View Full Version : Help me choose

07-03-2016, 06:41 PM
I trust your instincts, creators. Red or Blue? Or neither? Or fudge?


Saul Haber
07-03-2016, 07:39 PM

07-03-2016, 08:47 PM
Definitely red

07-03-2016, 09:22 PM
Hmm..surprising so far. I thought blue would be the fav. This is why I don't trust my judgement! Thanks guys.

07-03-2016, 09:40 PM

Lee Nordling
07-03-2016, 10:30 PM
Hmmm. While at a glance, the reddish cover FEELS more interesting (because the RED says something and the Blue doesn't), here's a GREAT trick for sorting out compositions, whether in black and white or color: SQUINT AT THE ART--what do you see?

Well, the character blends into the background with the red, but pops from the background with the blue.

The real answer might be determined by the logo/title, and the answer to this question: what do you want the reader to see first?

So, for me, for now, it's a wash--and if I was designing this, I'd want to see a violet or purple background variation (which, just in my head, might work best...and also might not).

And it still depends on the title design and color, too.


07-03-2016, 11:15 PM
Nice tip! I definitely want the foreground figure to be dominant. I don't want it getting drowned out. I like the contrast of the blue, but I guess the color itself is too weak. Purple like you said might be a good middle ground. The logo will most likely involve a lot of red, but if I go with the red cover, I wonder if that might be too much red.

07-05-2016, 02:06 PM

Renae De Liz
07-09-2016, 06:01 AM

07-09-2016, 12:25 PM
Looks like the reds have it by a mile. Thanks guys.

07-09-2016, 02:30 PM

07-09-2016, 02:30 PM
I mean red.

paul brian deberry
07-09-2016, 08:16 PM

07-10-2016, 12:22 AM
Just when I thought it was unanimous they throw a blue and a bananas into the works. This is a third act twist I didnt see coming.

Lee Nordling
07-10-2016, 12:36 AM
I didn't vote Red.

I offered thoughts on determining the purpose of choosing the color.

And then there's the previously described "squint factor," which has the red not being as clear as the blue.

Goals are everything.

Opinions without knowing the goals (including my personal opinion) are pointless.

I think it would be good of Rex to tell us what his goal is for the character and the background, within the context of the logo he imagines.

Knowing that, we've got a better chance of helping him.

Not knowing that, well opinions are groundless.

07-10-2016, 02:13 AM
Goal? Well just the basic goal of creating an eye-catching image, mostly. That's why I threw it out there without much explanation. I just want the reaction anyone might get seeing it cold. The logo is an X-factor, you're right. Without it the image is kind of incomplete. So yeah it's hard to make a final decision without that missing piece.

I actually don't mind if the figure blends into the background a bit in this case because my original concept was to have him be literally part of the design, which is a Tibetan Buddhist mandala showing a wrathful deity and demonic cohorts. In the end I decided to just present the design as something painted on a wall.

Lee Nordling
07-10-2016, 08:45 AM
If this is a cover, and if you create a logo that pops and want the reader to see that first and DON'T want the reader to spot the character first or second, then go with red.

The red is nice because it ties the character into the background shade, makes them of a piece.

The blue works IF the goal is to have the character pop.

I still suggest trying a lavender or purple on the character to get the best of both.

07-10-2016, 12:58 PM
Lavender (bordering on blue) seems to work nicely. And I cranked up the warm colors on the foreground to really create contrast. I've read that warm colors jump forward while cool colors fade back.


paul brian deberry
07-10-2016, 05:08 PM
still blue

07-10-2016, 07:36 PM
I dunno buddy. I don't think it's gonna happen.

paul brian deberry
07-12-2016, 06:38 PM

Lee Nordling
07-12-2016, 11:30 PM
If you're looking for the foreground to pop forward (with some logo/title treatment working with it, and having some warm colors in it), I think the lavender works better than the blue.

If you're looking for the background and character to be more "of a piece"/integrated, with the logo/title getting the first attention, then I think the red works best.

Best advice: everybody else is telling you what they like based ONLY on what you're showing them. THIS is a really false set-up, almost guaranteed to skew the results away from what could work best.

My advice continues to be: take the ENTIRE cover concept and color scheme into account before deciding anything based on what anybody here (including me) has advised.

Mostly, my advise is to set up a better and all-inclusive set of options for others to view.

MOST people, artists and designers included, can't read your mind or imagine YOUR possibilities.

A story...

