New project, for feedback -- cover concept

Hoping for feedback on this cover concept.

Still needs some refinement -- but what does the photo say about the story? What inferences spring to mind?



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Comments

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    To be honest, like I'm seated in a restaurant where I can't afford (or would prefer not) to pay the bill.

    The plate setting does tend to suggest something amiss.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    Ah, good point; the bill would be very unpleasant. And not just for the wallet.
  • The concept is very nice, but you need to focus a little more. All of the elements---the  type and the image---are simply too small: they float around in the midst of the cover, a sea of bland color that overwhelms them. Make everything fill the space more. Zoom in on the visual element: you can afford to lose the edges of the plate: that is an irrelevant detail. Adjust the contrast so that the colors are a little less murky. Enlarge the title---it could be at least 150% larger---and if you are going to center the lines, make sure they are indeed centered.
  • "Make everything fill the space more. Zoom in on the visual element: you can afford to lose the edges of the plate: that is an irrelevant detail." Or use a much smaller plate.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    Yes, I think a smaller plate would be in order. I had also thought of larger truffles. Type centered and enlarged, absolutely correct. I did waffle a bit on whether I needed the edges of the plate, but you're right: the truffles are the primary visual element.

    The most difficult part is actually making the skull and crossbones with the icing gel.

    It does sound like the idea comes across: Fancy meal with a deadly desert.  Okay, I'm going to go with the basic design, and refine the photography later this week.
  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    Would it be possible to make the icing gel more of a freshly-dried blood color?
  • edited November 27
    Dried blood is opaque and brown. Fresh blood, I think, would be more immediately recognizable. But I would make an effort to make the skull and crossbones more like blood than some sort of jelly. Corn syrup and red food coloring create a superbly realistic stage blood.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    I did try it with just food coloring. Unfortunately, plates tend not to be completely flat. Even with adding salt to increase surface tension, my skull shape tended to go lopsided.

    I can try going to a food-coloring / corn-syrup blend, with maybe a bit of cornstarch to thicken it. The gel is from a tube for cake-decorations. I was going for the same as the drizzle across the tops of the truffles, but couldn't find a close match.
  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    Use corn starch to thicken and once applied gently tap the plate to see it it stiffens more.
  • I did try it with just food coloring. Unfortunately, plates tend not to be completely flat. Even with adding salt to increase surface tension, my skull shape tended to go lopsided.

    I can try going to a food-coloring / corn-syrup blend, with maybe a bit of cornstarch to thicken it. The gel is from a tube for cake-decorations. I was going for the same as the drizzle across the tops of the truffles, but couldn't find a close match.
    Yes, straight food coloring is not the right consistency. Here is some pretty good advice 

    Dick Smith's classic formula has been successfully used by several film-making friends of mine, to say nothing of major makeup effects artists. Adding cocoa or chocolate syrup helps make the fake blood darker and less transparent.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Well, with food coloring and corn syrup, I managed to make the kitchen sink look like a crime scene. Other than that, I don't think I'll be able to draw a decorative skull-and-crossbones.

    So I went a different route.

    I need to redo this -- crop the bottom photo for proportions, and move everything lower on the page (it's all crammed against the top) but I think I'm moving in a better direction.



  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    Incidentally, if I re-shoot this, I'll need to get more truffles. Once bitten, they must be eaten, you see... *cough*
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Alternatively, there's this.

    Tighter focus, less dead space to the left. Not much room for the title -- it has to come down next to one of the truffles.

    I could send the "A" over to the far right, for matching justification. I could also drop the "A" entirely and just call it "Trufflesome Murder." That doesn't read right in my head, but maybe that's just me.

    Thoughts, comments, war stories?



  • The truffles kind of overwhelm the skull and crossbones. I would either make the latter larger or the former smaller. Either way, make them more similar in size.

    I'm not 100% sure about the new skull and crossbones: it doesn't really make much sense being there. You have an otherwise totally realistic image...so what is the skull and crossbones?

    Here is a thought: Why not replace the skull and crossbones with a third truffle? Find a plain one and add a skull and crossbones to it in icing. It could be a white truffle with a red skull and crossbones or a chocolate one with white icing. Perhaps even better yet, this is the one the bite is taken from.
  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    As in have the bitten truffle upright with skull and crossbones (or remnant thereof) showing?
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Well, the new skull and crossbones comes from my struggles to draw in icing... But I might be able to use the paper for a template. I have a larger cut-out skull and crossbones, so simply adjusting the proportions would be easy enough.

    I did think of having the skull and crossbones on the unbitten truffle, but the icing issues were what redirected me towards this solution.

    I'll work on it this week -- My truffle supplier might have icing stuff, also.

    Hopefully I can avoid the skull that looked vaguely canine.

  • what about a knife that's cut through one of the truffles? Might have a similarly ominous feeling and avoid the skull and cross bones.
  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    Another option might be using a small skull as a third 'truffle'.

  • I think it would always read as "a small skull" rather than "a truffle shaped like a small skull."

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    Use the small skull to make a mold, pour in chocolate, remove from mold?

    I've seen sugar skulls, why not a chocolate one?
    I think it would always read as "a small skull" rather than "a truffle shaped like a small skull."


  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay, a chocolate skull might be sufficiently ominous...

    Paul, I'm not sure that a knife would carry the same note. The skull/crossbones not only sends "mortal danger" but also "poison."

    Thanks for the thought, though...

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    Apologies about not being clearer with the pick of the small skull.

    A chocolate skull with some icing drizzled on it like a truffle, was what I had been thinking when I took the pic while wrestling with a short demon warrior princess to keep the camera lined up.

    A bite from that might get the message across about 'mortal danger' or at least predict bad indigestion.
  • A chocolate skull is a great idea.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    A chocolate skull is a great idea.

    Also a lot less tempting to bite into when making test shots.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Alien Truffle.

    Okay, icing as a drawing medium is just out. LOL.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Larger Death's Head.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    third truffle and death's dead as decoration (though not icing).
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    A chocolate death's head. Let me see what I can find...

    Memo to self: Write next book about a slab of cement for ease of photography... :) LOL

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭
    I checked Amazonia and found chocolate skull molds; odds are you can find skull and crossbones molds as well.
    Skoob_ym said:

    A chocolate death's head. Let me see what I can find...

    Memo to self: Write next book about a slab of cement for ease of photography... :) LOL


  • Skoob_ym said:

    Alien Truffle.

    Okay, icing as a drawing medium is just out. LOL.

    I think it looks pretty cool. It is clear what it is supposed to represent and still looks like icing. A fairly creepy effect.
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