Bad Cover Art…Redesigned: After The End

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 to you: After The End by Bonnie Dee

According to Amazon, After the End is set in apocalyptic Manhattan and follows a group of characters battling against zombies in order to get off the island. The story focuses on two members of the group Ari, the leader of the group who believes everyone only follows him due to his army uniform, and Lila, a college student studying philosophy. Apparently the story is at its heart about two young people who learnt about sacrifice and inner strength as they traverse this ever changing world.

I now bring to you After The End…Redesigned!

Thoughts – 

I actually started this cover to have it ready for last week but then I couldn’t quite get it right so I decided that, rather than put up a rushed cover, I’d keep working on it and use it for this week instead.

I basically did my usual trawl of Amazon to see if I could find any covers that sparked something and I saw this one and thought it might be fun to play with a sort of zombie apocalypse tone. I liked the concept of the abandoned cityscape but again I found the execution of this cover lacking a bit. I just don’t like the font I guess and not just because it looks kind of amateurish but mostly because the style of the font doesn’t really suit the subject matter of the novel. It doesn’t exactly scream Zombie apocalypse at me. It just screams ‘I used Word Art’.

So after giving the redesign some thought I knew I wanted to use silhouettes and kind of give it this moody grungy feel and I was quite excited to use like ruined buildings and a ruined city sky line with smoke billowing up from it. This idea was all well and good but I couldn’t find the resources I wanted. I found plenty of ruined brushes but none of them really worked the way I wanted it to. You couldn’t really get individual ruined silhouettes or solid brushes rather than ones made from photographs. I wanted to be able to play with the composition a little and decide where to put all the elements.

That was when I decided to put a random person silhouette on the cover and it immediately became much more interesting. I then stumbled across the powerline brushes and had a play with them on the cover and I thought it looked really interesting. They kind of still suggest the idea of dereliction and apocalypse enough and give the cover an interesting quality. Then suddenly I was like BIRDS I NEED BIRDS so I had a look around and tried them out and liked it. I sort of like how the elements of the cover come out of the black of the frame texture.

Then I decided I need an attention catching font. I did play with the idea of having everything be black and white but then the cover just seemed sort of dull. So I went through my fonts and came back to the one above and thought it fit well and suggest more of the horror theme and perhaps the zombie theme.

I know this sounds like I’m tooting my own horn but I really do prefer the new cover. I just think it has much more of a mood to it, mystery and intrigue and suggests the genre a lot more than the original. I think the photo on the original, while good and interesting, is perhaps a little too bright and innocent looking.

Process – 

This cover was completed over 3 days with A LOT of trial an error. So this is a kind of best guess process.

Step 1 – Added and adjust texture to fit.

Step 2 – Added person silhouette

Step 3 – Added powerline silhouettes. One is a singular powerline (the largest) and one is a horizon brush. I then edited out some of the powerlines and parts of the brush to make the composition better.

Step 4 – Added the birds. Experimented with the different bird brushes and placement. Edited out some birds that made it look too cluttered and got in the way of the powerline.

Step 5 – Added some tiny hints of smoke here and there.

Step 6 – Added font. Made it slightly embossed and gave it a slight drop shadow to emphasise it a little more. Had a deeper red to begin with but after suggestions from some people I changed it to a brighter red.

Step 7 – Added blood splats behind the Title font to make it look a little messier.

Step 8 – Added author name and tried to make sure it matched colourwise.


Elements – 

Title Font – Sticky Things

Author Font – Trajan Pro


Person Silhouette (unfortunately I can’t remember where I got this. It’s just in my collection of brushes on Photoshop)

Powerline 1

Powerline 2




Hope you liked it 🙂

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10 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    As always, your cover is infinitely improved! The first looks so amateurish, which is always incredibly disappointing to me (I spend too much time thinking about publishing/books, obviously). You always do a great job of setting a tone with your covers too, which is just delightful <33

  2. Heather says:

    This is one of my favourite cover changes so far! Usually I sit here and nitpick them, but I have nothing but praise for you this week. I love the choice of font and the colour. I love the birds and how the telegraph poles almost look like a gallows in their silhouette. Very beautiful.

  3. Hannah says:

    I liked the obvious urban feel from the first cover, which seems to be more rural in your cover (telephone poles stand out more in the country), but yours is DEFINITELY less word art!

  4. Shelley says:

    These covers are amazing! I love all of them, they look so professional.

    I was wondering, do people submit their covers to you for you to redesign or do you just pick them yourself? Because I am planning on self-publishing on Amazon but my covers look really rubbish and I was hoping you could help me? You are clearly very talented with photoshop 🙂

    • beckiw says:

      I usually look up books on Amazon to find the covers that I redesign. But I guess I can talk to you about you cover 🙂

      • Shelley says:

        Thank you! Could I have your email address so I can send you what my covers looks like now and some information about my novels?

  5. Snoink says:

    This looks so awesome. You really did an awesome job with this! The only thing is the man looks a little disjointed from the cover. Still! 😀

  6. C.C. says:

    It’s amazing how you can change the cover art so well! Great job! The first cover was down right horrible. It doesn’t give the reader a hint of what the book might be about. A good book needs a good cover.

  7. Lava says:

    This is absolutely brilliant! If I saw he first cover at a store, I wouldn’t be tempted to read the blurb. The second would make me want to. Love the idea o flight of birds there.
    As Snoink said, the man’s a bit disjointed, but I guess a little play ion textures would make him blend in.

  8. Nathan says:

    You really should consider putting together a portfolio of these. I’m sure there’s a large market out there of self-published authors who’d pay between $50 and even $500 for a cover designed by you.

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