Bad Cover Art…Redesigned: When Spirits Walk

Welcome to Bad Cover Art…Redesigned! Where I bring you the most horrible of all cover art I can find on the world wide web and try to come up with an alternative (that I hope is better).

This week I bring you: When Spirits Walk by Christine Gentry

According to Amazon, When Spirits Walk sees Sam Featherock at the centre of an escalating situation. Murdered victims are beginning to stack up and there seems to be no logical explanation. Even though he’s a rational man, Sam starts to consider that something supernatural is afoot! Like a crazy, drippy,  blood lusting rabbit apparently.

I now bring to you When Spirits Walk…Redesigned!


Thoughts – 

So this week I found a cover that I liked (This cover for Neil Gaiman’s book Unnatural Creatures) and thought that I wanted to try something similar. I’ve always quite liked those kind of covers that put more emphasis on the font rather than a central element such as a person or some motif. Another example would be the poster for Social Network. However, I quite liked the old fashioned look of the Neil Gaiman one.

So I went off and found me a bad cover and decided to collect together elements that I liked. So I scoured Deviantart for some interesting borders. I had some scratchy cob webby ones, doodle ones and winter tree branch ones. When I came to trying to put these borders on the texture I found it just didn’t seem to work. I think partly it was because the cover became more whimsical and having read the description of the novel I thought that this didn’t really fit (not that I’ve minded that before). I also think the borders just didn’t look as good as I thought they might. I spend a lot of time playing around with the positioning of the different elements and wait until something sparks and sits right with my eye. Then I thought about putting some blood spatter on the cover to try and make it more sinister and I quite liked it but I put more on and it just became overloaded and then I was like ‘I NEED A HAND PRINT!’ so I went off and found one and it seemed to fit.

I’m not sure if I think the new cover is better? Just different. I suppose this one is more about updating than improving. I guess the old cover wasn’t TERRIBLE when it was published but the new cover is more of an updated version, what people might expect to see now if they went to buy a sort of supernatural/mystery/crime novel.

Process – 

I was making this till well past 11pm last night and so I didn’t have time to make a step-by-step because I had to sleep. Sorry! This one was a lot simpler than the last though. Essentially it went as follows:-

Step 1 – Load up Texture

Step 2 – Add font I was happy with and play with the sizing of the font.

Step 3 – Play with blending options of font.

Step 4 – Play around with possible border ideas

Step 5 – Decide borders aren’t working. Play with blood splatter!

Step 6 – Once happy with blood spatter added hand print

Step 7 – Play with brushes blend options.

Step 8 – Add author credit

I had a lot of fun with the font on this one. Originally it was just plain white but, whilst that was nice, it didn’t look quite right. So I messed with the blend mode just going through the different options and landed on ‘Overlay’, which made the font a little translucent but it was pretty faint and didn’t stand out enough. I was slightly disappointed because I liked the effect and then I realised that I could just duplicate the font layer to see if it made it stand out more and it worked! I pulled the duplicate font layer down to about 50% visibility though because it worked a little too well and then I added a faint outer glow to the original font layer to make it seem more…spirity?

The hand print and blood spatter were originally in dark red but I didn’t like it all that much, it was too in your face. So I changed the Blend Mode to ‘Color Dodge’ and duplicated the layer again.

Elements – 

I used a font from Fontspace called ‘Magna Veritas’ for the main font and ‘Charlemagne Std’ for the author name


Blood Spatter


Well! Let me know what you think! And if you come across any awful covers then be sure to let me know.

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6 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    That rabbit is terrifying o_o and probably would prevent me from buying the book in all honesty. But your cover is brilliant! I love the font, and the sort of old supernatural-y feel it has to it. Definitely better than the original (sometimes I wonder where they get these cover art designers).

    I always look forward to your bad cover art blogs!

  2. Cole says:

    This is wonderful! So much better than the first. That killer bunny is hysterical. As a cover art designer myself, I really enjoy your reimagings and appreciate all the work you put into them. If you ever need another bad cover art suggestion, let me know! I’m always on the hunt for them.

    Again, just great work. Super creepy. I might have actually bought the book with a cover like that!

  3. Twit says:

    That is so cool! The Supernatural-y handprint and the glowy ghosty font give it a real spectral feel.

  4. Heather says:

    Lovely! I really like the colour choices and the hand-print immediately screams ‘supernatural thriller, why don’t you buy?!’ at me.

  5. Hannah says:

    The font is fantastic, and it superbly and subtly enhances the supernatural feeling with the doubling up of the major components of the letters.

  6. Fan says:

    There should be a bloody paw in stead of hands

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