GSQ8: Workin’ progress

My back felt reasonably recovered enough this morning that I decided to sit in bed and make some headway on the final 5% of GameSpite Quarterly 8 that needs doin’ before it can enter the press proof stage. For today, that mostly centered around the cover. I considered a few different cover treatments and ultimately decided to go with something similar to GSQ5‘s cover (given the commonality of both issue’s themes) but a little, uh, artsier. Which is to say, I guess, not constrained by the overarching cover layout I’ve been using (color bar along the bottom, said color being echoed as the field behind a “G#” flag in the upper-right). For this one, I decided to adapt the cover copy to fit the artwork rather than forcing the artwork to shuffle around rigid, standard elements.

I think it worked out pretty well. Sure, it’s just a bunch of boxes and circles, but their specific configuration and the presence of a few precisely placed logos makes the visual reference unmistakable. The toughest part of this was actually matching the precise shade of grey Sony used for the original PlayStation hardware; it’s not a true neutral, but has hints of blue and yellow (the latter particularly on older hardware whose plastics haven’t aged well). I am quite satisfied with the results — well, aside from the yellow text, which will probably change before this is over — and I hope Blurb prints it all correctly. I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks, and you can see for yourself in a little more than a month.

Incidentally, I tried to avoid making this book quite as monstrously huge as the NES issue… and mostly failed, since it’s ended up being exactly 400 pages long. Not quite the hulking 440-pager from a few issues ago, but actually far more demanding since I’m not using templated interior design this time. I think it will be worth the effort, though; there’s some really great stuff in this book. Or will be, once it exists.

17 thoughts on “GSQ8: Workin’ progress

  1. I don’t know; while I’m not married to the standard format, there’s something to be said for consistency. This doesn’t feel like it has anything in common with the covers that have gone before, what with the serifed font and the absence of the ‘G#’ logo, which is going to become problematic in six months but is still a shared element.

  2. That’s a great layout. I agree, with Marus’s comment about the font. Maybe try to find something sans-serif. The compact disc logo behind the Gamespite title is a little distracting. Maybe you should photoshop it out. Great work though.

    • I’m pretty sure that PS1 was drawn in an illustration program rather than being photographed (hence Jeremy’s comments about color matching), so photoshop would likely not be necessary.

      Anyway, I think it looks aces, though I kind of agree about the yellow.

      • Yeah, it was actually done entirely with the basic polygon tools in InDesign for a clean, vector look (with the various logos being transparent bitmap overlays). That’s one reason I used a serif font — the cover needs an organic element to keep it from looking too sterile, and san serif fonts don’t do the trick. Also, I wanted to unify the interior typography with the cover, and I’m trying to move away from a regimented cover style to let the topic and cover art of each issue to inform the design. After only being able to integrate the G# box onto GSQ7’s cover thanks to a lucky break of the illustration being paid homage to, I decided it’s foolish and limiting to always bank on the cover art accommodating the template. So, here we are.

        And the yellow is pretty much guaranteed to go away, though I haven’t found a satisfying replacement for that color yet.

      • Yes, that was my first instinct, but they didn’t work — they’re not bright enough to make the letters pop from the grey. The tone of the grey is such that those colors lack sufficient contrast. I’m going with all-white lettering. It looks fine at actual size.

  3. Great work, but I agree with Merus about the font – it’s a bit fussy and hard to read (I would also make the bottom text red to tie it in with the PS logo), but I know that this ain’t a democracy, so take that with a grain of salt the size of the Rock of Gibraltar.

    • Here’s another thought – why not drop text from the cover altogether and let the image speak for itself?

      It’s not like you have to worry about the cover getting lost among other books on a crowded store shelf, and besides, all the info anyone needs to know about the book will be on the spine (and easily visible on a home bookshelf), anyway.

  4. In all fairness, failure to keep the page count down can largely be blamed on my 11th hour forgetting of what “mini” meant. Otherwise it’d be like, 390 pages! That’s like a whole 5mm less thick!

  5. I’m looking forward but suspect I still won’t be able to actually buy it. I commented before on this issue and haven’t had any success since. I literally can’t find anything about actually purchasing the stuff on the website. I can add to basket but I’ve searched and searched the pages and used google and even tried bing to search the website for a ‘checkout’ or etc. option. I’d really like to get hold of some hard copies of some of your work, and support this excellent website!

    • You can’t check out from Blurb? That bizarre. If you’ve actually got stuff in your Blurb Cart, there should be a Checkout button right under the price subtotal.

      Are you sure you’re actually adding things to the cart? You have to enter a quantity number by hand (even if it’s “1”) in the box next to the price on the product page, or nothing happens when you hit “add to cart”.

      • I will check if that’s the issue. It’s entirely possible I stumbled at that early hurdle!

  6. GSQ8 already? Damnit, I need to do some serious catching up … I’m only at GSQ2 :(

    My irrational desire to have the hardcover editions doesn’t help either …aaah! … I’d like to give money to so many people yet I never have enough. Being in college without a job really does suck.

    Anyway, the cover looks great – especially considering that it’s not a photo! I’m glad the yellow text will be white in the end, though. It’s weird how grey messes with other colors sometimes…

  7. I really like the design, Parish. The only thing miss is the G# logo. That ties all the books together nicely, which I like. Did you consider maybe replacing the compact disc logo with it?

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