Bad Cover Art…Redesigned: Gates of Hell

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: Gates of Hell by Susan Sizemore

According to Susan Sizemore’s website, Gates of Hell is about Pyr Kadanni a man who has apparently attracted a lot of negative attention. As in, everyone in the galaxy wants to kill him. Oops? He must save the galaxy despite this and despite slowly dying of poisoning. Unless he convinces a handy alien lady who can heal with a touch to help him.

I now bring to you Gates of Hell…Redesigned!

Thoughts – 

This week was kind of rushed again. A mixture of tiredness and work stuff coming into play. So I did my best! I came across the original cover and instantly thought ‘Oooh…FLAMES…I COULD DO FLAMES!’ Because you know, hell and flames are kind of synonymous. I searched around for some fire brush sets and interesting textures. I found a great texture that had like a firey crack and I thought that would be cool. I just couldn’t get it to work though and because I was tired I started to get mad. This lead to me eventually giving up on the flamey idea.

I found the texture above through one of my trawling sessions and thought it might be interesting to do a sort of notebook feel. I’d used Key of Solomon brushes before (that’s the circles!) and thought it might be interesting to use since they’re kind of to do with demons and hell and what not (even though the novel has nothing to do with demons and hell and what not).

So I collected together some writing brush sets and key of solomon ones and I started to litter them over the texture. I also threw in some stains, blood splatter and a tree branch border that I had in my Photoshop from a previous book cover attempt.

I kind of like it. Though it was thrown together hastily enough for me to be unsure about whether I like it. It’s similar to the Wizard’s Castle one I made before. I maybe should’ve spent more time playing with the font.

The only problem really is that I did that thing again where I redesigned the cover in a way that changes the genre. The original novel is a Science Fiction novel and I don’t think the cover I made screams Science Fiction at all. It’s giving off more of a Historical Supernatural vibe. This, of course, is obviously problematic and I’m very sorry it happened but I was sort of too tired to care that it was a Science Fiction novel! Especially after flamey badness. (I shall try harder in the future…I swear). But I still think it’s a little nicer and more interesting than the original cover.

Process – 

Step 1 – Place texture on.

Step 2 – Play around with brushes (I ended up having about 20 layers). Each element is on a different layer. One for a solomon circle, one for blood spatter, one for the stains, etc.

Step 3 – Place font on and end up using a brush for the O instead of the font.

Step 4 – Continue to add in brushes around the font a little more after getting placement right.

Step 5 – Add in author name.

Of course this seems like it didn’t take very long but before this cover I spent roughly two hours trying to come up with a flame one where I played with filters and free transform and image adjustments, etc.

Elements – 

Main font – Demons

Author font – Supernatural Knight


Key of Solomon


Writing 2

Blood Splatter




Let me know what you think! 🙂

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7 Responses

  1. Heather says:

    This is probably a personal thing as I’m a big sucker for characters on covers, but I’d love to see a shadowy figure in the top right corner, or even just the back of his head and hat, like an almost Western look if you know what I mean? It feels like it’s a very character driven novel and I’d like to get the sense of a dark hero from the cover, but other than that, great job!

  2. Cole says:

    It looks great! Very dark and creepy. I’m glad you didn’t go with a red flame route. This is much more creative.

  3. Nathan says:

    I think it looks really good! The only thing that seems off is the font you chose; it reminds me more of Harry Potter than Satan. I also think some text-shadow would help to distinguish the lettering more.

    As for the original… egads. Just think: someone got paid to draw that and it probably took some time. You call your cover art rushed, but it’s clearly far superior.

  4. Trident says:

    That original cover. Lol. Nice work on the new one!

  5. Trident says:

    Looks like youre getting some reddit views. Nice.

  6. Karina says:

    Oh dear! Though, I would say that your cover looks more fantasy. You should redo it in a later post! 😀

  7. Animal says:

    Hey, you are simply amazing. I downloaded these resources to help me in my own projects.

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