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Help designing a cover for my DDR Book

     
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Post #1 · Posted at 2012-05-02 06:31:24am 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Last updated: 2012-05-02 06:38am
In the main Dance Dance Revolution forum here I posted a thread mentioning I was rewriting a 2nd Edition of the DDR History book (Japanese DDR Community History) I originally wrote last year.

http://aaronin.jp/JDDR.pdf

Well, the book contents are in decent shape now, maybe just some more proofreading work left.

My big issue is the cover. The Cover Creator over at Amazon/Createspace is pretty limited for what I wanted to do, and although I can go totally freestyle in the design (use a plain base template), I am lost creatively.

Although I can't offer money "par se", I can give you credit for your work and having a part in an internationally published book might be worth something to someone, even as something to put on your resume.

Okay, details;


Title : Counting Combos
Subtitle : A History of the Japanese DDR Community
Sub-subtitle : An Insider's Perspective

Size : 5x8"
Pages :208

recommended resolution : 300dpi

Title (Maybe not use the arrows in the final version, I could get in legal trouble over that)

Full sized version : http://i.imgur.com/9ZFxd.png
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/523932_447144605312724_447143558646162_1714812_1195732440_n.jpg

Source Images:
I have a bunch on my facebook gallery:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150794596049910.423925.789964909&type=3&l=49147fca2d

I have more photos but I have a bunch of DDR stages (old and new) and lots of old photo material you can use if you so want. e.g.

http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/535588_10150794600684910_789964909_9467466_2104449144_n.jpg

If you aren't friends with me there, go on and do so (Aaron Chmielowiec)
Although I uploaded in high res where possible, I may have higher res photos of some of what I posted there.

Old designs / Incorrect titles/contents

http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/540261_10150775388404910_789964909_9414377_1434206954_n.jpg

Older, more terrible idea:
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/580554_10150772799959910_789964909_9402650_1120997717_n.jpg

Original DDR Book from lulu last year:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/250799_10150209541599910_789964909_6878721_1789887_n.jpg

Oh, if you are wondering what file format to use to pass files to me, I can accept anything you have, though if you submit a PDF I have to use it for the whole book cover (front/back). Sending two large 300dpi images for the front and back covers is possible, as is one huge image covering both.

I will have to get back to you on the exact measurements of the spine if you want to submit one gigantic image to me since the width is affected by the number of pages, however so minute. If it comes down to that, though, I can do the final adjustments
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #2 · Posted at 2012-05-02 06:40:47am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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This is pretty easy, and I can probably say that since I'm a professional designer but I can do it no problem. I'm used to working pro bono so not being paid is not an issue for me. Also, as far as the DDR arrows go, I seriously doubt you can get in trouble for it. They are used in all sorts of places. Unless they are explicitly copyrighted/trademarked by KONAMI, they can't do anything to you really.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #3 · Posted at 2012-05-02 06:59:12am 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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That would help me immensely, thank you so much.

I'm still doing light proofreads in the meantime so I still have something to do if you are going to whip something up, but if you are indeed making one up can you PM/message me your full name so I can add you to the credits?
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #4 · Posted at 2012-05-02 07:04:54am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Last updated: 2012-05-02 07:05am
Yea sure. I know this is DDR but what kind of style did you want? From the looks of the logo alone, it's liberal but I can work with different styles or I can throw something together and send you 3 variations or something so you choose what you like and I'll develop it more from there.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #5 · Posted at 2012-05-02 12:35:50pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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I'm open to creative expression. The designs and artwork I have so far are fine as a base and I was originally aiming for some combination of subtle DDR imagery (the stage is perhaps too literal but it can be artistic) and some kind of Japanese scenery. I chose night life since Bemani players tend to be night owls anyway. Arcade photos are fine, too, though I don't know how much of that I have off hand (general arcade photos not focussed on any one game)
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #6 · Posted at 2012-05-04 12:42:45pm 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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I probably should have asked this earlier since it is crucial but when did you need this book cover finalized by? Did you have a specific date?

Just wondering so I can prioritize my design projects.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #7 · Posted at 2012-05-04 12:47:14pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Well, I'm in the 11th hour in terms of the book content. I have a bit more to add on DDR Extreme (home version), the thoughts on it being the end of the series, and mention of edit data returning to DDR X, but I am almost finished with it all.

If you could even throw a basic design idea at me as soon as you could, that would help me a lot. (You can take your time after that) I need it so I can at least order a proof copy and check over the book before putting it on sale. (The proof copy takes a while to get to me in Japan so I'd like to order it sooner than later)
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #8 · Posted at 2012-05-04 03:13:19pm 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Last updated: 2012-05-04 03:14pm
Alright here's what I have for you. I can still create 3 different variations and you can choose from them and then I can finalize it later. If you like this one alot then I can refine it too, it's up to you. If you need this to have a Bleed or anything like that just let me know. Keep in mind that this isn't full size. I'll send you that file by PM when you approve it since it's huge. By the way, your photos were very helpful.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8671807/COUNTING%20COMBOSWIP.png
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #9 · Posted at 2012-05-04 03:20:46pm 2.2 years ago

Offline Lord Toon
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Post #10 · Posted at 2012-05-04 03:22:26pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Last updated: 2012-05-04 03:30pm
Okay, that looks awesome. I would be tempted to use more of a red or blue (mauve?) overtone instead of sepia for the stage and panels (or maybe just a cleaned up version of the original panels) but I still like it a lot. It's much better than anything I could have done.

