Tuesday, January 09, 2007

one of these covers will be on the final book!

Out of curiousity, I'd love for you all to pick which one you like better. Tell me why. Be honest!

(the colors are a bit off and in one image, the clouds need to be fixed... but you get the idea)

Here's one more. I don't want to make things confusing. Consider this one along the same lines/same concept as the 2nd. (yes, I know some of you have already voted. Sorry!) The basic thing to consider is--type on bird or type away from bird? Type one color or type two colors?


Libby Koponen said...

I definitely like the second one better. Having some of the letters resting on his wings just looks weird and confusing --it makes them look like they are objects in his sky instead of the title of the book. Or maybe that he is in some bizarre way suposed to be carrying the letters (but then why aren't they all touching him, why just 2?). If it were a piece of writing I would say it doesn't make sense, it's not consistent with itself, it lacks unity....I don't know what the art words are.

I also just don't like having the title in two different colors.

Still, the light is just right in both (that pale sunlight) & the low brown skyline is how I always think of NY near the river....I like the colors of the sky too and how they go with Pale Male himself.

And hey, maybe I'm really branding myself as the non-artist in the group & if this opinion is retarded Meghan please delete it! Thanks for sharing the images.


Anonymous said...


I like the second cover. The spacing of the words/image seems more open and in better balance.

In the first illustration, it looks as if the bird's flight is being hampered by the weight of the lettering. Too crimped when it should be open, to get the feeling of bird flight - free in the sky.

Dori Chaconas

Anonymous said...

I much prefer the second cover. There's more space for the words and bird to breathe, and the bird doesn't look like it is being held down by the words.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the second one, for the spacing reasons already mentioned, and also because the two different colors of the words on the first are distracting. I realize it may have something to do with the "pale male" part of the subtitle, but it still feels "off" to me.

Anonymous said...

I like the first one better (sorry). I like the stronger contrast in the colors of the lettering between the title and the tagline.

I would rather that Hawk also be in yellow.

On the second one, the picture of the hawk is slightly tilted, while everything else is straight or symmetric. I think the tilt throws things off.

I wouldn't mind a little more space between the word Hawk and the picture, though.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

One more thought--I might also like it if the picture of the hawk just barely covered the bottom of the Hawk word, coming in front of it. The connection/proximity would unify the image with the title.


Anonymous said...

I like the second or third one, with a slight preference for the third once, since it feels more balanced. The text touching the hawk in the first one looks weird to me, almost like a mistake.

Anonymous said...

I would go with the 3rd one. Feels most unified and I definitely think the air between bird and letters reinforces the feeling of flight.


alvinaling said...

FYI, I was the anonymous comment above, not sure why it came up as anon.

Elaine Magliaro said...

I like the third cover best.

Anonymous said...

I like #2 best. To me it stands out more.

Grace Lin said...

The 1st cover wouldn't be too bad if the hawk was covering the letters more, right now the W looks like a spike into the bird's head. I'm not crazy about the negative space of the bird and the words on #2. I like #3 the best, but I think that the spacing between the bird and the words is almost too even, it might be nice to have the bird closer to "the story of pale male"

Too many cooks!!!

gail said...

I'm not too crazy about the type on the first one. I find the "k" resting on the wing awkward and "w" is kind of poking his eye. The spacing is much better on the title of #2 and #3. The Tag line, "The Story of Pale Male", works better longer as in #3. It makes more of a base to balance with the wings. So as far as type placement I'd go with #3. But I'm really linking the stronger colors and the tilt of the hawk on #2. OK, am I any help here? Anyway, can't wait to see what you decide. Thanks for listening to our input!


Anonymous said...

I like 2 better. I like the title words to be spaced away from the bird. I think they look better painted in the same color. I have a hard time telling the difference between 2 and 3, but I like both much better than the one on the top.

Laura Bowers said...

The second one. I don't care for the way the lettering is slightly covered in the first, and the two colors. The second is much cleaner, more balanced. Between 2 and 3, I'd go for 2.

Laura Bowers

Anonymous said...

I actually like the type touching the hawk...so for that, I like the first one. But I don't like the two-colored title, it seems pointless to me, so for that I like the second one.

I'm so wishy-washy.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

This is what you get for posting your question to the CW board - lots of opinions!!
Okay, so here's mine (a former art director - blah!). I like the wing intersecting the type a little bit, but think it is too crowded in No. 1. But I also think the spacing is too regular in No. 2 - there's no grouping or focal point happening. So, I think a marriage between 1 & 2 would be good. A little bit of grouping - without crossing over into crowded. I like the all yellow text too.
Good luck deciding!

Anonymous said...

They are all terrific (although, if pressed for a favorite I'll take the type away from the bird). This book looks great, can't wait to read it.

Shelley Bueche

(from the yahoo group)

Alison Ashwell said...

I like the first one although i think the work is too squished up to the hawk image. I expect the idea is really to suggest the hawk is lifting the title and it works to an extent.

I would prefer version two with the word Hawk in white as it ties the text'the story of pale male' and paler underbelly of the bird together with the book title

Anonymous said...

I actually liked the first one best--based on the gut reaction that I could see myself as a kid really getting attached to the quirky character of it. And then seeing it years later and going, "Ohhh, I loved that book!!"

But then I read these comments, and you guys talked me into #3.

But now I see more comments have been posted validating #1, with qualifications.

So, I'm commenting anonymously.


SCBWI said...

I vote for type on bird, type one color. There's something about the image where the hawk seems to be sort of holding up the type that really appeals to me.

Anonymous said...

I like the two color title in the top one, but I don't like how the title is sitting on Pale Male... like he's holding up the letters.

