Saturday, August 21, 2010
Cover Critique: Matched
Let me preface this post by saying that my design critiques of these covers are in no way, shape or form a reflection on the author, the content or the publisher. I know the authors have very little, if any, control over the design. These are strictly my thoughts stemming from my design experience.
When I look at this cover, I hear bells ringing. And angels singing. And a gospel choir belting "hallelujah". Everything about it just makes that designer part of me smile from ear to ear. I think everyone might know that I tend to gravitate toward subtle, simplistic covers. The ones with a strong focal image and clean, crisp fonts that catch your eye and make you want to buy the book just so you can stare at the cover. I don't enjoy the covers that try to incorporate every single element from the book into the design. It gets too crowded and the eye doesn't know where to look first.
Here, there's a single, gorgeous image. I've never really wanted to exist in a bubble before, but if this is what I would look like in said bubble, please sign me up to have my picture taken in one. I love that we can't see the young woman's face, therefore we can project any characteristics we have in our head onto her, and she can be whoever we want her to be. Her hand placement is perfect, helping to define the shape of the bubble further, and filling the space in a way that maintains a balance on either side. Should her hands have been in her lap, there would have been too much weight in the bottom of the image and it would have looked off. Should one hand have been raised and the other down, it would have ruined the symmetry. As it is, her hands add weight to the top of the image to counteract the heaviness of the fabric pooled at the bottom, and they keep the circular shape intact side to side.
Next, there's the color. So many times designers (myself included) are afraid of leaving a background white. We feel the need to fill it with color, not with design elements, but sometimes just large planes of uninterrupted color or people might find the design dull and lifeless. This cover just proves how striking a white background and the perfect accent color can be. The green leaps off the page and immediately draws attention. The different tones and hues of green add depth and make the bubble appear three dimensional, almost as if you could reach in and pop it.
The font choice is ideal. It's rounded ends have a modern feel, and the blurred edges provide the optical illusion of movement. The font, along with the bright green and stark, sterile white, suggest science fiction in a perfectly unassuming way.
My only complaint, and it's quite minor, would be the font choice for Ms. Condie's name. It's the same font as the title for Chloe Neill's Firespell, and since both novels are young adult and paranormal in nature, it's likely that readers of one will at some point run into the other. Not a huge issue by any means, I just associate that font with Firespell since I saw it there first, and would have loved either a completely new and unique font for her name, or a common font where there are no distinguishable characteristics to call to mind another book.
Overall, this cover is, to me, absolutely beautiful. Anyone else think so?