Saturday, April 05, 2008

Help me pick a cover

Cover 1Cover 2
Cover 3

So my focus group so far has picked the following three as possible images for the cover. On the basis of appropriateness and appeal. Pick your favourite. In the poll in the sidebar. This ones for those folks who've never hit the comment button. Heres your chance to contribute!


PS: I had an email today from someone called Rashmi and unfortunately it went to my spam folder and I noticed it just as the page was refreshing after I hit the delete button. I appreciate mails that I get from folks who read the blog and really enjoy getting them and I usually reply quite soon. So if I've done this before, I'm awfully sorry!

PPS: I think we have a winner in number 1!

22 comments:

Kalyan said...

Out of these three, I prefer the 2nd one. But that said I think you still have enough photographs which make good covers.

Anush Shetty said...

Yes, again. I think the 2nd one will do the best :)

john said...

I prefer the third one. It's a strong visually penetrating image. For me #1 is too cluttered and lacks focus and #2 is too abstract.

madhat said...

my 2 cents. i think the third picture suits the title most. the first one does not have the atmosphere and the second one does not have a subject whose life the title talks about.

Abi said...

# 2 would have been my choice too, but it has no animals!

#1 is cheery (which I like), but as John says, it's too cluttered.

So that leaves #3. But you gave us only three choices!

Why not one of your stunning pictures of snakes? I *like* snakes, especially the black-and-white one in your previous post.

Rahul said...

I voted for #1. I agreed with a commenter on a previous post of yours that owls are an apt choice of image for the title "Secret lives", but #3 looks a bit dull and not particularly evocative of IISc. Other than specific buildings, what we remember about IISc is the greenery, so #1 is nice. I don't find it cluttered, but maybe the huge branch going across the page is a bit distracting -- but I wouldn't have thought of that if others hadn't commented.

Natasha said...

Its kind of sad that people don't think of plants as having lives! Those are lianas and they form a fairly valid subject I think!

@ Abi, yes we narrowed it down to these there because we thought these worked best, subject and eye-catch wise and were among what I think are my best and belong on the cover.

One of the reasons I didn't put a snake on the cover is some folks are terrified of them, wont even go near an image of them or want to hear any mention of them! Don't want to put off any potential readers. There will be snakes inside. Specifically in the trailer which has also been modified.

@Rahul, no I don't find no. 1 cluttered either. It works on many levels for me...

Lets see, I don't want to influence the outcomes at all.

Chrisss said...

Hi, just stumbled on your blog. I vote for Cover 3. I'll visit again. :o)

Madhat said...

Its kind of sad that people don't think of plants as having lives!

:) That's the argument I used against vegetarians in college.

Anonymous said...

#3 gets my vote, it is more secretive than mysterious.

in #1, the out-of-focus branch seen "behind" the leaves draws the eye "past" the subject.

in #2, the moment captures mystery, and is very good.

All three are very good, #1, the owls "jump" out as the eyes study the composition. Great shot.

Eli

Neil said...

#2 leaves down! The atmosphere's incredible. And it will inspire everyone, even a strigiphobe, to pick up the volume and flip a few pages. My two cents..

Pulok Pattanayak said...

I voted for #3.

sandhya said...

hi natasha, i hope late entries are still allowed for your poll (& my vote counts)!! I'd vote for #3 since It seems to represent the title best and your enormous efforts into discovering and digitally capturing animal behaviour. Great to see your recent blog and hear that you are enjoying Bristol.

Natasha said...

:) thanks for voting folks!

off course it counts sandhya!

the polls been extended.

Anonymous said...

What better way to epitomize "Secret Lives" than picture #2 - Liana!
Abstract - yes; mysterious, dark and wicked - most definitely and filled with life - ummm, yes - think of all the arboreal species that nest below the the jungle canopy! There's my vote and I'm sticking with it, I'm no expert photographer and definitely not an art critic, just another wannabe.

-A

Matt Mullenix said...

Number 2!

Steve Bodio said...

I voted for one. I love two-- may be the most beautiful photo-- but those owls have EXPRESSION.

R Francis said...

None of these. You need to find a good book designer to start over. The typography is at best amateur and the spreads do not make sense. When you have done that the cover will emerge and both fit the subject and illuminate the title.
Look in Bristol; the college of art produces good young designers every year.

Natasha said...

R. Thanks for that. A strong comment always wakes you up. (Rahul are you listening? :))

The typography will change. The spreads have. (Not sure why you think they don't make sense though?)

Finding a book designer is easier said than done, I can't pay very much (in fact almost anything). That said I like some of the specific aspects of the book.

Maybe you could elaborate somewhat on specifics that you don't like about the design?

Rahul Siddharthan said...

I'm listening :) I didn't comment on the typography because you didn't ask, but I'd change the font and uppercase the "l" in "lives", and perhaps place the text differently. But I think it's a matter of taste. There's lots of professionally designed crap out there.

A book cover has to attract the reader's attention (I think the first photo does that best), be instantly readable from a distance, and make sense relative to the subject matter -- not satisfy some art school graduate's idea of aesthetics.

A few years ago Rockefeller University asked a design company to design a new logo for them. Five samples were submitted; all five were disasters and met with howls of outrage from the members of the university. Eventually they went back to a slightly altered version of their old logo; I don't know whether the design company got paid for their efforts.

Naming is a similar story: see here for some horror stories. At the end of the day, Yahoo and Google (named by the founders) are much more recognisable than Agilent or Nortel (named by the professionals). I'm sure some pros will tell you "Secret lives" is a terrible title. Ignore them.

Did that wake you up?

Suneel Madhekar said...

Thanks for your wonderful work, Natasha. I've been drawn to Nature and photography after looking at your work. I only have a compact point-and-shoot, but I'm thoroughly enjoying looking around IISc and taking pictures of life. Had I not stumbled across your work, my memories of IISc would simply have been those of a department building and a desktop computer! I voted in the cover-poll. And yes, I would also like to buy a copy of your book and would like your autograph on it :-) Thanks again!!

Murali said...

My vote is for #1.