Thursday, July 20, 2006

Please Judge a Book by its Cover

Finally, proof that I really AM writing a book! Here are the two potential covers for the soon-to-be sensational Vegan Lunch Box. (Click on the images to see larger, higher resolution versions.)

Contestant Number 1:

Contestant Number 2:

Right now, both covers are tied neck-and-neck here in the McCann household. Hubby is cheering for one, I am strictly a fan of the other. I'm not telling which is which, so as not to influence your opinion in any way.

Please help us decide by using the comments to let us know which cover reigns supreme, and which one belongs on the scrap heap. Thanks!

422 comments:

1 – 200 of 422   Newer›   Newest»
melbo said...

I vote for the first one. The stripes on the 2nd one seem distracting. I love the colors and the photo choices though! I can't wait to buy this book :-)

leah said...

i vote for number two, but the ideal would be number two WITH the purple bar from one on number two highlighting the quote and your name, it adds an extra pop.

Layla said...

I vote for number one. I think the thick color bars look great.

Love your blog! A Vegan friend turned me onto it months ago. I am just transitioning myself and family to this healthier way of eating, and I can truly say you have been an inspiration.

emily said...

I like the stripes on number 2, but I think number 1 looks more professional and eye-catching, so I'm voting #1. I'm excited to buy the book, too!

Lira said...

I like the striped cover. It's got that visual pizazz I look for when I'm sorting through the vegan cookbook section in a bookstore. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it seems like the funky covers often identify the best books. I love your blog! Good luck with the book! I know I'll buy it.

andie said...

I like number one.
I like the stripes in number two but the text and photos doesn't stand out as well.

dropdeadhappy said...

#2

Diana said...

I like number one. The stripes on number two don't quite cut it for me.

Diana (in Australia)

hoshi said...

I think a little of both. The stripes on number 2 are really good but it makes some of the text lose definition - the top and bottom bars on number one, overlaid on the stripes, would probably alleviate that.

Regan said...

I vote for number 1! Go 1, go!!

Greg said...

i vote for 2 - the stripes make the book look like a present!

The_ka said...

I like number 1! THe stripes make writing hard to read.. but I'm definitely buying the book either way!

Rainamoon said...

I vote #2.

jin said...

I'm a HUGE fan of the stripey look but you need the purple bar so your name stands out.

Have to go with Contestant Number 1.

Looking forward to that book BTW!!!

Christina said...

#1!

michelleknits said...

#1!

Sam said...

I vote for #2 with the edition of the top and bottom purple stripes of #1 to give #2 a better framing.

If I really had to choose just one, then #1 would pip #2 at the pst because I think the Purple stripes give it a bold structure that #2 is lacking.

Vegan Knitting said...

Another vote for #1. While I also like the stripes, it's hard to read the words, and the photos stand out MUCH better with the plainer background. I also love the purple banners with the name and quote - they really highlight it.

Tess said...

I vote for 1 - the purple bars make the words stand out and it looks more professional.

I can't wait for your book! This is the first time I've commented but I've been reading your blog for months!

mipmup said...

no. 1.

Danna said...

I vote for #2 with the purple bars! We are not making this any easier are we!

MollyM said...

I have to agree with the Purple Bar making your name jump off the page. I LOVE the stripes on #2 though. I would vote for #1 b/c it just looks "cleaner"

MollyM said...

I have to agree with the Purple Bar making your name jump off the page. I LOVE the stripes on #2 though. I would vote for #1 b/c it just looks "cleaner"

flo said...

definitely love the stripes - go no. 2!

Elias said...

#1 -- the other too closely resembles Garden of Vegan and How it all Vegan.

K.S. said...

I've worked in advertising and publishing for ten years, and I can almost guarantee you that #1 will sell better. #2 doesn't grab the eye at all, but #1 has a good amount of contrast.

If you want to be sure, just look through bestselling cookbooks on Amazon. You'll be able to see what cover styles do well.

Vivacious Vegan said...

#1 for sure. #2 just doesn't do it for me.

France said...

Love the purple bands, don't like the yellow (too bland which I'm sure your food is not), not sure about the stripes. I would have loved to see a combination of the stripes with the purple bands! I tried it in a graphics program and I reckon it's the best!! That way both you and your hubby get what you want!!!!!

vegan marissa said...

