Covers

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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crlisle
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Covers

Postby crlisle » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:08 pm

I was in Barnes and Noble last week to purchase a copy of Fantasy & Science Fiction. While the clerk was searching in the back, I played a game to see which book covers I noticed without trying. The answer was gold, red, and orange covers. The blue and purple book covers did not stand out. They just melded into each other and became a large mass. Something to keep in mind when choosing a cover for your novels. By the way, B&N did not have Fantasy & Science Fiction in stock. I was told that they usually ordered 2 copies at that store.
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Covers

Postby Dustin Adams » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:28 am

I'm currently working my way through these.

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses ... veals.html

Fascinating how human cultures "discovered" colors in the same order.
Black & White, then red, yellow, green, and finally blue.
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crlisle
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Re: Covers

Postby crlisle » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:27 am

Wowsa! Scientific basis confirming my experiment results.
Volume 37: R, HM, HM, Silver HM
Volume 38:
Published in Sci Fi Lampoon: "My Ten Cents"
To be published in LTUE 2022 anthology: "The Last Dance"

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AlexH
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Re: Covers

Postby AlexH » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:43 pm

I work mostly on usability but also a little in 'conversion optimisation' for websites. Many studies have shown orange buttons lead to more conversions, whether that's newsletter signups or making a purchase.

*Goes on forum members websites in a week.*

Every button is orange!

But as a disclaimer, orange doesn't always work best.
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Lazarus
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Re: Covers

Postby Lazarus » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:59 am

What you are discussing is called “Color Theory” and how it relates to “The Visual Hierarchy”.

Since colors are exclusively an illusion processed in the brain based on EM wavelengths, how humans react to colors are lart biological and part social construct. Unless someone has dramatically different biology (eg, has different than average sets of cones), we all react to certain colors the same way. Especially red - which we know automatically instills a foght or flight response (eg increased adrenaline, heart rate, salovary glands, etc.) and gold/yellow/orange (sun and fire).

Socially, different culture apply import to colors differently. For instance, in most of China, red is the most powerful and important color in the world. However in Mongolia, those traits are applied to blue while in the middle east, blue and whote together are dominant, but in Ireland its green (unless you are protestant).

So, cover designers should already know all of this and how to use colors best. Sometimes, covers arent meant to stand out - but instead meant to be familiar. If the customer liked the book with the blue-green cover, then they might like this one too.

I was required to take 4 semesters of color theory in art school and 25 years later, I teach it.

I also include that information in my writing to control how my reader imagines the emotions and meanings I intend.
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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Covers

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:18 am

There's also the idea of using contrasting colors on the color wheel to catch the eye. When I worked at Hollywood Video, it was pretty easy to notice that at least half the DVD covers were basically some variation of blue and orange.
If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells

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crlisle
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Re: Covers

Postby crlisle » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:35 am

Lazarus wrote:I also include that information in my writing to control how my reader imagines the emotions and meanings I intend.


This is a good idea. I haven't thought about including color in my writing.
Volume 37: R, HM, HM, Silver HM
Volume 38:
Published in Sci Fi Lampoon: "My Ten Cents"
To be published in LTUE 2022 anthology: "The Last Dance"

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Lazarus
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Re: Covers

Postby Lazarus » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:00 am

In my current novel, I have opposing asian dragons - one red and one gold. But the gold one is a false gold (thereby a false god) and the villain pretending to be sacred. The red dragon always wears something red when in human form and I don’t let any other character wear red - unless it foreshadowing a relationship with her in some way.

In a recent fantasy short, I made black the most sacred color to the main character, meaning love and warmth and peace.
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Covers

Postby Dustin Adams » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:18 am

crlisle wrote:
Lazarus wrote:I also include that information in my writing to control how my reader imagines the emotions and meanings I intend.


This is a good idea. I haven't thought about including color in my writing.

Call me.

I am a color freak. :)

Seriously though, send me the first 1k of your current story, WiP, etc.
If you're interested, I'll e-mail you my latest finalist and explain how I used the colors in there to enhance the mood.
Granted, I haven't won this thing yet, but it's not for my lack of color. wotf019
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2x Semi
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Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1

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Lazarus
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Re: Covers

Postby Lazarus » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:05 pm

Dustin Adams wrote:If you're interested, I'll e-mail you my latest finalist and explain how I used the colors in there to enhance the mood.
Granted, I haven't won this thing yet, but it's not for my lack of color. wotf019


I’d like to read a finalist piece that uses color well.

Please send it to me.

Thank you.
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"I plan to live forever, or die trying."
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Quoting Groucho Marx

jficke13
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Re: Covers

Postby jficke13 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:03 am

Lazarus, that's really interesting. Do you have a link to anything where we could get more basic information on color theory or places where it's connection to prose is explored? Maybe even a book recommendation?
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com


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