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What tips can you give for making custom covers?

What tips can you give for making custom covers?

 
Old 10-09-03, 09:50 PM
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What tips can you give for making custom covers?

You guys make it look so fun. I would like to try my hand at some
custom covers, but I'm on a limited budget. Can you reccomend
software, tips, tricks, ect;?

And remember I'm just starting, so please explain in Layman.

Jason
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Old 10-11-03, 12:05 AM
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First things first! You need good imaging software and the best way to go, without breaking the bank, is 'Adobe Photoshop Elements'. The newest version is 2.0 and you can get it new for about $85. If you use eBay you can find it for as little as $50 if your patient. Earlier versions 1.0, 1.1 etc. can be had for as little as 15 0r 20 $. It's a great program that offers about 80% of the features of Adobe's Full Photoshop at about 15% of the cost.

While your learning 'Elements' your also learning 'Photoshop' so if you get hooked and want to move up to the next level you'll have a good head start. Good luck!
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Old 10-11-03, 10:00 PM
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Will Paintshop Pro 8 work? I went out Friday and picked this up.
I didn't know about 'Photoshop' Elements. DAMN!

Jason
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Old 10-13-03, 03:14 AM
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Paint Shop Pro is excellent also, no worries.
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Old 10-18-03, 12:52 AM
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My suggestion for someone like yourself is to start small, avoid cliches and don't stop until you're satisfied. I've done my fair share of graphic design (no DVD covers, but some CD covers) and know what it takes: patience. Don't be discouraged if you can't make it look how you picture it in your mind. 98% of the time what I end up with is the opposite of what I preconceived.

It's all about arrangement. I haven't had much experience with anything besides Photoshop, but I'm sure PSP works on a layer system as well. Once you put something somewhere, you can always move it around later (provided it's on it's own layer). This is extremely useful when you come up with new ideas. When I say avoid cliches, I guess I mean do as much as YOU can do without looking to other sources for help (i.e. -- tutorials). These can be helpful in learning how to use certain features, but all to often I see people showing off their "art" which is basically one tutorial layered upon another.

Another thing I always remember is font selection is key. Don't go crazy with fonts. If you use crazy and intricate fonts it usually ends up looking bad because they're hard to design around. Often times you'll be browsing through a font site and go "Wow cool, that's an awesome font!" The fact of the matter is, if you say "Wow, cool...," it's probably not going to work very well. Of course these are just opinions that I have about typography. I know what works for me, other things might work for you that don't for me. Simple and sleek fonts are generally more attractive, though it varies from project to project. Another cool trick for making your typography look great is spacing. This usually only works with all caps, so keep that in mind. Sometimes spacing is called "Tracking" (as it is with Photoshop).

As I said before, don't stop until YOU think it's done. For most people (there are some exceptions), design is generally a long process based on trial-and-error. Whether they'd like to admit or not, it just takes practice. No one's born with the talent. As long as you have some creativity and drive to do it, you can.

I used to be terrible at design, but with a little bit of effort you can be good enough to impress most people. Keep us posted on your graphical endeavors!
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