madelinestanford got their new book cover by running a design contest:
YA Fantasy needs a contemporary cover with strong typography
Check out madelinestanford's Book cover contest…
Madeline Stanford is the winner of the 2014 Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize. Her winning novel, Vicious Depths, garnered millions of reads online as part of the worldwide competition. Born in Coventry, she now lives in Liverpool where she spends her time writing, snacking and petting other people’s dogs. Vicious Depths is her first novel.
Sixteen-year-old Alex Muir is dead. Dead, and furious. The afterlife she’s been taught about just doesn’t exist. There are only the brutal caverns of the Depths, deep underground – and the tightly controlled gates that protect the paradise of the Azure. In return for a life of safety, Alex is forced into the Depths as a spy for the tyrannical Azure leader. But Alex soon discovers that the Depths isn’t quite the nightmare she anticipated. Among the memory-leeching monsters and decadent all-night parties, she manages to find friends in the chaos. Friends that introduce her to the mysterious Flynn Cooper – right-hand man to the ruler of the Depths. As her spy mission derails and devastating secrets are revealed, Alex realizes that she needs to pick a side. But she’s no longer sure which one is right – or if a right side exists at all.
Young adults - typically 14 - 24. Largely female.
Book cover type
I'm looking for a cover for my YA contemporary fantasy (the first in a series). The audience will be roughly 14 - 24+, largely female. I'm looking for it to be two things: dark, and pretty. The novel is about finding the good in ugly things, and finding the awful in pretty things. I want the cover to strike that balance of danger and loveliness. I'm open about designers using their creative initiative on this one. I'm interested in strong, sophisticated typography (see examples attached) and a cover that borders on the abstract side of things. The mood needs to be dark, but alluring. Images that appear in the book include: -ornate, old key -a girl falling -black mist/smoke -intricate gates I need the cover to be easily branded for the rest of the series, and I'd love to continue working with a designer for Book 2 and 3 (which are already written). I'm happy for the typography of the title to be the main focus on the cover (without a main picture element), as long as it's eye-catching. In short, I'd like it to look professional and appealing, the sort of cover a young adult would pick up in a bookshop.
What to avoid
Please avoid generic stock imagery, making things look "stuck-on". I want to avoid cliche fantasy tropes, the colour brown, and overly fussy designs. Use the files below for inspiration!
It all began with a design brief.
A quick, interactive guide helped them understand their design style and captured exactly what they needed in their book cover.
Designers across the globe delivered design magic.
madelinestanford collaborated with designers to refine their ideas
When design entries come in, you can rate them so designers know what you’re looking for in your logo design.
99designs has great collaboration tools so you can pinpoint and capture your ideas
And then… they selected a winner!
AM Covers did another fantastic job! I struggled to provide certain information (cover size, page count) at the start of the project, but AM Covers was very understanding and guided me through the process.
The end product is fantastic!
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
We think contests are a super fun way to get design.
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