Once upon a time, when I worked in Creative Services/Publications at Disney, I was tasked with producing some cover concepts for the Young Indiana Jones Adventures comics collections for Disney Cartoon Tales, published originally by Dark Horse and collected by Disney for Golden Books to release.

I designed the covers.

Here was the process: another designer and I were tasked with creating a look for the covers.

He was a very interactive designer, produced a lot of quick sketch ideas so that marketing could say what they did and didn't like, and together they could work towards something everybody agreed on.

That's not the way I work best.

I work best by coming up with an idea, developing it, getting input, taking what makes sense, and showing something closer to finished comps, rather than sketches.

I have NEVER believed in the ability of a marketing person to see the potential in something that wasn't pretty fully developed.

So...the other designer had a dozen or so rough concepts, and I have three finished comps of the covers, all three, pretty well realized.

Marketing went with what I did.

The other guy (my future boss) wasn't happy.

The next time I got an assignment, he tasked me with working his way, with producing roughs.

His ideas were the only ones marketing considered.

There's a moral here, and it's not clear, but it ISN'T do what I did the first time, but, I do believe that you've got ONE shot to show your best ideas.

I'm a big believer in not giving somebody else the chance to mess it up.

Show the WHOLE idea.


07-16-2016, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the advice! When it comes to logos I'm always hesitant because they are so easily replaced and I just assume whatever I come up with probably won't make the cut in the end (I don't have any illusions about being a master logo designer). Here's a mock-up of the logo I was planning on in this case. I figured I'd stay simple since the background is busy. That's not the title, obviously, I just used jibberish for the mock-up. Although the foreign lettering in the margins will stay.


Lee Nordling
07-16-2016, 09:57 PM
The eye goes RIGHT to the red stripe.

With this logo combination (and I did read what you wrote), the red background is probably better.

Or go yellow-brownish on the stripe to have it correspond to the foreground and coordinate the logo to the art (perhaps better).

Just my first thoughts.

07-17-2016, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the tips. So the red stripe is too distracting? I'm not a professional colorist by any means (just the best colorist I can afford), so I'm always learning about color theory, design and such. Lots of trial and error.

I think I'll try changing the stripe to match the foreground like you said. Now that I look at the purple I think I prefer it over the red or the blue. The blue seems too cheerful and the red seems just kind of neutral. It doesn't convey any mood at all. The purple seems more ominous & gloomy, which works for me.

Lee Nordling
07-17-2016, 11:25 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of working with an editor and/or art director.

Luckily, the decisions are yours.

07-18-2016, 03:55 PM
I don't mind editors one bit! I'm one of those people that prefers some kind of direction, so long as it doesn't get obnoxious.

08-20-2016, 05:06 AM

Now I'm leaning toward red AND blue. Plus I added a hat.


Steve Colle
08-20-2016, 10:47 AM
Just seeing this thread for the first time, and now seeing your most recent and potentially final version, I have to say:

You have hidden your character.

The addition of the helmet does add to his being a warrior above being a man, but it has also hidden his identity as a character instead of a prop. He has become part of his setting in this choice of red. This is helped along by the fact you have him in a pose that - though showing balance in design - doesn't help him stand out.

Here's an example of how a similar design, using a different character and situation while still using two colours only, can create a similar issue:

An American infantryman during the Vietnam War kneels down on both knees with his head down, his face hidden by his helmet, and with his rifle in front of him supporting his weight as - with a heavy heart over his role in the death around him - he prays for his soul to be saved. Around him are the lifeless bodies of the Vietnamese and his fellow soldiers, dead in the grass that surrounds him. All is coloured in a solid olive drab. Meanwhile, in an expression of the new day rising with the potential for more fighting to come, the background is a solid mustard yellow with trees and helicopters flying in from the distance.

The example above, even though I've said he's praying, can't express his emotional state more than what the design allows. The fact his helmet is down hiding his face, added to the visual balance to his posture and positioning, make it hard enough to determine what he's feeling or doing, but by having him in the same colour as the rest of his foreground setting in the bottom of the image, I've effectively hidden him in plain sight.

That's what you've done with this last version.

If anything, you should go the route of introducing a third colour that is applied solely to the character. A good approach (in my opinion) is to look at the triangulation of colour on a colour wheel. A great example of the use of this triangulation is the Joker's outfit, with the purple, green and orange. This combination continues to be used to great effect. The wheel is a terrific way of introducing colour combinations that would compliment each other while helping create the visual effect of emotional expression.

Consider this as an option.

08-20-2016, 02:57 PM
It's a much appreciated opinion! Thanks! Even more food for thought. That's why I come here. You guys all know your shit.