Shawl Design in Plain English (3rd edition): Cover Contest

As you might have heard Shawl Design in Plain English will see a third edition being published shortly.

I’m currently designing the book cover and would love to hear your feedback!

I’m about to decide between these two book covers and would love to hear your feedback. What do you like about it, what don’t you like at all?


Variant 1

Shawl Design in Plain English Cover Contest



Variant 2


Just a short question: which one is your favorite?

[poll id=”2″]

If none of the above appeals to your fancy I’d love to hear your comment – just leave a comment below. Thank you!

39 thoughts on “Shawl Design in Plain English (3rd edition): Cover Contest

  • Renee

    I prefer Variant 1 as it pulls me in to read it.
    I’m not quite sure if my vote was counted as I clicked on 1 but not sure if that was the way the vote went in.
    I would like to see 3rd Edition in bold type though.

  • Galina

    I like the variant 2. But you should write “Vol. 1”, not “#1”.
    Cursive type in variant 1 is heavy for perception…

  • Wanda

    Variant 2 is more appealing to me, it’s cleaner as if this cover screams simplicity. And your course is simple, so the design can be simple too.

    Gooed luck on deciding!

  • Annie C

    I agree, italics are not needed here. Personally, I dislike the monochromatic book cover and while I love shawls, I feel lace on the cover would imply that much of the book is about lace, which is intimidating to at least this knitter.

  • Fiona

    I voted for Variant 1 but would prefer a plain font for the phrase “in plain English”

  • I agree with all the comments. Plain text. Volume 1 instead of #1. I don’t like the “thing” in the upper right-hand corner. I don’t like the text in stripes. The shawl should be in a vibrant color.

    The entire text should be in one place, preferably at the top. Your name should be underneath the title.

  • Marilyn

    The font in #1 is too fancy/hard to read – contrary. But font in #2 is too simple/plain. Surely there is a ‘pretty’ font that is easy to read! Move the 3 text boxes at the top closer together (or 1 bigger text box) so you don’t have that little line of the shawl pic peeping thru. Vol 1 is better then #1.

  • Maureen Patt

    I like the cover of variant #1 but not the italicized print of “in plain English”. Since there is an older book with the title “Knitting In Plain English”, I think I would us the words “in simple English” or “easy to understand”.

  • Agnetha Pettersson

    If I have to choose between the two, I prefer no 2, but
    I actually prefer the upper half of no 2 and the bottom part of no 1

  • Jacquie

    My thoughts exactly re the weird script font, but I do prefer Volume 1 to #1 – it just feels more important and professional. Also I feel the term ‘Volume 1’ implies firmly that there will be a volume 2.

    Being picky, I find the tiny stripes of background showing between the text boxes are distracting. It took me a while to work out why you would put stripes there, then realised that it’s all part of the main picture. If you did all the text in one big white box, there’d be a little more of the knitting on show in the main picture.

  • katja

    Hmmm… is it possible to make the white background lesser white, and have shawl to shine even more through? Or… have a brighter color of a shawl? to add a contrast?

    I like number 1, but it is a little difficult to read. Maybe… slight curving on all the words except plain?

  • Lin chiswell

    Very tiny point:
    Use “vol.1” not #1 in the second option
    This may just be a reflection of my age and country (over 65 and UK……..

  • Variant 2 looks cleaner and easier to read.

  • girliefriend

    I agree about the plain text vs. the fancy text. I also prefer “Vol. 1” to #1.

  • Diana

    I like the “plain” text of variant 2 “in plain English.” The long hand font in variant 1 is much more difficult to read. However, I like the “Vol. 1 Basic Shawl Shapes” of Variant 1 better than #1. “Vol.1” clearly implies there will be more volumes to follow. JMHO.

  • The only thing I ‘d change on the 2nd option is to say vol. 1 instead of #1.

  • Kathryn

    I agree with both Terry and Andrea. I would add that I also prefer “Vol. 1” to “#1”.

  • Allene

    Adding to previous comments…The bold. fussy font of Variant 1 draws attention away from the lace behind it; the simpler, unbolded text of 2 allows for focus on the lace, where it should be.
    I would further reduce the size of the font so that the “h”of “English” lines up directly below the “N” and “L” of “Design” and “Shawl”, respectively.
    Also, the “p” in “plain” should be capitalized, as you have it elsewhere 🙂

  • Rebecca Riffe

    “Plain” English should be plain.

