Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cover Critique: Immortal Beloved

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.

Well, hello gorgeous. I wanted to pick a cover this week that didn't utilize a single photograph, but rather incorporated some additional design elements.

I have a confession to make. I have an unnatural fixation with symmetry. I like things to be symmetrical. When they're not, I develop a nervous tick and have a compulsive need to try and remedy the situation so whatever it is that's off will be symmetrical. It's a sickness really, but I'm working on getting help.

This cover does wonderful things for my illness. I love the circular design that encases the title, the frail scrollwork is nicely balanced with a thicker, more robust font to create a nice contrast. Normally, I'm not a fan of distorting fonts to make them fit into a particular shape, but I think in this case the elongation of the typeface works well, as does the staggering of each letter to make it conform to the circle. Though I haven't yet read this book, I know it deals with immortals (yes, my intelligence is sometimes astounding) and I'm assuming vampires might be in the mix so the extension of the two "m" letters to sharp points makes sense. Perhaps fangs. Or stakes.

Though there is a photograph in the background, it's blurred and indistinguishable enough as to not detract from the delicacy of the pattern, but it provides enough texture and color to keep the eye interested. Having seen this cover in person, I know the photograph is far more decipherable in the above image than it is in the printed version, making it a wash of changing colors that I think enhance the bright white of the border and title beautifully.

My one tiny complaint relates directly to the aforementioned fixation. The circular focal point is directly in the center of the cover which typically would be great and glorious and symmetrical. However, in this case we have the addition of the author's name below it which closes the space between the circle and the bottom, and makes it look as though it's off center with more space existing at the top. I want to reach in and hit the up arrow key about 5 times to create just a little more distance between the title and author's name so the space appears equal.

I have a problem, I know. But overall, I love this cover. The colors, font choice, and design all work beautifully together for me.

What do you guys think?


  1. What a great idea for a post! I think this cover is really attractive. I didn't even realize that it was a girl all blurred out until I took a closer look! Kudos to the art department.

  2. Covers just seem to get better and better! Pretty much all the covers in your to read list are so cool!

  3. I have such cover lust these days. It's horrid haha this cover is really stunning, though! Great feature :)

  4. I've gotta be honest, I love Cate Tiernan and I'm really looking forward to this, but the cover looks really amateur to me :/ The font looks like the default 'gothic' font that you'd find handy on your computer, and the circular design looks like something out of a clipart file. The white color, coupled with the design itself, and the blurred stock photo in the bg, ust looks...lazy. Like the sort of cover a fan with very little experience in Photoshop would come up with when they heard it was coming out.

    I think maybe if the colors were different (and it makes it a bit better that I can make out the girl in the bg now), or even if there was some kind of reflective deal, it might work for me, but as-is, I don't think I'd ever make an effort to get this book if it weren't for it being written by Cate. I'm terrible about udging books by covers, but this makes me sadface :( especially since I loved the Sweep covers.

    lol weird how covers strike everyone different, huh?