A Little Tinkering

(Just so you know, I’d normally do this exercise with a few friends and the roll out the finalists on Facebook or the blog, but since we want to show you the steps – and they can get tedious – I did it here. For you. That’s the kind of guy I am. For more on what goes into a cover, click HERE)


The Navigators is making its way toward publishing (somewhere between approximately June 15-June 30 or so) , so it might be a good idea to finalize the cover!

Originally, I had this:


There’s nothing wrong with it (in fact, it tested through the roof so I LOVE IT). The colors are bold, there’s eye catching contrast. Good images.

It… just kinda loses my name – and is a twirly-piratey font really what I want for my name?

After all, it’s hard enough to read my name when it’s in a plain font.

This one gets a little lost on that background, too. That’s not ego, that’s marketing. Okay, maybe a little ego.

Look at the Savvy Stories cover:

savvystories1 perry kirkpatrick

Pretty easy to see my name there!

I am making a switch from family humor-oriented nonfiction to novels, so I thought a visual difference in the name might be a good idea. It probably is, too, so readers of my old stuff know this is different.


So I want my name on The Navigators more easily seen. And my cover designer will change it.


What to change it to?

First of all, that “landscape” at the bottom of the cover doesn’t do much for me. It never did. It’s supposed to be the mine (part  of the story takes place at a mine) so that makes sense, and after you read a little of the story, you’ll understand it’s a mine on the cover. But it’s not obvious at first glance. Doesn’t matter, something has to be there.

So as long as it’s there and the cover tested really really well, it’ll stay. But my name can be different, Different color, different font.

But what color? What font?

That’s where you come in.

Pick a color, any color. Pick a font, any font.

My designer will change the name for about $10 (what can I say, she’s a saint – how reasonable is that price!) but I can see myself making 100 changes as I go through fonts and colors – and I’m not the best at this stuff anyway! A thousand dollars later I’ll still be where I am right now.

So I made a few, to give you an idea. I just took the existing cover and dropped some different colored names onto it. They suck, but maybe you can think of something. After all, you’ll be doing this one day soon on your own cover, right? When we have something we like, I’ll send it over to the designer to finalize things.

Here are my attempts:

Navs - name at bottom in white.jpg
A) White, all caps, Times new Roman bold. Boring, but you can see it.
Navs - name at bottom in orange.jpg
B) More visible than the piratey black, less visible than the white, but uses the color from the cover. Still dull.


navs block letters like title.jpg
C) As cool as I thought this would be, it really is too much, taking away from the cool effect of the title being in these worn block letters

Ugh. They’re all bad for different reasons.

Allison suggested using the white from the girl’s shirt, and we started discussing fonts, and… after a while my head hurt. (I faked a stomach cramp and told her I went to bed.)

Then I thought, HEY! I know LOTS of smart people. Let THEM have some input!

So here’s your chance. Think of some fonts and colors and let me know what to do.

(Any of these grab ya?)

Any of these grab ya?

Okay, lets obliterate the old name with some cut-paste background so it’s not in the way as much and drop in, oh, NINE or so different versions of my name and see if ANY of them pop. Each is slightly different but just see if ONE grabs you more than the others. If none work, say that.

1 navs - Berylium Bold White
2 navs - Berylium Bold White outlined in black
3 navs - Berylium gold from clock dial outline w her hair color
4 navs - Berylium gold from clock dial
5 navs - Berylium white from shirt sleeve w mustard from money
6 navs - Berylium white from shirt sleeve
7 navs - Poor Ricjard white from shirt sleeve w brown from hair lightened
8 navs - Poor Ricjard white from shirt sleeve w mustard from money
9 navs - Berylium Bold black
10 navs - Berylium Bold WHITE
11 is 10 and 1  navs - Berylium Bold White.jpg
11 is 10 and 1, just font size difference. Refer to the originals to see them Ammy size.

(I left them small because they’ll be small on Amazon;

as people comment, I’ll add their suggestions, too.)

So? Anything?

head shot 2
Your typo-hunting host

This stuff is fun but I still have typos to fix (imagine that) and eventually this book needs a cover so it can be published! So I’ll sort through beta reader feedback chasing misspelled words, and you guys tinker with this.

If you have ideas, comment below or make a mock up on your blog and link to it. I’ll be checking in whenever the manuscript starts dancing around in my weary head.








28 thoughts on “A Little Tinkering

  1. I like the general shape of the font on the original name; it looks interesting and makes a good contrast with the font on the title. Is there a similar font you could use that isn’t so patchy? I’m not sure what word to use, but without all that spider webby stuff, and the letters actually solid instead of looking moth-eaten. Then to pull out the contrast from the background more, you could outline the black letters with the gold from the upper half of the image. That’s what I’d try next.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think I get what you’re saying. You’re right, all the frilly, spider web looking stuff is cool as a font but not so cool as far as being able to clearly see it against the background.

      There are a lot of fonts that have that old world look, or a rough-hewn look, without going so frilly.

      As for the color… that’s tricky. I think I asked for black (and I approved it when I saw it) but too many people have said it’s not easily seen. Makes sense. A better font may solve the problem, but if not, probably any color from the cover will be an improvement. let’; see what we can cook up in the workshop. Check back; I may add these as I go.


  2. My font vote would be for #1 or #2. In the images, I like the first in white because it pops. I’ve included the fact that I beta read for the book (briefly, more to come next week), but also your ‘Writers Off Task with Friends’ show (including the video with Allie Potts) on my blog, Ink & Stitches. Come by and take a look: http://goo.gl/7im0Nm. It has been great working with you and making a new contact along the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a general observation – on these all-cap names, the space between first and last gets a little lost. On a couple of them it looks like DANALATORRE. We know who you are and can figure it out, but new readers might not.

    I kinda like font three. I also like cover 9 but with a white font.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure if I’m too late to share my thoughts. I don’t like the all caps. I like #9 the best. Some of the others make it look like your name is Dana Latorre

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the ones that are the same color as the title. I didn’t dislike the one that was the same FONT as the title….it makes your name obvious without being distracting.

    Then again, not sure the purple-hair-and-nosering set is your demographic. So.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Personally Dan, I like the original one. It gives mystery and intrigue to the story. A little whimsical but the effect is good. Maybe just do a highlight of white around the letters? Congratulations on your new book!

    Liked by 1 person

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