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Cover Reviews > Need Opinions: Graphic vs. Painterly Style

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Ogle | 9 comments Hi everyone, I need some opinions. I'm a professional artist and I design book covers. Most of my covers to date have been in a more painterly style (see example below on the left). Recently I've been experimenting with a more graphic style. (see example below on right). So I'm wondering - do you think one style is preferred over the other? Is it worth it to pursue the more graphic one? What do you guys think? - Mary

message 2: by Diana (new)

Diana Rising (dianaruthr) I like them both. I don't recall buying any books with a cover similar to the one on the left, but it is intriguing and wouldn't put me off a book.

message 3: by Mary (new)

Mary Ogle | 9 comments Thanks for the comment Diana I really appreciate it. It's sometimes hard when you're a freelancer and working alone most of the time to get a sense of what's working and what's not.

message 4: by Harald, The Swimmer (new)

Harald | 387 comments Mod
Welcome Mary!

You do have a unique style. I don't have a preference for one vs. the other, although in this case the profile head has more "instant popability."

A couple of things to consider as you move forward:

1. Always be sure to review cover drafts in thumbnail size (~100-x150 pixels tall). This is the size most people will see, and the problems will stand out more.

2. Pay special attention to the "brightness contrast" of your text elements as they lay on the background image. I know you want to showcase your artwork, but the author also needs to have things like the main title stand out easily, especially at small sizes. In both of your examples above, the texts get kinda lost.

Keep at it! And thanks for letting us take a look.

message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary Ogle | 9 comments Hi Harald!

Thanks so much for taking the time to review my work. I really appreciate the feedback. These are pre-made covers that are listed for sale on and I agree their selection of fonts is rather dismal. I always have a hard time finding something that will work. I admit typography is one of my weaknesses and I need to work on that. Thank you for the help!

message 6: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 23 comments Looking at covers on today's popular books, it seems like a lot of them tend toward graphic designs rather than a "painterly" look. I'm not sure why. They are eye-catching but personally, I don't think I really care for them. They remind me a lot of covers of books my parents had back in the 70s that seemed cool at the time but did not age well. They looked dated pretty fast when the style moved to more painterly designs in the 80s.

message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Ogle | 9 comments Hi Eileen,

Thanks for your feedback! I like both styles myself. Funnily enough, that graphic one just got picked for cover of the day over on facebook page. Things are always going in and out of style I guess. That's one thing about being a freelance artist - you are constantly adapting. It's kind of a fun challenge though so I don't mind.

message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Ogle | 9 comments Hi everyone,

In case you're interested here's an update. The graphic style is selling for me. I think there is definitely a market for it. The other style does ok too so I think I will continue to pursue both. Thank you to everyone who took the time to give me feedback. I really appreciate it.

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