sanctity of your college majors from amateurs who would deign to try to produce something artistic without proper training—but it's annoying as hell, not helpful, and really just comes across as condescending and belittling when I don't think I'm being remotely presumptuous.

    Very few of our comments suggested you should take college courses. This is what you hear because you are unstable.

    And there are serious and professional artists on these forums who still rely on the brutal honesty of this place. So your insinuation that only beginners need help is quite simply absurd.

    Stop telling us what your art is for. It makes no real difference. If you had listened to the first few posts made in this thread, you would know all you needed to for getting better. Buy a few art books and start at the beginning. Follow through on ALL of their projects and tutorials and... practice every day. You claim this is a no brain'er, but you keep posting all these rebuttals instead of just shutting up and doing it.

    If you want real help, post your progress here as it comes along. We will be able to see where you need work. But right now you need to start doing formal from-book practices.

    Pinky_Powers on
    -~ÿ~-Pinky-~ÿ~-
    Beer is the perfect lubricant for twisted and vile animal gibberish. I use it myself when the times are ripe and my need great.
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Alright, sorry—I just hope it's clear that I'm not exactly shooting for anything more than "passably amateur" at this point!

    Skye: Thanks for the critique. I agree it's an issue, but like I said to beavo—"Table of Contents" won't be there. That's actually the space for the page numbers. Actually, if you would be so kind, take a look at what I said at the bottom of the last page. I'm torn between putting all these elements to the left or keeping them right but making them less conspicuous.

    Qingu on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    just gotta point out the fact that i'm not a college graduate and probably never will be.
    so i am certainly not "defending the sanctity of my college major"
    i'm the biggest advocate of teaching yourself.
    unless you count the 3 years of neuro. don't come in here telling me you know more about brains than me, cause fool, you does not

    beavotron on
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    MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    beavotron wrote: »
    just gotta point out the fact that i'm not a college graduate and probably never will be.
    so i am certainly not "defending the sanctity of my college major"
    i'm the biggest advocate of teaching yourself.
    unless you count the 3 years of neuro. don't come in here telling me you know more about brains than me, cause fool, you does not

    My major is in engineering.

    Metalbourne on
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    BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    And here I am defending my Business Administration degree. You are both better people than I.

    Betelgeuse on
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    MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I have a diploma in network engineering..........it's kind of a degree........:(

    Mustang on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    i hate you all for having any sort of certification
    i didn't even get first aid or babysitting

    i got a high school diploma
    does that give me bragging rights?

    beavotron on
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    MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    beavotron wrote: »
    i hate you all for having any sort of certification
    i didn't even get first aid or babysitting

    i got a high school diploma
    does that give me bragging rights?

    Technically I only have an Associates right now.

    Metalbourne on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Alright, sorry—I just hope it's clear that I'm not exactly shooting for anything more than "passably amateur" at this point!

    Skye: Thanks for the critique. I agree it's an issue, but like I said to beavo—"Table of Contents" won't be there. That's actually the space for the page numbers. Actually, if you would be so kind, take a look at what I said at the bottom of the last page. I'm torn between putting all these elements to the left or keeping them right but making them less conspicuous.

    I think you could put them on either side - what'll determine whether or not the reader's eye is drawn to it is the font face, style, and size.

    Books can have a wide variety of formats. One of my favorite books, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence has the page numbers formatted to the left or right side with a title describing the pages contents (this means that every page has a different title which is incredible when you think about it).

    In this case I might format it similar to a word document - page numbers adjust to the top right, title centered and at the very top, and maybe the particular chapter below the title in italics. I mean, the interesting thing is unlike a book, you have to fit what would normally fit on the two opened pages, which is typically a chapter and sub-chapter with page numbers. Sometimes, without that, you get the title of the book and the chapter.

    SkyGheNe on
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    ThePacerThePacer Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Qingu wrote: »


    And here's a world map (not close to being done):

    quu_map1.jpg

    As you can see, I am all over the place.

    Are the oceans in your world salty or fresh?

    ThePacer on
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    MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ThePacer wrote: »
    Are the oceans in your world salty or fresh?

    What were the oceans in final fantasy 7?

    Metalbourne on
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    ThePacerThePacer Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ThePacer wrote: »
    Are the oceans in your world salty or fresh?

    What were the oceans in final fantasy 7?

    Evil D:

    It always made me mad how some boats could go in only shallow water.

    But yea... If his worlds does indeed have salty oceans, than that means theirs only like, three sources of fresh water in the entire world...

    ThePacer on
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    MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Fresh water is for pussies, real men drink dirt and rocks.

    Mustang on
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    ProjeckProjeck Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    man that lava island looks like a big scary monster face

    Projeck on
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    LeggraphicsLeggraphics Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    getting back on topic. lol...

    After reading some of the online book I would suggest to add the fantasy of it all onto the front cover. Like the beast in the cage as well as the wizards fighting down bellow. Not really an ideal drawing I have done here but maybe a suggestion as to more of what the perspective might be. The perspective still isnt right for this but yah. just a mockup.

    Dragon creature you created up in the sky with the blue/violet flames and such coming from bellow from the wizards fighting near the circus. please dont critique the drawing coz its only 5 minutes work lol.. but just the concept.
    quick_sketch_by_Leggraphics.jpg

    Leggraphics on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ThePacer wrote: »
    Are the oceans in your world salty or fresh?

    What were the oceans in final fantasy 7?
    First of all, I think my map clearly rips off the map from Final Fantasy 10 much more than 7, a game which I think is a little overrated.

    Secondly, they're salty. Though I don't understand the complaint about lack of freshwater? Evaporation from the ocean rises against windward mountain slopes, condenses, falls as snow, and then melts as riverwater, which is the main supply of freshwater (in the real world, at least). Also, the middle mountain range is sort of supernatural and is constantly under heavy snowfall.

    Legg, that is really cool, and way, way better than anything I could do.

    Qingu on
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    NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I was hoping that your sig was for delicious recipes made out of Christians.

    NotASenator on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You must not believe in the Eucharist.

    Qingu on
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