Illustration Vs. Photoshop in Book Cover Design

If you’re not going to hire an illustrator, avoid looking too “Self-Published” with Photoshop!

Shelby Sullivan

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Anyone who says Tumblr is dead has clearly never seen the quality content I do daily. As a book cover designer (and overall book cover fan), this particular one yesterday really caught my eye:

Screenshot from Tumblr; OP bcnnibeau-deactivated20200330

Choosing the better design between these two designs is, in my opinion, a no-brainer. The 80s-looking cover (from 1995), the saturated maroon words on a blue/purple background, the hair, the rippling muscles — all painted by hand?

How could you ever choose the 2015, clip-art style, Photoshopped, washed-out-pastel version of this book?

The user on this post claims that the “worst crime capitalism ever committed was eliminating Horny Oil Painter as a viable career option.” While I think that statement is hilarious, they do have a point.

The Cost of Covers

By-hand illustration (even if done on a digital tablet) is expensive. Many artists charge upwards of $250+ for a full cover layout, front-to-back.

As they should! Artists are talented at their craft, and they deserve to be paid for their efforts. But as technology makes it easier for authors to create their

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Shelby Sullivan

6 years as a professional writer, editor, blogger, and designer. Learn to make book covers and contact me at linktr.ee/sulliwrites !