I like the 2nd one.
But theyre both nice looking....
Id go with the 2nd one.

Sustainability Ambassador said...

stripes, please!

Amsel via Inktea said...

Stripes!

scs said...

Definitely the first one. The second one looks too busy (already a danger since there is so much going on visually). Good luck with the book!! I'm sure it will be a hit.

sarra b said...

I vote for (and love) #2. I love the stripes! And I really, really don't like the thick purple bars on #1.

Julie said...

I vote for #1

Claudia said...

My vote is for #1. It has a more streamlined look and the rec -- "Lunches worth going to school for!" really stands out.

lucy said...

Both good - at forst glance I liked the top one best, seemed to stand out more but on reflection, I prefer the muter look of the stripes :)

Lucy
Vegan Family House

Courtney said...

They're both good, but I like #2 better. To me, it looks a little bit cleaner.

holiday at sea said...

stripes=fun. i vote #2.

peacefrog said...

I love the color bars on the first one, but I also like the stripes. I'm not sure, because I know they'll look very different on a book cover than on-screen. I need them printed and wrapped around a book. :)

I ADORE the Erik Marcus quote! Good job getting that.

I don't like the "More than 10 weeks" bit though. It just doesn't sound like very much to me, even though I know it's a lot when I think about it. Something like "More than 50 Amazing Animal-free..." sounds like a lot more and more appetizing to my ear.

So glad this is coming along, though! Yum yum.

Danika said...

I like the first better. The purple bars work well as a framing device, whereas as others have said, the stripes overwhelm the text. I also feel that the lunchboxes don't stand out as well in the second, which I think is a shame.

Katy Newton said...

Number 2, but with the purple horizontal stripes from number 1.

petula said...

Number 2....wow a book!!!!! I can't wait to buy this book (Amazon...i'm italian...)!

jenny said...

#1 is a much bolder statement -- it would be cool if you could do the horizontal purple stripes from #1 and the vertical stripes from #2 together.

Maren said...

1, absolutely.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carrie™ said...

I really like the stripes in #2, but the purple bars in #1 make your name and Erik Marcus' quote stand out. I'd like #2 with purple bars added.

Laura said...

TWO! 2! TWO!

While the color bars are great, they draw too much attention to the purple box in the top image, rather than to the food in it. So if you decide to keep them I would crop the photo or switch it out.

And I absolutely LOVE the stripes. It's quite retro and makes me think of days when metal lunch boxes were all the rage and everyone packed one. Now kids are too cool to bag it and go with greasy cafeteria pizza and fries. Ick.

❉ pixie ❉ said...

The top one. The 2 bands of purple really direct your eye to the important stuff on the cover. The 2nd one looks unfinished. Perhaps the stripes could be incorporated into the top one.

keda said...

i vote for the first design for reasons already mentioned... destracting stripes and the strong contrase of the purple and yellow to highlight title/author info

Karena said...

Both are great, but I agree with the readers that recommend a meld of the two styles.

Jennifer -- I love your site and am really looking forward to the book! I'm just now trying to sneakily convert my family to a (near) vegan lifestyle. I've already gleaned so many ideas. My husband loves these meals, and he doesn't even realize he's being "deprived!"

Danielle D. said...

I like the stripes in #2, but the cover still looks like it is missing something (maybe, like others have suggested, it would look better framed in colour bars).

Addy N. said...

I like #1 best!

amyt said...

I vote for #1

For the people that like the features of both, here's a quick photoshop of what the bars would look like WITH the stripes:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/paprika/vlb_front_cover_3.jpg

Nicole said...

Although I like #2 more, I think I would probably buy #1... working in the publishing industry, you often find there's a difference between which covers people like and which ones they will buy. Key if your goal is any kind of sales.

TW said...

I vote for number 1. The title jumps out more on number 1.

Scott Carlson said...

#1

normanack said...

One pops. Two is prettier. On a store shelf, I think you want pop.

adrienne said...

I like #1 :)

greekveggie said...

#2 - hands down.

& said...

#2 for sure. the contrast makes the difference!

V said...

I like #2. Seems friendlier....and less generic book coverish. Good luck with it!

Tere said...