Edit> I printed it out and looked at it. I still think it looks awesome. One small thing that bugs me is the arrows on the stage (how they were broken up). It looks good but I am tempted to think at a glance they should be parallel, though I imagine rotating the stage image sections a bit counter-clockwise might mess up the rest of the design. Then again, I'm not an artist.

Do you think you could send the full sized one to me (PM me with details) If you plan on quickly touching up the cover design or something I can wait for that but I am happy with that for the proof copy.

Oh, do you think you can include your full name in your PM? I was just updating the book contents today and realized I didn't have that info. yet.
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #11 · Posted at 2012-05-04 03:28:10pm 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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I can remove the sepia tone no problem. It's very late here so I'm going to go to bed right now but I'll send that PM with the full size image and my name details first thing in the morning. If you have a preferred format (pdf, tiff etc) just post the info here or PM me and I'll get right on it.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #12 · Posted at 2012-05-04 03:32:14pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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I'm okay with any large non-lossy image format. I don't think PDF is a good idea right now unless you had the back cover and the spine done as well all as one huge work. The image alone is good enough for me to put a cover on it and just have a black background with my picture and text on the background (and bar code area) for the Proof copy.

It is 5:30pm so sending it tomorrow your time is no problem.

I actually wouldn't mind the version you have now as well as any other trial versions like one without the sepia overtones or one with any other design idea you had.

Thanks again for doing this. This is some real quality work.
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #13 · Posted at 2012-05-04 03:37:58pm 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Ok that sounds good. Thanks, I'm glad you like it.

I see what you mean about the panels not looking aligned. I made some adjustments already but in reality they ARE aligned. When I re-connect the photo, they line up nicely. It's an optical illusion. I threw that in for free lol
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #14 · Posted at 2012-05-04 04:13:33pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Last updated: 2012-05-04 04:13pm
Hmm, one thing I noticed Amazon mentioned is that there should be no important text or info. along the borders of the image. The subtitle is pretty close to the bottom and the main title (and subtitles) are just a tad too close to the right side. I'll put up an image to show what they are whining about. This might not get the cover rejected and this may not be an issue after all, but I'm getting those warnings now from their system.

Edit> Don't mind the back cover text for now; I am going to expand to make an "About the Author" section on that like in my other previews (and it will make the text a bit smaller) but if you have any ideas for a quick back cover (usually those things are pretty simple/basic), that's fine, too. I also just fixed the odd spacing in my name on the spine (no idea what went on there)

http://aaronin.jp/shashin/coverpreview.jpg

EDIT> Some comments from others:

Quote
too much "sepia-ness" on the pictures of the pads with respect to the title and its vibrant colors imo. otherwise, i think it's pretty good!

Quote
yeah, the alignment crossed my mind as well, but i agree. i think if the colors blended together a little bit better it wouldn't seem like too big of an issue at all.

Quote
Might be cool to have two separate pictures of the DDR pads, one of the old design and one of the newer, for contrast showing the progression of time throughout the "history" of the community.

http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #15 · Posted at 2012-05-04 04:17:29pm 2.2 years ago

Offline AeronPeryton
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"Give me a steady beat."
I like the way the colors mesh, it's the angle that weirds me out. It's kind of an optical illusion. It makes me want to involuntarily tilt my head to the right.

Post #16 · Posted at 2012-05-04 08:14:58pm 2.2 years ago

Offline Telperion
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Yeah, I kind of feel that "Counting Combos" and Aaron's name should be square to the book, or at least the vertical lines be parallel to the long sides (so you'd have to maybe shear the title vertically or something? idk). "A History of the Japanese DDR Community" is part of the DDR pad, though, so it can stay like it is.
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Post #17 · Posted at 2012-05-05 05:49:12am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Here we go. Maybe these variations can help. I can put together something nice and simple for the back cover but I wanted to focus on finalizing the cover first. Choose the one you like best and I can refine it more for you if necessary. For my name just use the one in my profile: Dan Zamarripa (SD). I think including my design identity initials on there is best since I'm not the only one with that real name.

[A]
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8671807/COUNTING%20COMBOS1.png

[B]
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8671807/COUNTING%20COMBOS2.png
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #18 · Posted at 2012-05-05 09:14:36pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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I think I'm torn between them both, though I like the idea of the old stage leading to the new...

Here's a crazy idea. Since the stage and the night background seem to clash with each other, how about a cover of just the Yokohama background with the title image near the top, a subtle/faded DDR stage at the bottom (either era, though a split half-half down the middle might be amusing if you could do it.

Do you have the image of just the Yokohama background with the swirly thing overlayed? I'm wondering if that could be the "main" component and the stage just something subtle at the bottom (maybe no need for one at the top).

What do you think?

EDIT> The back cover can be anything, even another subtle abstract blur of the Yokohama pic faded out or something with text over top.

The cover creator utility is borked today anyways so I can't test it all out tonight :/

/me fires off angry mail to Amazon letting them know their cover creator borked out again.
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #19 · Posted at 2012-05-05 09:28:59pm 2.2 years ago

Offline AeronPeryton
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"Give me a steady beat."
I think maybe the pictures of the stages need to be taken at another angle. The layout as it is looks really good.

Post #20 · Posted at 2012-05-05 10:24:24pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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*BUMP*

If this helps, I have the complete template for a 5x8", 210 page book printed on cream-tinged paper

http://aaronin.jp/BookCover5x8_Cream_210.png
http://aaronin.jp/BookCover5x8_Cream_210.pdf
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg
     
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