What are the most important images from your story? Do you want a rotten banana with a kitten hissing at it? An old wedding dress? A creepy old house?
Post what you want here, and perhaps someone else has that old wedding dress and will take some photos of it for you. Or someone with drawing skill will draw that creepy old house for you.
For instance, if you wanted a photo of a spotted dog chewing on a baby doll head, or a glass skull in a rusty wheelbarrow, I could get photos of those to you with no trouble. Then one day when I need the picture of a crying baby pointing a phaser at a squirrel, you’ll help me out with that.
If you’re not sure what your cover art should be, post the basic storyline and major images/themes here, and perhaps the community can help you synthesize them into a good idea for an image.
Everybody be sure to check this thread out to look at what people want, and please help them out if you can!
I’d love to see a Cover Art help thread! I’m an artist, (hence doing a digital painting for my little SpringThing project) but not really a graphic designer- those two skills are oddly disparate, in my experience. I’m curious about how other people have made/will make their covers- is photobashing more of the norm around here?
I’m an artist, too, but the graphic design part gives me a headache, too. For my IFComp entry, I made a real painting, scanned it, and used Canva to crop it and add text.
For my Spring Thing Entry, I took photos and again used Canva to crop, edit, and stitch them together, and I’m pleased with the result. If you take your own photos or draw your own artwork, you don’t really need much skill in graphic design to compile a digital image using those.
I’m not an artist. The two resources I’ve found most useful are:
CoolText - to generate words in a PNG to overlay a title. There are other word-font generation sites, but this is the one I’ve used the most. PIXLR - a free online photo/graphics editing tool that has layers, effects, and allows cropping/positioning/adjustment for those of us who don’t have Photoshop.
I like images with tension in them. Purely pretty art is not very interesting to me. I painted little lines of ants with enamel paint all over the flowered china I inherited from my grandmother, and it’s much nicer now.
My dirty secret is that I do all my cover art in Google Slides…
Well ok, that’s not quite true, but I find it makes it really easy to noodle around and explore different concepts/play around with the composition. Once I have a concept I’m happy with I’ll move to working in a real image editor.
(Note: I am not actually good at art and cannot draw, so take all my advice with a grain of salt)
Edit: thanks @HanonO for fixing my mistake
[EDIT: moved by Mod ]
I’m going to pimp Canva a little here. It has a lot for free that is very useful: excellent text overlay, a background remover and eraser, and a lot of easy-to-use features. You can pay to unlock more tools, but the free version is excellent and user-friendly. I use it for all my graphic design needs because it’s largely idiot-proof. They do have a lot of stock photos and clip art, but I’m not sure what the IP rules are, so I use my own art and photos. I particularly like the background remover that allows you to overlay images.
I haven’t seen this mentioned as of yet in the thread- an in-browser editor option is Photopea. It’s basically like Photoshop in lay out and capability- it even handles PSD and AI files! You could in theory use it to draw in as well, though like Photoshop I think most users would find it more handy for editing pictures.
Some free Stock image options would be Pexels (which contains video and really nice photographs, with an option to double check the licensing but generally don’t require attribution and are free to use for all the stuff on there) and Pixabay (which is similar, though it does note explicitly on the images if they’re available for commercial use as well). These aren’t transparent background-ed photos, but they are really pretty, and as long as you don’t get too niche in subject matter you could probably find something workable from there.
I don’t think you have to have one, but I will say my eye tends to gloss over games without cover art. And I would think anything in the public domain would be fair game. Or you can ask here for an original photo or drawing of whatever you like, and maybe somebody can provide it!
You can search “free stock images,” but make sure that you check individually what the license requirements are - just because you search for “free” images doesn’t mean all your results will be free.
Requirements may be listed for each image or a website may have a blanket licensing FAQ. Some say “free for noncommercial use”. Or if you see a Creative Commons (CC) license, (CC-BY) means you have to credit the artist. (CC-0) means completely free, no restrictions, and (CC-NC) means free for noncommercial use (you’re not selling it.)
To add on to this, Google Images does allow you to filter results by license type. The filters are either “Creative Commons (all types)” or “everything else” so you still have to dig into the results a bit, but it’ll make things easier to start.
Thank you all. I did a search in Wikimedia Commons and found an image at Creative Commons 4.0 which looks great for my purposes. I’ve just got the organisers’ email which states that there will be a place to acknowledge the authorship of the cover image, so it looks like plain sailing!