Update: It seems Most entries are not looking like I had envisioned. The sign and the graffiti and the swastika are giving the most trouble. That said, if you are struggling to make a sign not look fake or cheesy, or you are just using a script font for graffiti and hoping it looks real, then just give a stab at your own idea for what the book cover should look like. Keep in mind it is not horror. It is a thriller that takes place in a small mountain town and involves drugs and racism.
*I’ve had a few people reach out about making this blind. If I don’t get some quality submissions I may do that, but I do want to say I don’t plan on finding something I like, then giving feedback so everyone can try and do what that person did. I plan to pick something I like and work with that person. I’ve done a couple of these and I don’t think I have ever picked finalists and then had them continue to compete. I plan to pick the best design and work with that person to get it perfect (not pit people against one another)
Shoot me any questions or clarifications you may have:
- The general idea I have is taken from the book. There is a wooden sign for the small town of Black Forest on the side of a two lane mountain road lined with pine trees that says “Welcome to Black Forest. It’s Beautiful Here.” On the sign, someone spray painted, in hot pink lettering, “Drop Acid, Not Bombs.” Someone else carved a swastika in the sign.
- In general the feel for the cover is this small mountain town that is picturesque, but there is also a lot of racism and drugs and that is what the story of the book revolves around.
Here are some key points:
- I think this needs to be an illustration, but am open to using stock images/vector art as long as it does not look cheesy.
- The cover should convey some danger (but not like a cover for a horror book), a feeling of claustrophobia from the trees. It should probably be at dusk or sunset or just darkish.
- The sign should look like an actual wooden road sign for a small town. I have uploaded some as examples, but you can do a google search for mountain town wooden signs to get some more ideas. If you just grab a random sign and put some script text on top of it for the graffiti it’s not going to work. It needs to look realistic. Not necessarily photo realistic, illustration is fine, but it can’t look cheesy.
- The road should not be a big four lane highway, but it should also not be a trail. It should be an actual road. Not a dirt road, but a paved road.
- The text and carving on the sign mentioned above are in the book so it needs to be on the sign. Don’t just put one on the sign and one randomly somewhere else. Or don’t just put on of them randomly somewhere on the cover. These go on the sign. If the sign you want to use is not big enough to fit, then pick another sign.
- I think the sign needs to be pretty big, not so big that it takes away from the title, but big enough to be able to read everything and see it. The sign is what tells what the feel of the book is. Kind of like the cut off ear in the years of what looks like a perfect town in Blue Velvet.
- I have uploaded some examples of illustration style. Not that it should look exactly like that, and by no means are these supposed to be assets, but just ideas.
- This is about two teenagers, so I guess it would be Young Adult. But the subject matter is not necessarily Young Adult. Just like “It” or “Stand By Me” is about kids, but not necessarily solely for kids.
- Please take a minute to make sure there are no typos or that you spelled the title of the book wrong.
- If you have your own idea that is totally different from the brief, then cool. No doubt some of you are super creative and can think of something that would be awesome that I have not thought of, but that said it’s going to have to be awesome. I just don’t want anyone to waster their time by throwing something together, because I won’t be choosing that.