More minimal, simple, clean.
The cover design should incorporate a sense of invitation and activeness, though NOT a feeling of “Charge!”
There is a sense of grassroots, simplicity, and commonness in Jesus' invitation that is often lost.
I tend to prefer symbols and graphics that are more metaphorical because they can communicate multiple things, but I am open to ideas with photos.
Both male and female readers should want to pick it up.
Something a college student wouldn’t be embarrassed to have sitting on the table at a coffee shop. Or a someone who doesn't go to church wouldn't be turned off to sit with a friend who was reading this at the coffee shop.
5”x8” book with 116 cream pages. (Initially with Createspace, later through IngramSpark.)
[UPDATE 25 APR 2018]
I would love for your creativity to be seen here. Several submissions so far have been stock that I see on other 99designs. Impress somebody in the first 2 seconds they see this book on Amazon. In the files attached, I am more drawn to "True Story" and also "Sustainable Youth Ministry" because the cover work is both unique and conveys ideas.
Think about it this way: Would your design or font look good on a business card I would hand out at a conference that promotes the book? Pretend the conference is for college students, or businessmen/businesswomen.
[#2 UPDATE 27 APRIL]
I have had to extend the contest because of a family situation. That is why I have not reviewed any submissions since yesterday. This will be my last update. I promise.
I have heard a lot of comments from friends like “Oh, that’s a cute boat.” “That sketch is sweet.” “Water colors are pleasant looking.” “That design is a safe one.” and other similar things that are gentle, soft, and light in tone and comments on the clean and crisp imagery.
I noticed that what is missing is people sensing Christians choosing determination, or willingness to get muddy, or the idea that it’s not exactly all that easy to follow Jesus today but is worth it. The designs tend to say “That’s a nice invitation to go where Jesus goes…” instead of “That’s something I need to think about as a Christian because it may not be as easy as I’ve thought, but it seems worth it. Maybe I want to stop being 100% safe all the time. A little dirt is a good thing.” Just like playing futbol means you’ll sweat and get muddy, but it’s a lot more rewarding to play futbol than it is to watch from the stands.
* * * Can you come up with a design that captures a little bit of the idea that it takes some effort, some sweat, some work, a little mud if you’re going to follow Jesus today? That it is not cute and sweet. Maybe not as clean and crisp and minimalism as I was originally thinking. * * *
I want to see if this might go anywhere closer now that I've gotten feedback from readers. It is obvious from your portfolios you all have talent that I lack. As artists, I know you have many ideas.