Hey Jennifer!

Number 2 for sure! Absolutely, no question about it. I find it looks more modern, and strangely, of higher quality, more professional.

Tere :)

ashlee said...

My vote is for #1....I think that it showcases the pictures better which is the most important part cause they are so BEAUTIFUL!!

I am so excited that the time is finally nearing for the publication of your book...you must be very proud.

Good luck with everything!

Lauren said...

No. 1 is much cleaner and looks more professional. Can't wait until it's printed!

A Little Geez with that Whine? said...

#1 definitely. The purple bars highlight the author! I too think the striped on #2 are disctracting.

Nicole said...

I love #2. There seem to be a bunch of people without Blogger accounts voicing their opinions on the LJ feed of this account too, here.

tracyb said...

Number 1 pops right out at you while number 2 just doesn't grab your attention the same way.

NUMBER 1.

veggiegrrl said...

Defnitely #1. The horizontal bars with the pull-out quote and your name definitely add some marketability.

starburn said...

#2!

Rachel said...

I vote #1. Much cleaner and sleek looking.

mishka said...

Number 2

Kourtney said...

#1 -- stripes are distracting on #2

Musicknitter said...

#1

Melissa said...

#2 - it's spunky and more creative - like how I imagine you to be in real life :-)

Can't wait to buy it!

Amy Schmidt said...

Number 1 for me.

The stripes distract from the gorgeous food in #2 (as well as the lunchbox design surrounding the food, IMO). If you are going for a whimsical "kid friendly" appeal - go with #2. If you want to showcase the food - number #1!

When I purchase a cookbook I'm immediately drawn to how fabulous the food looks in the pictures. I'd definitely try to showcase the food more.


Regardless, since I'm a huge fan I can't wait to buy it! ;)

OMbody said...

I like #1 - my eyes fall directly on the beautiful & yummy lunches. The stripes in #2 cause my eyes to wander across the cover, and I miss the yummy lunches.
Congratulations and best of luck!
Take care, Brooke

sherrimc99 said...

I vote #1. The darker border help the pull quote and author stand out more and balance the whole thing. I find the stripes on the second option distracting and it seems to let the pull quote and author fall off the page. I can't wait to buy it no matter the design!

Siercia said...

I prefer # 2. I like the stripes, and I think the purple color bars are distracting.

Meg said...

I vote for #2, but like leah said, "the ideal would be number two WITH the purple bar from #1 on #2, highlighting the quote and your name..."
(as it does add an extra pop..."

Good luck! I can't wait to buy it!

Alicia said...

I like #2 :)

Nancy in PA said...

I vote for #1--it's crisper and draws the eye more. You are known as Vegan Lunch Box, not by your name, so you probably want the title to be emphasized and the pictures to draw the eye. Unless you think your market is actually children (for instance, they say,"Hey Mommy, buy this book!"), I would probably go for what the adults will be drawn to and purchase, rather than the children. Will this be spiral bound? If if has a spine, be sure the title leaps out at you on the spine. (Picture it on a shelf with the spine looking at you.) FWIW

cherios said...

#2... but if you can do another option with the striped cover AND the purple blocks on the top and bottom, that would be perfection. Just finishes it off with a visual POP and Symmetry - which is what it's all about.

SusanV said...

Definitely #2. When you look at them full-sized, not the small version, they're both very clear, but #2 just has that certain something that makes you want to pick it up.

Can you tell us... did you design them yourself? And if you're self-publishing, which company you're going with. (I'm working on a book too and would welcome any suggestions!)

Josh said...

I think #2 looks too much like How it All Vegan the other books in that line. I love those books, but #1 is a design I haven't seen in vegan cookbooks before. Good luck!

Toady Joe said...

I'm with Josh. In fact that's what I came here to say... it looks like a copycat or knockoff of the Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard series, and while their books are great & all, I don't think you want to be perceived as copycatting. Yeah, #2 is a cool cover... EXCEPT that whole knockoff thing. So I totally vote for the top one ("our" #1). Can't wait to buy your book... keep us posted!

Dysplastic said...

#2 hands down! #1 looks a little too empty and plain. The stripes on #2 keep the eye entertained without distracting from the text.

Can't wait for this to come out!!!!1

Dreena said...

