a legend-(wait for it)-dary cover: update!

Remember that one time I posted about the potential for the cover art to Marie Lu’s dystopian debut, Legend? If you don’t remember, that’s totally fine, because I can barely remember what I ate for dinner last night.

Anyhoo, I basically talked about the potential for the intriguing-sounding synopsis. A short re-cap of the summary:

Short Version:

LEGEND takes place in a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations. It tells the story of a famous 15-year old boy criminal and the 15-year old girl prodigy hired to hunt him down. When their paths cross, the truth they uncover together will become legend.

And then I proposed my Random Act of Photoshop with some descriptors that came to mind when thinking about some general cover concepts. Below is what I created after poking around on her website and gazing at her character sketches and listening to a few of the songs in the soundtrack Marie created for June and Day’s story.

And while I’m sure a few of you have seen a cover floating around, I’m one of those skeptical types who likes to see an official cover reveal or at least an image on the author’s website. I got an update email from Marie this past Friday telling me that tada, the cover was finally official-official. I noted the background gradient had changed from Penguin’s Fall 2011 catalogue. Also, a new landing page has gone live for the novel here.

So, whaddya think?

I'm in Cover Love with it, oh yes I am.

Marie was also kind enough to answer a few questions I’d been dying to ask ever since I wrote my initial post about Legend’s potential cover art.

TCG: Were you involved in the concept stage or revision process? What was your first reaction to the final cover design for Legend?

ML: Penguin was extremely good about keeping me in the loop on the cover design, which was such a pleasant surprise because I’d always heard about how hard it is to get cover consultation. I saw two early versions of the cover and was able to give some feedback that did make it all the way into the final version. Penguin (specifically, Lori Thorn and Linda McCarthy) came up with most of it–especially the beautiful symbol. I suggested possibly making it 3D. When I first saw the finished cover, I squealed. It’s everything I wanted it to be: simple, iconic, bold, and eye-catching!

TCG: What did you consider essential to the cover in order to fit Legend’s story and make a potential reader want to pick up the novel?

ML: I loved your post about what should be on the cover! One thing that Penguin and I both knew from the start was that there should be no photos or images of actual people on the cover. I secretly hoped that a symbol or icon would be used because I felt like a bold symbol could evoke the epic feeling needed for a book named “Legend”, and could also appeal to a broad audience (boys, girls, and adults). Needless to say, I was so glad when I saw Penguin head in that direction right from round one.

TCG: What’s your favorite thing about Legend’s cover art?

ML: The gold foil details and the embossed symbol! It’s just fantastic.

TCG: Gold foil? EMBOSSING? *passes out*

So, what do you think about Legend’s cover? I’ll be honest. If this cover was a person, I’d high-five it. This is important because while I may seem like a floozy with all my high-fives, I am very thoughtful and deliberate in doing so. So instead, I’ll send some internet high-fives to Penguin’s art director and cover designer for an amazing job well done. And for not including any sad girls in pretty dresses.

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10 thoughts on “a legend-(wait for it)-dary cover: update!

  1. Love love love this cover. It’s reminiscent of THE HUNGER GAMES cover, and actually surpasses it, in my opinion. What a wonderful thing to see designers setting the bar so high.

    Marie, by the way, seems super cool too. I wrote her to say how excited I was to read her books, and she wrote back within an hour to thank me for the note. How nice is that?

    • I second the “surpassing The Hunger Games cover” comment. Absolutely!

      And yes, Marie is absolutely super cool. She kinda reminds me of another super cool author I know who was so kind and generous to me when I first started flailing about with my little blog. You both are rock stars in my book (ha ha see what I did there).

  2. This is the kind of cover I love! Being a tactile person, I just want to, as you say, high five it.

  3. I like the simple background with the detailed center. It draws you in and makes you focus on the different layers. What is it? Grass? Dirt?

  4. That is a beautiful cover. As you say, it’s perfect at being attractive both to YA and adult audiences – I wouldn’t have to hide this cover when reading on the train.
    I don’t need to know what it’s about – this cover would make me pick up the book and flip through it to see.

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