Today I am introducing a new feature to my blog. It’s called Freadom Speaks (shoutout to Abby and Gervan for helping me come up with the name) and this is the feature where I will be sharing all types of discussions whether bookish, blogging or life related.
I am actually quite nervous to start this because I feel like a ramble when I have something to discuss and it usually doesn’t end up being coherent so please bare with me as I get my feet wet.
This first discussion is pretty much a cop out. Like I said, I’m very nervous so I’m recycling an old topic, the first that I used when I first created my “Let’s Talk About” discussion series on my Booktube channel. At some point I’m sure I’ll find something intellectual or deep to discuss with you, but for now I’m going to be talking about book covers and the things that usually show up on the covers that become my favorites. You’ll see what I mean as you read.
SO let’s get started!
Like a lot of bookworms, I love book covers. So much so that sometimes I pick books up to read just because they have a pretty cover. And there’s a few things that make certain book covers stand out for me and that’s what I’m going to be talking about today: the top 5 things I look for to consider a cover a good cover.
These things refer more to fantasy/dystopian/paranormal covers. If we were talking about contemporary covers, it’d be an entirely different list.
When you talk about a book covers that “pops,” you’re talking about a book that shows contrast. You create contrast when you have on the same plain, two colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel. Combining colors like orange and teal on the same cover creates a good contrast for a specific image and gives it more attention.
Some good examples of covers with contrast are:
In the Allegiant cover, the contrast between the orange and teal makes the image in the center stand out. It’s eye-catching on the bookshelf and keeps your attention enough to want to know why it looks that way. In the Silver is for Secrets cover, the dark red background, though simple, makes the title and candle pop. It’s the center of the story so it makes them the focus of the cover.
Some bad examples of covers with contrast are:
I used two covers from the same series as the ones above to illustrate my point better. In both these covers there’s a lot of the same color: Insurgent a lot of green, Red is for Remembrance a lot of red. And while they’re most definitely not bad covers, they don’t have that same level of interest as the other two because there’s not enough contrast between the images, backgrounds or words to draw you in as a reader.
One of my favorite things to do when looking at a cover is to see if they have small details hidden within the entire image. It shows how much care and consideration the artist went into creating a cover that genuinely represents the world the book is talking about.
Some good examples of covers with details are:
These are two of my absolute favorite covers ever. The Ignite Me cover is mind blowing, the main reason why I picked up the series in the first place. There is so much detail in that eye that I feel like you can constantly find something beautiful in it. For example, months after I read the book was when I realized that inside the iris is a flying bird, and now I can’t stop looking at it. Same with the Rogue Wave cover. Every time I look at it I realize there’s always something new to discover and I love covers like that.
Some bad examples of covers with contrast are:
One of the reasons I hate people on covers is because they use that as the focal point and don’t give more than that. In these two covers, there’s nothing more to see. Just the random people standing there and staring at you. There’s nothing more to it than that.
There’s nothing bookworms hate more than covers that don’t match. But there’s nothing I hate more than when covers seem like they’re supposed to match but they don’t really. This is not a common occurrence, thank God, but it still annoys the crap out of me when I see it somewhere.
Some good examples of covers with cohesiveness are:
These covers look like they’re in a series, right?! The colors in the Archived series may be different but they hold the same pattern which make them cohesive. The words on the top, the slighty faded background, the floating head in the middle. All these elements fit together in your mind in a way that groups the books together. Same thing with the Pulse series by Patrick Carman. The objects are different, the colors are different, they shouldn’t seem like a group but because of the placement of the main factors of a cover (title, author name, background), they feel like one.
Some bad examples of covers with cohesiveness are:
I’m sure these are obvious. They’re supposed to be a part of a series but there are so many subtle changes between then that they don’t feel like a group. The Ashfall series may have the same color scheme but all the objects are in different places and there’s nothing to bring them all together as one in your mind. Same things with the Books of Ember series. The colors aren’t the problem, the placement of the object in the middle is as well as the added ground section in the second and fourth books. It clashes with the series concept.
#4: Continuous Background
This may only be something I like but when I get a hardcover, I like to take off the dust jacket and spread it open completely. It’s amazing to me how some designers create one continuous background that moves from the front cover to the back cover. I think it’s very critical because not all images can create this.
Some good examples of covers with a continuous background are:
Aren’t these beautiful?! I just find these covers to be so awesome. I usually don’t read my hardbacks with the dust jacket on so I can lay these out and look at them while I read and it just makes me happy haha. There’s nothing super intelligent that I can say about these covers, I just feel like it’s so nice that both sides are blended together to create one picture that speaks for the story.
Some bad examples of covers with a continuous background are:
Again, I feel like I’m probably the only person who cares about something like this but I just feel like those tough lines from one part of the cover to another are just ugly. And yes, The Archived showed up in a good and a bad example which just means that my favorite covers only have to have one of these characteristics to get to my list.
And lastly, #5: Gradients
If you haven’t seen my new logo and aesthetics for my blog, then this will be some what of a surprise to you. I have a giant love for gradients, specially of the rainbow kind but any of them would do. They’re colorful and eye-catching and generally pleasing to the eye. So it’s no surprise that I love books that feature this kind of style.
Some good examples of covers with gradients are:
The Newsoul series and the Taken series are both great examples of gradients (and cohisiveness). Both of these groups of covers use gradients between two or three contrasting colors. It makes sure that the entire cover stands out and is eye catching. While the Newsoul series has the gradient in a diagonal pattern to compliment the close up of the model’s face, the Taken series has more of a horizontal divide to make sure that the details of the rest of the design are still seen and appreciated.
Some bad examples of covers with gradients are:
Elegy isn’t a bad cover but I feel like the gradient is just too soft. It doesn’t really do anything for the cover in my opinion. The Unearthly trilogy bothers me a lot more. The colors they used for the gradient are too close in the same range. It’s not enough of a contrast to help with anything on the covers. I’m just not a fan.
So that’s it for this lengthy discussion! If you have made it this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope this was not the most boring discussion you’ve ever read. I hope to have some more interesting things to talk about in the future. Thanks for reading and see you on my next post!