Spawn of Dyscrasia CoverSpawn of Dyscrasia is due out this year (2014), and this is the last of three posts detailing the evolution of its cover:
- Cover Concept (link): The first post covers the goal & concept art
- Cover Art (link): The second post chronicles the interactions with master fantasy artist Ken Kelly (from rough sketches to final painting) to yield the key illustration
- Cover Design (you are here): This covers the actual design (title placing, masking of the illustration, and overlaid fire). We have to take the illustration (left) and dress it up for the book (lead design below, on right).
Ken Kelly's portrait reflects a scene from the book and features many important elements that make implicit promises to readers (i.e. expect magic, undead characters); key accessories from the flag to Lysis's sword are accurately presented too. With that firm foundation in place, we turn to making a cover out of it. My wife Heidi Lindberg (a trained Interior Designer with a critical eye for all things, and a knack for brutally honest feedback) stepped in to advise on Font & Word placement. Thanks to her and the folks over in the Sword & Sorcery Group on Goodreads who provided input on some initial compositions (Comp A & B). Most liked the title being on the bottom (Comp B), and the idea of the characters standing on a hill of debris resonated with the piece.
Applying some masking layers in Photoshop made (a) the spirit cat easier to see, (b) the edges of the flame more clear, and (c) the rebalancing of the composition (the green flames of the cat tail stretch down into the title to compensate for its "top-heavy" head). Helen's red-tattoo and the red-blood on Lysis's sword are amplified to match the red in the title and fire. This is not the final cover design for Spawn of Dyscrasia, but it is fairly close since it covers the below success criteria:
- Sword & Sorcery: It promises to deliver "swords/action" and "magic" while revealing a scene from the book
- Character Focus: The portraiture promises to develop a sorceress and skeletal warrior
- Internet Appeal: It is easy to recognize as a small icon (as shown via Goodreads or Amazon)
- Dyscrasia Fiction Look: It continues the look of the first novel, Lords of Dyscrasia (see below side-by-side). This is important to build the brand of Dyscrasia Fiction.
|Small version discernable|
|Consistent with Colors/Composition for Dyscrasia Fiction|
|Lead Cover Design for Spawn of Dyscrasia (due out in 2014)|