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Help designing a cover for my DDR Book

           
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Post #81 · Posted at 2012-05-30 07:34:15pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Last updated: 2012-05-30 07:35pm
Here are some photos of the proof copy that just arrived tonight:
(I put in the old one for comparison. Also, yes, I ordered 2 copies of the proof copy)

http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/533399_10150937950589910_2126041403_n.jpg
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/525770_10150937947939910_789964909_9703848_78136417_n.jpg
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/579899_10150937948434910_1340765232_n.jpg
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/527818_10150937949019910_789964909_9703851_688386966_n.jpg
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/36518_10150937949479910_789964909_9703852_850235379_n.jpg
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/544830_10150937951144910_200571605_n.jpg
http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/564289_10150937951539910_1217322574_n.jpg
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #82 · Posted at 2012-05-30 11:36:22pm 2.2 years ago

Offline Professor Raine
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Impressive. From this perspective, I can't really see anything wrong with it. Still, I knida cringe a little seeing you wear a hakama for some reason.

Post #83 · Posted at 2012-05-30 11:46:39pm 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Oooh. Wow, it came out really nice. I can see where I can make two final adjustments in the paragraph and logo size but other than that, it looks great. I didn't realize that the new edition was a lot thicker than the previous one. That's really cool. I wish I could get an autographed version. :3
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #84 · Posted at 2012-05-31 09:15:02am 2.2 years ago

Offline CobaltHex
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hmm, logo should be centered on the page not bind, and i prefer the whiter page

Post #85 · Posted at 2012-05-31 09:18:37am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Yea I already made the necessary changes and centered the logo/title and adjusted the text on the back too. Good thing this is still a proof. I agree about the whiter pages too. Other than that, it looks prettyful. Let me know if you need any more changes.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #86 · Posted at 2012-05-31 09:51:12pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Okay, here are some things I noticed and reviewed based on feedback:

* On the cover alignment, yes, I think it could use a shifting to the right. I'm curious why the margins of "do not put title text h* ffere or your cover may be rejected" almost force the title to be close to the spine (or narrow; I have quite a long title tagline, actually)

* For my photo on the back. I have a hard time reviewing my own photo. I think I might come across in that photo as being overly-Japanophile though in reality it is just a photo of me from my wedding photo shoot. My wife saw it and commented that it wasn't so much bad as "Why did he (silverdragon) pick that photo?" but she also added "Well, the book is targeted at gaming fans so maybe a photo like that is more interesting anyways" I do have a collection of other photos though I tend not to be so photogenic and the only decent ones of me tend to be professionally taken ones where I am in a suit (white) or hakama. Many other photos of me don't really look flattering.

* On the Cream vs. White issue, I'll add my own comments in a minute, but to start, here is a writeup by one of the regular self-publishers "cocteau3" over at Createspace:

Quote
White paper vs. cream paper observations and advice
Hi,

Just want to share my experience with proofing white vs. cream paper for my book. I am not using photographs on the interior file, only text.

The white paper does indeed give a book that "self-published" feel, because of the stigma from the '90s of seeing the first wave of self-publisher, "how to" books, etc. If you are using b/w photos in the interior file, it may be best to use this white paper for neutral photos.

Cream paper is my first-rate choice for the book otherwise! It is:

1. thicker paper and gives your book more thickness ie. perceived value increases

2. looks and reads better and more like industry-standard books, novels, bios, etc.

3. easier on the eyes to read

4. would actually be an interesting choice for photos too, and would give a warm tone to your photographs.

5. feels better when turning the pages - thickness of the paper is noticeably more when turning papes.

In conclusion, I had asked originally some months ago on the community about paper color, and got advice about using the white since the cream paper was "yellow". I do NOT agree, instead the paper is normal, warm, cream colored, not yellow, not ugly. Now I know, next time I won't hesitate and spend any time ordering for white. Additionally, I had to re-design the cover file to accommodate for thickness of the spine. No worries.

I hope this info helps anyone searching here for opinions about using white vs. cream paper.

J.

In the side by side comparison photo, the cream paper really does look washed out though on its own you don't notice it *as* much. For my AIJBot Poetry book I used white paper and could really see the difference, though.

