Big Fonts, Busy Backgrounds

At Aargh Ink, Jennifer Cruisie’s blog, this: Book Covers: ARGH

When did the entire publishing industry decide that large fonts on busy backgrounds were the only possibility for a cover. I hate those covers. First of all, they’re lazy designs. The first one back at the beginning of time was probably striking, but now they’re all just throwing type on jazzy backgrounds and you can’t tell one from the other and you don’t want to because they’re all ugly.

No examples provided, but I’m sure Cruisie means in Rom Com, so let me look at Amazon. Okay, yes, this is indeed a common thing. Here’s one:

Big but unreadable font on busy background.

I like the image, but it’s difficult to read fonts on a busy background. Cruisie is right: there are a lot like this and a lot of the rest are the other kind she dislikes, cartoony covers. She says, Alternately, you can do cute flat color cartoons of impossibly thin characters with big eyes that look like children’s books except that kids don’t eye each other like that. I hate those covers, too. Me too. I’ve always disliked cartoony covers.

Cruisie then provides this cover, which she likes a lot — so do I —

Clever, fun, I do find the title a little hard to read at a small size, but still.

Basically, Cruisie is posting ideas that she handed the cover artist. It’ll be interesting to see what the final cover looks like.

I should start another Cruisie book. Soon, probably!

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5 thoughts on “Big Fonts, Busy Backgrounds”

  1. Readable title and author are the most important thing. It’s a sales tool, remember. The art is just to catch the eye.

  2. Mary, yes, but also at least a little bit no. I’ve bought books partly because I liked the cover, and I’ve looked away from books because I didn’t like the cover. I think cover attractiveness can be a very good thing or a serious disadvantage, AND cover art also strongly suggests tone. If the tone says “horror” or “grim,” then that pushes me away. That doesn’t matter for a familiar author, but it can matter quite a lot for a new-to-me author.

  3. This is a great post, Mona! I remember those Fabio clinch covers. Wow, those were everywhere for a while. Very interesting graphs showing the various trends! Not just interesting, but marvelously presented. I’ve never seen graphics handled like this on a post before.

  4. Right?? Fantastic execution. And although illustrated covers can be lacking in their own way, I definitely prefer them to those clinch covers.

    But the part I liked the best was the intro! A mini love story about love stories.

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