My vote's for #2!!

OshinkoTickle said...

#2! I love stripes!

Kim said...

I like the stripes, its so VOGUE!!

Erica said...

#2 makes my eyeballs bleed. Go with #1.

Ali said...

I think number 2, but also like the purple strips.

Good luck deciding!

Valabama said...

I love the stripeys! Number 2 for sure!

TigerLilyGirl said...

I like the 1st one.

wendylouwho said...

Love the stripes! I can't wait for the book!

raising_kahne said...

I personally like the first one the best! I got chill bumps just looking at this because Ive been waiting to hear more news on this for awhile now! Keep us filled in about how you're coming along with the book!

Jen said...

Number 1. I absolutely LOVE that shade of purple, its my favourite colour! It makes the book stand out more and catch the eye. I can see why people like the subtlety of number 2, but its a crowded market out there, and you need to grab people's attention!!

Go 1!!

Mystery Mazer said...

The second one, much more fun!

Jenny said...

Number 1's the best. Clean and simple. The purple header and footer is excellent. They make the cover look crisp.

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChewyChanga said...

Number 1! Great blog :)

Miss Tiffie said...

pink stripes!!!!

but try adding a third option, with the purple bars with the stripes!!! :)

kotzebue said...

#1.

It's way more attention-grabbing and eye-catching (I'll think of more hyphenated phrases, gimme a minute) and it will compel people to pull it off the shelf and flip though, which will compel them to buy it.

Denim said...

Number 2!

Callie Ann said...

Number 1 totally

Caroline said...

My vote goes with No. 1. The stripes on No. 2 are a little distracting, although it's also nice.

LeftyBard said...

I like number one.
This is my first post here, and I spent the better part of two or three hours reading ALL your archives. I just loved everything, and my husband, who is disabled, stays at home and has a me-fixed lunch box midday, is eating MUCH better now.

Thanks!

Abby

Courtney said...

I like #2, but I agree with those that say you should include the purple bars from #1.

Jaimi said...

#1 definitely. The purple bars add more pop.

Jacki said...

I agree with Hoshi way up at the top :)

pdani said...

i love the second one, so whimsical!

meegiemoo said...

I like the stripes on #2.

Caroline said...

The second choice is more aesthetically pleasing to me, but the first choice (because of the bold purple parts) is more likely to catch my eye. So, in that sense, I think #1 is more effective.

Chris said...

I like the first one

GO TO MY BLOG Jennifer it would be too cool (damm i am a dork :O)

jivamuktirn.blogspot.com/

Lucie said...

I prefer #2! Stripes are cool.

This Is What a Feminist Looks Like said...

I like the first one.
There are a bunch of votes at your syndication on LJ, too: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/veganlunchbox/48652.html

KosmicFreeway said...

First one is my choice!

mamafabun said...

#1 really pops! I think it would grab your attention more on the bookstore shelf. And furthermore, I can't wait to pour through a copy!

Geosomin said...

woo woo for number two!

Mrs. Harridan said...

I vote for the stripes; they convey kid fun.

Kristen said...

I'm with leah (second commentator). I think the stripes on #2 add depth, but the purple bars on #1 are critical for helping your name pop, and for keeping everything from seeming like it's running off the page. But if I had to choose, I'd go with #1.

vegpdxmom said...

Definitely #2. I think the design is better, I like the stripes, and I think the purple bars on the first one are too distracting.

Bibliophile said...

Truthfully, I like a combo of both. I think the stripes look cool and add somethign to the cover. But I also really like the purple stripe at the bottom of the first cover that contain your name. I think that if you could combine those two elements, then it'd reign supreme to me!

Angela said...

I like number 2 - it's happy and playful.

maria_bodoh said...

I like #1 better because it definitely looks more professional. It kind of reminds me of the cover of The Whole Soy cookbook. I think #2 is cute, but the vertical stripes are definitely too distracting, and it looks too busy. Sometimes it is hard for me to find the book I am looking for in the bookstore if the cover is too busy with stuff.

But either way you go, it is going to look great in my kitchen. ;-)

Jhenn said...

I love the second one, but the first one seems more professional and less "girly" haha.

sarah said...

