Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sureshot Presents - The Antomy of the book

Some other design features I incorporated into Sureshot was a bit of personal preference, a bit of observation of what i had seen at cons, etc and looking at other local books.

A pet-peeve is books without prices on them. Having bought some local books at various comic shops, it drives the staff nuts when they have to try and find the price. Flipping the book over and over again, looking at the indicia, going to the shelf to see if their are any price tagged copies. So to make my retailers happy i display the price was nice and clear. Also visible for the buyer too - "4 bucks, I'll give that a go"

I didn't want to put issue numbers because i think that scares people off. They're one-shots, they don't need to read any other comics to 'get' them so i used dates instead. I think retailers would prefer issue numbers to make it easier for reordering but in this case the customers lose out to the retailers. I use Seasons and Years instead.

LFW designed the first cover of Sureshot Presents (this one is rare second print variant) and i've kept alot of the elements - like the logo. Nice simple in the corner not taking up to much real estate. I did want to have some branding, as a mark of quality, inline with some of my goals.

Beforehand I had spent some time looking at books on stands. They either get racked overlapping horizontally or vertically. So i purposelly divided the cover into halves. When racked vertically you see the logo and the the title. I picked rather 'loud' fonts for the titles, hping they give a feel of the story. If the book is racked horizontally, such that the books overlap on the vertical axis, then you either see the title or the spot-image. The hope is that you see a whole something; image, logo or title.

In terms of the spot illustration, i picked that as a design element because i wanted it not to look too much like a comic. It was something i thought of based from observations, make it too comic-looking and people won't give it agao. I don't know if its a matter of people thinking the creator is 'trying to hard', comics are still seen as kids stuff or people just don't like full-bleed illustrations on the front of comics. I think from a design point of view having a traditional comic cover on a A5 mini printed in single colour is going to look to full on and unappealling.

Because the stories are self contained and the book will mainly be sold at zine fairs i used the back cover for a blurbs detailing the comic and some panels - like a book or video backcover. For some reason when people pick up the book, they flip it to the back cover and then to the front and then open it up (not in all cases, some open it up straight away).

Internally, they all feature an intro from me, bio pages of the creator and me and some information about the Sureshot Presents concept. The introductions usually recommended similar books to the issue they were holding, in the hope if they liked this book they'd like the others listed. Spread the love as it were.

Overall, i recognise its not sexy but for the cost and honestly my skill level I'm pretty proud of the final package.

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