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comments on covers

useful notes on creating covers in Photoshop.

  1. Covers are 1563 by 2500 pixels.  Size it up front to avoid surprises

  2. Put EVERYTHING in layers to maximize your flexibility

  3. Play with tolerance.  When selecting stuff, for instance, there is often a border of pixels just off the color that you may want to select

  4. Many Photoshop effects are set at a certain size.  Using one of the textured fills, for instance.  You may have to do a small effect and then scale it

  5. No matter how neutral a stretch of cover looks, plop the title or byline on it to test.

  6. Blotting out extraneous details can produce neutral space.  Copying other sections of the picture works better than using the blemish remover, which makes things fuzzy

  7. Enlarging the picture can also enlarge the neutral stretch, even though it's also prone to move picture elements out of view.  sigh

  8. You want a title's color to harmonize with the rest of the colors, and to pop out so the browser can see it.  This can be a trick

  9. Don't forget you can make the title bold to make the letters fatter without getting much larger.  (If the font allows.)

  10. Fancy fonts and detailed images may overload the cover.  Elaborate fonts may want a simple page.

  11. Making the title "glow" or "shadow" can help contrast quite nicely.

  12. You can put highly stylized things on the cover, but you don't want to put anything else that is much more detailed.

  13. When plopping a bit of clip art on the page, do not make the background solid color.  There's any number of things you can do, from clouds to adding noise, to going for a marble or parchment texture.

  14. Old images often benefit from having a color cast removed

  15. Lighten, darken, saturate, desaturate -- all of these can change an image useful.

  16. Sometimes there's no substitute for selectively darkening or saturating or what have you the picture.  Selection can be tricky, though.

  17. Saving the image as a jpg and viewing it as a large icon or an extra-large icon will tell you how it looks as a thumbnail, or as the image on the selling page.

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