I like them both, but would have to say that Contestant #1 seems more appealing to the masses than Contestant #2 (which is pretty girly.) Love the look of both, though! Great job!

RedRabbit said...

The 2nd one... with the adorably retro pink stripes... of course!

Webly said...

#1
Or a comb of the two.

Vicki said...

neither belong in the scrap heap! lol! i like #2 - the stripes are playful. and in my opinion, the purple blocks of the other distract from the food pictures. mainly, i'm just excited that soon your vegan lunch recipes will be available. congrats on being at this stage!

KCM said...

Contestant #1 looks cleaner and more professional. My eyes are drawn to the lunchboxes in #1 as opposed to #2 where my eyes are drawn to the vertical stripes.

Madalyn said...

number two

Deeann said...

#2 is my vote---got my attention right away!

Jordan said...

#1 FO SHO

Arethusa said...

I love number 2! I really dig the stripes and colors.

Meg said...

I like Number 1 much better. The stripes on Number 2 are distracting. Good luck!

foodiechickie said...

I like the first one.

valerie said...

#2. the purple bars on #1 are a little too strong, i think. they box-in the overall design and make it seem crowded. the vertical stripes in #2 open it up in such a way as to invite further investigation (as in, "look inside!")...and i don't see them as being especially "girly" either...

Janelle said...

I like #1.

claire said...

I vote for number 1.
It looks more polished.
The stripes are kind of distracting.

Angel said...

The first one is fresher.

Tiffany said...

as a design student i choose contestant number 1. the purple on the top and bottom draw your eye toward the center and make the cover "pop" more!

ezumbrun said...

I like number one. I just discovered your site and love it. We have a 1 year old and want him to eat well/enjoy food and your website will be a great resource. Thanks! We will get your book when it comes out too.

mumblingmonkey said...

The second one looks better to me. The first one seems a little elementary, like "I made this myself in Microsoft Publisher!!" (Which, whether it be true or not, is not the statement book covers should make, in my own opinion.)

Hanuman1960 said...

I like number two. It has more of a "retro" look to it, which brings to mind a simpler time when Mom made our lunches by hand and sent us off to school with them! :)

Mouse H. said...

I vote for #1. The purple boxes are more professional-seeming, easier to read, and crisper. In number two the text stands out poorly against the stripes, making the cover look washed-out and too light. #1 is bolder and crisper.

alimum said...

I vote for the first one and here is why:

The purple bars set frame the cover and the plain background makes the text stand out. The vertical strips are pretty and all, but it makes the whole cover (of #2) way too busy

lj said...

I like #2 the best, but I agree with Leah -- I'd *really* like #2 with the big purple stripes of #1 to highlight the quote and your name. Possibly with a purple spine, too?

Marie said...

The one without the stripes! When does your book come out???

the.victoria said...

number 2! i love the stripes...and i don't think they make the cover too busy at all.

<3,
~V

Laura Ashley said...

First one!

Alissa said...

#1.... but I agree with some above that the stripes with the bold borders may be nice as well!

greenanimal said...

Number 2 for sure. I posted this in LJ already - but I used to be a manager at a large bookstore chain, and the second one stands out more, it will sell better!

jttcs said...

Has to be the first - way more eye catching and holding. Good luck!!

Jenney said...

Well, the stripes on #2 look more professional, but the purple bars win out, they make it pop. I guess I like #1.

amanda said...

i vote for contestant #1. the background stripes on #2 are too busy and detract from the lovely lunch pics!

How exciting :)

Agus said...

Definetely Contestant # 1 -----The Top and Bottom Purple Lines make it visually attractive....and if we are to judge a book by its cover...I would pick up and purchase # 1.

Contestant #1 is also "cleaner" not so complicated. And I for one I'm simplyfing my life by being Vegetarian.

Congratulations!!!

Allison said...

#1!

Emily said...

I vote for number one!

4cutieboys4me said...

#2 gets my vote!!!!

BUT, I don't really like the weird angled photos. What's up with that??!!

Ms. M said...

asI like #1. Yup, those purple bars do it for me and I don't feel the pink stripes are necessary.

Can't wait to buy the book!!!

MUD said...

#1 - the pink stripes look a little too girlie for me. Congrats on the book, by the way!

Ma May said...

