Mermay Concept Thumbnails - Critiques Wanted

  • I would also say #2 but you might think about using a middle value for the background so that the light one pops more. You could also do something like put them in a mid value water drop or something if you don't want to do the whole page?

    When I "squint it down" I the dark mermaid stands out much more than the light one.

    Just a thought... good luck.

  • @theprairiefox Thanks - good stuff. Yes, I did include some value in these but they are mostly concept thumbnails. I think the consensus is for #2 which is my favorite concept - #1 is pretty predictable and #3 relies heavily on handlettering. I'm pulling together a mood board now and have gathered reference for my mermaids - underwater belly dancing is a thing, lol. Then I'm going to explore a few options within that concept before going to comps.

  • I like #1..but I wonder how the figures would look facing each other? I think you could still have the graphic design of the heart (intended?) And also play with the placement of the tails around the word "tails" Although... You might want to use the other spelling and let the play on words be visual...?
    I also like the yen and yang of #2.. So maybe combine the value of #2 with design elements from #1. (Yeah! more work!)
    Nice thumbnails!!

  • @Amber-Lynn-Benton So here is a question for you guys. When researching for reference I came across another book design with a super similar concept - not the light and dark mermaids but the same composition. I just scrolled past trying not to let that image get into my head. I know there are no new ideas under the sun - do you scratch your comps when this happens or just move forward pouring yourself and your own ideas into your piece?

  • @Laurasketches Facing each other is something I didn't consider. I did have an idea about having them have a tug of war over a trident or spear so that might work in that situation. Do you think people will get the tales/tails reference without it being spelled out? In my packaging work sometimes I can spell things out and people still totally miss the whole point.

  • I like the idea of the figures looking in because it keeps the focus moving into (as opposed to away from) your design.I like the idea that they have conflict over a spear (maybe disguised as a writing device, like a pencil?.. which would "sell" your story of "tales" even more visually. Go!

  • @Laurasketches Oh, that might just nail the concept for a non-fiction book!!! Concept over craft, right? 😉 And you take all credit for that idea! I'll definitely be taking both 1 and 2 into more thumbnails but you've put a twist on #1 enough to sway me in it's favor so far.

  • SVS OG

    #2 has my vote!

  • @shinjifujioka Thanks, Shinji! Your illustration portfolio is so beautiful! Your illustrations are a rare mixture of innocence and adventure. While your style and techniques differ I think they evoke the same feelings/emotions of David Weisner's work.

  • I only had time to work up one thumbnail tonight. Thank you @Laurasketches - I really love this concept!


    If I go with this concept I thinK I need to work on the scale of MERMAIDS vs TAILS and just the lettering layout in general.

  • Couldn’t help but tweak and doodle around with last nights work before moving on to a fresh one today.


  • New thumbnails for comparison.

    Only the middle is drastically different; cred to @Laurasketches for the idea. I think it fits the book concept more and will be the one I take to comp though the other design may make it into the overall cover design - on the back perhaps?


  • @Amber-Lynn-Benton you could always do #1 as a back cover and # 2 as the front cover.

  • @chrisaakins I would agree. I think #2 is the strongest visually and story telling wise (it draws me in the most). It is telling me the story of 2 mermaids trying to write their version of the story.

    #1 looks to me like it should be small on the back cover with a bunch of text. I think I would make it even more round, giving it an even stronger ying/yang feeling.

  • SVS OG

    @Amber-Lynn-Benton Thanks, that's extremely generous to be compared to the likes of David Weisner.

    I think your thumbnails are looking so good—can't wait to see more progress on it!