  • Susan Wright

    The script version is basically unreadable but has merit in breaking up the bold, graphic nature of the sans-serif font. Perhaps an Italic version of the existing font?
    Also, I have studied the cover and am unable to recognize the upper right corner object. Why is it there?
    It would also be nice to see more of the shawl, the shaded boxes holding the words overshadow the delicacy of the shawl (which is the point of the book); could the shading be reduced by 10%? – the lettering will still be readable.
    It is late in the process to be making these suggestions , but when asked I always have opinions.

  • Andrea

    I feel the same way as Terry, above. Saying something is “plain” should be written PLAINLY!!! As well their comment about the contrast between the actual lace + plain letters puts into words what I was thinking subconsciously.

  • Toni

    My vote is for #2. It is a very striking cover. I like the simpler font that represents “plain” English, and I like “Vol. 1” on the first cover. It indicates that there is more to come, and we know there is. 😀 “#1”, to me indicates first place in contest. All in all, it is a very nice cover for your book. 😀

  • Renee

    I like the “In Plain English” in plain English, as on option 2. It is easier to read, which I think is important when you are trying to grab someone’s eye. However, I like “Vol. 1” better than “#1”.

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to vote on the book’s cover…
    All best wishes to you, dear Julia!!

  • Tania

    I agree with Terry about the lace being more visible on Variant 2. The only part of #2 I wasn’t fond of was the #1 instead of Vol. 1. I have a decided preference for Vol. 1.

  • Terry

    “In Plain English” is more difficult to read in curvy font, making it a contradiction to the meaning of the title. I would accept a VERY slightly curved font for the other words, but with “In Plain English” being in plain font, reinforcing the meaning of the title. In looking at the two choices, I think variant 2 shows off the lace by its geometric contrast of straight lines vs the lovely curves of the lace.

  • Actually I would like to see one element from the 1st variant used on the 2nd variant. I think that the phrase “volume 1” (not the abbreviation) should be used instead of the # on the 2nd variant. The 2nd variant was my favorite of the two, because using an unclear font for the phrase “in plain English” seems somewhat ironic.

  • Siena

    I like the font better for “in plain English”. However, I prefer “volume 1” over #1. Could you combine the two?

  • Adele

    P.S. I’d appreciate not having my full name posted to my comment.

  • Adele Borchardt

    The different font for “in plain English” adds more visual interest. Variant 2 is just too blah! Also naming Variant 1 as Vol. 1 rather than #1 makes it very clear there are more goodies to come.

  • I love the second variant but prefer the vol. 1 vs #1. The picture seems more clear on the second. I wonder how that picture would look with the more fancy writing.

  • Karen Henderson

    I prefer #2 but would use “Vol. 1” instead of #1

  • P.J. Coldren

    Having the words “In Plain English” in a fussy font is counter-intuitive. Also the larger/more close up view of the lace in Variant 2 reinforces the title.

  • It is not apparent to me what the item is in the upper right corner, so it bothers me because it seems irrelevant. I like version 2 better, but think it should say Vol. 1 like version 1, not just #1. Vol. 1 makes it seem like it’s a coherent series, #1 seems incomplete. The script “in plain English” is harder to read, therefore the text on version 2 is better, and better conveys that it is truly “in plain English” – nothing fancy or hard to understand. More color in the cover might be good – seems rather washed out because it is too monochromatic. I also think a photo that shows more of the shawl would be good. I want to see a really gorgeous shawl, and think I could design one like it. (Having one in a really knock-out gorgeous color – something like the rich colors of Malabrigo or Madeline Tosh – might also attract more attention.)

  • Janice

    I like variant 1 as it appears more elegant than variant 2.

  • Margaret

    While I like the font used in Variant 1 for “in plain English”, it’s hard to read. But I prefer “Vol. 1” over “#1”.

  • Sydnie

    Voted #2. The “in plain English” font on #1 is artsy, but difficult to read. Makes me wonder if the interior pages/content might also suffer from a form-over-function layout.

  • linda

    plain english- plain font I say- it speaks to simplicity

  • I like variant 1 better, but the words “in plain English” should not be in italics. That’s contrary to plain.


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