I'd go with the layout of the bottom cover and use the two color title from the top.

Anonymous said...

I have to vote for #1-- I like the bird imposed over the type-- though perhaps with more overlap? Makes it feel like the bird is flying outward.

I'm in favor of single color type for 'City Hawk' with the subtitle in a second, lighter color.


Dianne de Las Casas said...

My vote is for the second one, even after seeing the third one added. I like the contrast between the two colors and I like how the bird stands out because he is not Atlas, carring the weight of the words. My two cents... Good luck!


roz said...

Second cover is my vote.
Even with the third in play.
The first one felt to cramped together and I prefer the colors and how your hawk is at an angle compared to the third.

Vote #2

Erik Brooks said...

The color of the sky, buildings, and "city type" are so nice and BOLD in version No. 1. This reminds me more of your work on other books and has better visual impact from a distance -- say across the floor of a bookstore -- hopefully drawing the audience in for a closer look.

I actually like that 'Hawk' is a different color, but its even more clear (simple, straightforward, etc.) to keep it the same color as 'City' I suppose.

Finally, the placement of the subtitle shifted right (as in #2 or #3) balances better within the hawks wingspan...for whatever that's worth :)

Be sure to keep the bold colors from #1 though. Really striking!

Erin said...

Type two colors.

Anna Alter said...

I like #2. #3 is too evenly spaced, and #1 as people have already said, looks wierd with the type resting on the bird (the idea is that he is a free creature in nyc, not weighted down by his own title). Also, on the second one, I think you need the bird to be at an angle like that, otherwise its all too symmetrical. I think it would be nice if the type was shifted to the
left a bit, and the bird flying even more free from the lettering to the right.

Anonymous said...

#3. I think the lighter colour lifts the hawk and makes him look like he's soaring.

Second choice is #2. Nice, but #3 is better.

I think the two colours in #1 are visually confusing and harder to see at a distance.

David H. Burton said...

I vote for the 2nd cover.

One color and type away from the bird. I think the two colors is too busy - jarring to the eyes and not in a good way. Typing away from the bird keeps the two pieces separate and it makes it easier to read the title. Just my 2 cents.

I like the look of the cover!

Renee said...

I'm a "lurker" on the CW list, but couldn't resist chiming in. :)

To answer your specific questions: #2--type away from bird and type one color. (Since you said the color was slightly off, I'm guessing/hoping that the title color will be similar to the word "City" in option #1.)

I also feel strongly that the bird should be tilted as in #2. To me, this suggest soaring; while the horizontal wingspan in #1 and #3 suggest slowing down and possibly landing.

Happy to add my 2 cents!
Best of luck!

PS- Can't wait to read it! I've been alternately drafting and tossing out a story around/about the monk parrots of Brooklyn. :)

Anonymous said...

I'll try to make this work. LOL. I have problems with blogger.

I like the last cover. :D


cynthialord said...

I like cover #2 best, Meghan.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is #2.

For many of the reasons listed above. :)

Anonymous said...

I vote for the second cover. The look of the bird away from the title appeals to me more.

Anonymous said...

I vote for number 2. I like the angle of the bird and the spacing. I also like that 'City Hawk' is all in one color. I like the vibrancy of the colors better in 2 than 3. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm going against the tide here, but as both a writer and a designer, my vote is for the first cover.

Several reasons: Mainly, in the second and third versions there is "dead" white space under the main title that makes the overall composition more static.

Although the type touching the wings appears 'wrong' it is precisely this point that give the whole composition energy. Our hawk hero has our interest--he's holding the the story, literally, on his wings, what a plucky fellow!


Lisa Firke
writer and designer

Anonymous said...

I like #2.

I like that the title and subtitle are 2 different colors, and I find the lighter subtitle highlights the "pale" concept. Having the #1 title 2 colors diminishes the difference and effectiveness of the subtitle.

I like the yellow/orange against the blue background and find that grabs my attention first, whereas the white draws me in for a closer look, as a subtitle should.

I like the bird being angled between the 2 titles. It feels more natural and free. The bird in #1 feels cramped and makes me wonder if I'm supposed to "get" some reason why it's jammed under the title.

Colors...who can tell on a computer?

Hey--it's fun to be a critic!

Go Meghan!

Nerdalie said...

#2 is my favorite. I like the tilt on the hawk, like he's coming in for a landing. The color is great too.

Anonymous said...

#3 is my favorite.
I don't like the second one as well as the first.

Anonymous said...

#2 is my favorite. I like the title in one color and #2's colors looked more vivid than #3. I wondered if you were after a "pale" look in #3; if so you achieved it but it's not as eye-catching. I like the letters not touching the words, too.

Unknown said...

I really like the first one... You are drawn to the Hawk immediately, in the other covers you are drawn towards the text.


Anonymous said...

Type all one color--the yellowish orange. Type away from bird as in example number 2. :-)
Kelsey E. Johnson Defatte

Unknown said...

I like #3 best. It's more airy with the text farther from the wings and I think the lighter letters and sky make the cover more vivid. And may I say that I love that somebody's writing about Pale Male. What's the girl hawk's name?

Anonymous said...

#2. Clear space between text and wings, bright color font, title all one color, pretty contrast of the yellow text with the blue sky background and the brown feathers!

Anonymous said...

Not an artist, not a designer, just a person who loves great covers!

I choose #2. Top one slightly too "crowded" to me. Bottom one too "pale." One in the middle is just right!

Nancy said...

I vote: Type away from the bird, but 2 colors!

J. L. Bell said...

#2. The tilt of the bird gives it a dynamic quality without interfering with reading the words.