For print, I compared both the DDR book and AIJBot Poetry to other books I have on my shelf. Most publisher grade books use stock that isn't white. It falls somewhere in between the two paper colors I have used.

After flipping through both of my books and a bunch of others, I think both cream and white paper have some significant pluses and minuses. The cream paper is as easy to read as the white paper, but the cream paper is thicker and turning pages is a better experience (the white paper almost feels a bit too thin). On that note, the thinness of the white paper means you can notice what is printed on the other side a bit more, especially if there is a photo or image.

The photos looks about as good on both papers. Both suffer from the problem that unless the photo is crystal clear or a vector, it is a bit hard to make out details unless it is blown up to a large size.

That being said, I can still change it to white paper and I'm still thinking on it. The only other possible downside is that only the US printing center lets me print out the book on "white" paper, every other printer uses a non-white publishing stock.



CobaltHex> I like the new logo design on its own, though I wonder if it clashes too much with the photo in the background. Maybe it would be better if I used it against a plain background?

Silverdragon> When this is finalized, I'm willing to at least ship you a copy of the proof copy if you would like that. I could sign it but I never know how to sign these things (what message)
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #87 · Posted at 2012-06-01 04:37:45am 2.2 years ago

Offline CobaltHex
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hmm, you could try it on a white/black background
ill make some mocks

also to sign it just sign on some digi tablet and add it to the cover (its one way)

So I redesigned the arrows, they should be 'safer'. Tell me what you think:
http://i.imgur.com/qBI9j.png

Post #88 · Posted at 2012-06-01 03:45:03am 2.2 years ago

Offline CobaltHex
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Also on the design of the box, we could make it more like a DDR game, an example below, instead of having the background of tokyo

http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/1/15057/1356850-dance_dance_revolution_ntsc__cdcovers_cc__front.jpg

Post #89 · Posted at 2012-06-01 06:25:25am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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"Gods Must Be Strong"
Quote: seishinbyou
Okay, here are some things I noticed and reviewed based on feedback:

* On the cover alignment, yes, I think it could use a shifting to the right. I'm curious why the margins of "do not put title text h* ffere or your cover may be rejected" almost force the title to be close to the spine (or narrow; I have quite a long title tagline, actually)

Just want to share my experience with proofing white vs. cream paper for my book. I am not using photographs on the interior file, only text.

The white paper does indeed give a book that "self-published" feel, because of the stigma from the '90s of seeing the first wave of self-publisher, "how to" books, etc. If you are using b/w photos in the interior file, it may be best to use this white paper for neutral photos.

Silverdragon> When this is finalized, I'm willing to at least ship you a copy of the proof copy if you would like that. I could sign it but I never know how to sign these things (what message)

I think both white and cream paper can work although I would think they should have different thicknesses for each stock but each place is different I guess. Something like thick and thin white paper stock and thick and thick off-white/cream paper stock. It's your book so you can choose whichever you feel is the best. I think either one will work just fine.

Nice to see that the official global logo on the back wasn't flagged at all.

I proof copy would be just fine, it's cool with me. I look forward to reading it too. As for signature, I just thought maybe your name or ZIv alias or something like that. Nothing complicated. If you wanted to add a personal message/thank you, that's fine too, it's up to you.

I like the idea of using my STARLIGHT dancer on there too somehow to reinforce that Dance-at-nightime feel to it. I can come up with an example and post it later this evening for you to see how it looks.


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

Post #90 · Posted at 2012-06-01 06:59:24am 2.2 years ago

Offline CobaltHex
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problem is that its a solid black thing, if you really wanted to fit it (it would still look awkward imo) it would have to be a special over exposure photograph like the stylized ones in the newer ddr games.

Post #91 · Posted at 2012-06-05 10:07:35pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Okay, I've been touching up the contents a bit since I have noticed a bunch of smaller errors with the book (mostly positioning though sometimes the label under a picture overlapped the picture and cut off the bottom part in a couple cases). I also needed to fix the capitalization of "DDReditMAX2" since I have a screenshot with the program name/window clearly visible.