Lovin' # 2. But either way, can't wait to get a copy!

krispycheks said...

#2! The stripes are neccesary for the kitschiness of the font and lunchbox shapes to be realized!

Michelle said...

i like #2 :) can't wait for the book to come out!

Kelly said...

I like #2, but with the purple stripes on top and bottom like #1. Then it has a pretty background and the stripes that makes it "pop" out.

J. J. Breazeale said...

Definitely #2!

creative kismet said...

I like #1!

dollydlux said...

I like contestant number 1 the best. They are both great but I feel that number 1 is easier to read without the stripes in the background. It just looks crisper and the purple borders really POP! How exciting!!!

dre said...

# 2 BY FAR!

bug said...

i vote for the first one, the stripes make the other one look to busy

Kristin said...

#1.

It is much cleaner looking. The stripes are too cluttered.

my2veggiegirls said...

I like purple bars from #1 with stripes from #2
I love your site! I have a daughter that starts pre-school this fall and she loves all the ideas you have plus she is making up a lot of her own. Very cool. I first saw a link to your blogg from vegkitchen.com and was hopeing you would have a book. You are great! Thanks!
Heather

NightOwl said...

Like many others, I love the stripes, but prefer #1 because the writing is highlighted by the purple.

dollydlux said...

OOOH now i like the combo of the stripes with the purple bars the best too! Sorry Jennifer- we aren't helping are we? Nice work AmyT!

MandC said...

I like the stripes. Looks upbeat and fun. It's kid-friendly without putting off those of us that don't have kids.

Beckums said...

#2

VLyandra said...

I like the first one. Text is easier to read without a background image, like stripes. They're really distracting on the second one, though they give that nifty retro feel. Also, sooooo many comments!

Jodie said...

Number 2!

And I know it is not one of the options you gave us but I agree that it would look good and standout with the purple bands top and bottom :)

Jodie

Knit Knat Knut said...

Pink stripes all the way!!

Gina said...

Number two.

Jamie said...

Number 2 fo'sho! (I also happen to find it funny that 180 people are determining if they like number 1 or number 2 better... heheheh...)

Jessica said...

I love number 2!! the stripes are awesome.

Sunshine said...

Stripes all the way.

Heather said...

I like Number 1 better because it's sharper and bold - grabs the passing eye quicker. The purple bar helps accent and frame the entire cover while also preventing the light blue lunchbox borders from fading out. Number 2's stripes are cool, but stripes on Number 1 would make it way too busy.

Number 1!

cheryl said...

Wow- how exciting!!

I love #2 but with the purple bar at the bottom. Very striking! And I can't wait :)

Heather said...

I like number 1 best. The stripes on 2 are a little busy. Can't wait for the book!

vegmom3boys said...

Weighing in with #2

suzanne said...

#1!

I am looking forward to your book!

Michael McVey said...

One.

Bearette24 said...

i like the one without the stripes.

heather said...

i vote for the first one. the stripes in the second one are cool, but it makes your name and the words sort of fade.

so excited for this book!

Brent W. said...

Definitely #2. The stripes grabbed my attention! And I am excited that you are moving forward with publication. We can't wait!

Penelope said...

Definitely number 1. My training in book cover design from general-trade publishing in Australia taught me that statistically, bolder cover designs sell more books.

While I LIKE the stripes on #2, that's not going to make the book stand out in the bookshop as well. Not as easily read from a distance.

SRN said...

I love #1! Not a fan of the stripes. And I'm so glad it's going to be a book! YAY! Go you!

fruitflypie said...

I like #2 better, it looks more professional and says pick me more than the first.

hayden said...

#2, definitely!

Alexandra said...

#1. I think that the stripes look too "busy" and are a bit distracting.

Congrats on the book!

karen said...

I vote for #2, fun and kitchy. I can't wait for this to come out- congrats! #1 is too plain.

JAM*tacular said...

Number one, for sure. The design is much cleaner and the photographs pop. The white copy over the purple header and footer are crisp and bold.

Congratulations and celebrations on the progression of your book!

One love,
Mikaela

*g said...

I vote #1, although the photoshopped mashup that amyt posted is nice as well (#2 with purple horizontal lines).

I'm so excited that you are writing a cookbook!

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