I was sorting through some old images and came across this gem…
This is the original cover design I was sent for the slipcover of the Greek “Dragon Tamers” hardcover. Looks good, right?
If you’re not a gamer, reader or designer then yes – it’s shiny. Attention grabbing. Looks good.
…But there’s something not quite right. Apart from the strange character in the bottom (the publisher’s mascot?), the book’s protagonist is a black-haired girl. So immediately, some mental alarm bells are ringing about this cover designer’s attention to detail.
Wait, haven’t I seen that guy before…?
That’s the cover art for Final Fantasy X, voted by Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu to be the greatest video game of all time and fifth in IGN’s “Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time“. Selling 6.6 million units worldwide, it’s a pretty big deal – the Final Fantasy series is one of the best selling video game franchises.
I pointed out the mistake to the publishers and it was redone, though I never did get an explanation as to how that happened.
This amusing event shows that book cover designers are far too often really bad. There are plenty of great ones who can sum up a book in a simple image, and there are a lot of famous, stunning covers – but there are also thousands of ‘designers’ who think it’s acceptable to Google Image Search the keywords that are vaguely related to the work and badly edit it all together with a Photoshopped font on top.