Anyways, for the final cover, I am more or less happy with the version used for the Proof copy except I think the front cover should be shifted to the right a bit (I'll deal with Amazon if they flag it for going over some mystical border; the physical proof copy will show them the issue).

On the back cover, I am still impartial to that particular image of me being used but if it seems like I come off like too much of a weirdo/otaku or something you can try out the different images from my picasaweb account or trim out what you need.

I like the arrows on the front but I am not sure how I could subtly have them changed to slip it past the Amazon censors. Maybe just hollow out the very center a bit? I think the dividing parts in the center match the actual arrow patterns used in DDR too closely? :/ I'm just handing out ideas.
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #92 · Posted at 2012-06-06 02:14:37am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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I'll see what I can do. I'll take a look at the DDR arrow vector artwork I have and change a few things around so we can have them on the cover. They really do tie in the logo nicely. As a general rule, it's been stated that when you modify something at least 6 - 7 times, it's not considered the original artwork anymore.

What if we use the new arrow designs that are on the new dance platforms? Or did you want to stick to the traditional arrows for this project?

As for your profile photo on the back. Maybe you can choose 3 or 4 photos that you like and I'll work from there and trim out the images or something.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #93 · Posted at 2012-06-08 01:43:51am 2.2 years ago

Offline CobaltHex
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they're not the same design so they should be fine. however, i can modify the shape a little more if you want t omake sure they should be safe.

oh btw, on the inside cover (first page). I prefer the image of the DDR pad from the revision 44 book. Better angle and contrast

Post #94 · Posted at 2012-06-08 07:41:20am 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Okay, I've been arguing with the Amazon censors for about a week now and I may be able to slip the original arrow artwork past the censors. I've been quoting what you guys have been saying and at least now they aren't totally outright against it Smile

On the inside cover, I understand. I can swap to the old image. My only issue with that was that it wasn't taken by me, but one of my old friends that I haven't spoken to in a while. I should be okay to use it but I would like to at least try to get a hold of him before he sees it in an Amazon preview or something.

Also, on my photo, I'll see what I can dig up. I'm okay personally with what is there now but I have had enough feedback on this to justify looking for a different photo.

Finally, I have been getting some mail from a few impatient fans that want the book. I'm not going to put it out for sale immediately or anything but I'll try to get everything on my end ready as soon as possible. In a pinch I could adjust the positioning on the cover myself and swap out my photo but it's probably a better idea to let the creators modify their own work, especially when my photoshop skills are zero apart from simple copy/paste and adjusting brightness/contrast
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #95 · Posted at 2012-06-08 07:58:29am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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I can make any adjustments you need pretty quickly if necessary so no worries there.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #96 · Posted at 2012-06-10 10:34:28pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Okay, I showed my book around Odaiba to Akudaikan and the guys there. None of them can read English, mind you, but they were able to comment on the appearance of the book.

* The first thing that stood out to them was the image of me on the back cover. They thought it would have more weight/wouldn't look as strange if I were in some more Western apparel. I'll see what I can dig up.

* The images in the book were nostalgic. The images didn't come out super-fine or anything but they are readable (some of the screenshots could use more contrast, but that is a minor point). I can provide the PDF for free so if people really want to see all the minute details (to whatever level I have) they can see it that way or I can throw all the images used up on the facebook page or something

* The title didn't jump out to them as being horribly off-center (even though it is a bit). Akudaikan actually commented the positioning was actually decent because none of the white text is printed on a crease at the top. Still, it probably should be shifted over, same with the bottom paragraph on the back cover

* The pages feel nice and the book holds/feels comfortable

* They wanted to me mention Dance Evolution AC but that is 2012 and beyond the scope of the book

* The in-book game images are technically a violation of copyright but because of recent precedents like U1-Asami just saying "cool" to photos and videos of the game and his songs being played, and the fact the images aren't super-crisp enough to make out all the fine details to the pixel, nobody thinks anyone will care. They are still on the fence about the arrows on the cover (if I use them). They said they look just a bit too close to the real thing, but if it is legally fine and Amazon says OK, then go for it.


--- EDIT ---



Okay, I have a few pics of me I put in a zip and threw on mediafire since my ftp connection to AIJ is acting funky today (since yesterday, actually)

http://www.mediafire.com/?d96a59t8wjczn1e

You are free to make use of any of those if you think you can get a good decent pic out of it. I am not against slight retouching of details if it makes for a better photo on the book.

I fixed up a few other smaller details with the book insides, including some bizarre formatting error with the table of contents and swapped out the inside front cover image with the old one again.

Once the book cover is done, I'll resubmit it along with the book contents for review (again). When that is done I can put the book on sale. Feel free to make a few variants, both with the image of me on the back and with the logo/arrow design on the front cover.

/me plans on reading book tomorrow again to try and iron out any more noticeable errors.

My only remaining big concern with the inside contents is a fundamental one that would require a complete rewrite of the book. I break things up by year but some elements carry over years and when multiple things happen in a year or I refer to it in a later year/chapter, it seems like I'm tugging the reader along all over the place, but then again if I broke up chapters by issue/event I don't think the book would flow very well.

The link to the DDR book contents is here, though I will output a higher quality one for submission to Amazon once I have the nuances banged out:
http://www.mediafire.com/?zh37tmin3h2y0m3
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg

Post #97 · Posted at 2012-06-11 11:45:01pm 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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And I thought this couldn't get any better. I followed through with your suggestion on fb and I have to say that it looks really nice with the global logo arrows.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8671807/COUNTING%20COMBOS4-2.png
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #98 · Posted at 2012-06-12 04:45:19am 2.2 years ago

Offline CobaltHex
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you should make them pink and cyan, (the colors i used). it adds more color to the title

also, isnt that image copyrighted too?

Post #99 · Posted at 2012-06-12 11:27:48am 2.2 years ago

Offline silverdragon754
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Well I used those arrows in the back of the book too and I don't think they were even flagged. We'll see what seishinbyou thinks. There's several options we can go by. If they allow you to use the other official arrows then using the global logo ones shouldn't be a problem. I know the name Dance Dance Revolution is trademarked/copyrighted but they've never specifically stated that the arrows are as well.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8671807/REFLEC%20BEAT%20ZIv%20sig.png

Post #100 · Posted at 2012-06-12 11:23:25pm 2.2 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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Last updated: 2012-06-12 11:23pm
Hmm, the logo image looks really nice.

I already had a chat with Amazon over this, and they shot back with this quote in reference to the logo making use of part of the current DDR logo (I think the back cover was not flagged because it was a darkened silhouette that is barely visible anyway.

Quote
A logo that includes artistic or design elements, (i.e. not just the name on its own), is legally regarded as being a work of artistic creation and therefore will be protected under copyright law.

Copyright protects the logo as an artistic work. As copyright is an automatic international right, it therefore follows that, (other than activities specified under fair dealing rules), unauthorised copying of that logo would be an infringement

I think I would actually be safer using the arrow image first used in the logo. As long as it doesn't exactly match the arrow design used in the game, e.g. the image below, I think I'm fine.

http://www.mygamer.com/news_images/3813SquallSnake7.jpg

On the back cover, I'll look around to see if I have any other possible images I can use. It is a lot harder than I thought. I'd use a photo I could take right now, though I'm so beat down and tired these days I look like hell in all photos so it would probably be better to use a more photogenic shot.

Feel free to link/post any images of the entire book cover if there are other elements (centering of paragraphs/titles) that have been corrected. It all looks great.

(And much like reality predicts, the last 10% of the work takes 90% of the time. That's all right, though. Being made to wait is meant to better the experience for the recipient anyways)


*EDIT BADDA BOOM BADDA BUMP*

For the back cover image, what do you think of cropping out this?
https://plus.google.com/photos/113185684285955205809/albums/5224745777592383521/5224748049336333554?banner=pwa

I have a few amusing shots of me in my white suit like that one and the ones surrounding it (browse the gallery). I like the general look but I don't know if the appearance/angle makes me the image look strange or give off a strange aura.
http://aaronin.jp/shashin/konmainewbanner.jpg
           
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