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While STEM-based everything dominated the 2010s, the creative side hustle is fast becoming the theme of this decade.

Consider the title of the book featured in this PickFu poll: Creative Millionaire: Leveraging Your Passion into Profit. The user wanted to know which of two cover designs best expressed the idea behind the title.

Option A features a teal cover with a unicorn made of dollar bills. Option B ditches the unicorn for a generous splash of color. Can you guess which one won?

And the winner is…Option A, with a score of 72 to Option B’s 28. Let’s find out why Option A delighted respondents.

What’s the status? Unicorn

Many respondents thought Option B’s color splash was too familiar and generic.

But the unicorn?

“The unicorn made out of money really gets my attention. A whole lot more than the paint splatter,” said one respondent. “It actually makes me stop and read the title of the book.”

“The origami horse made from the dollar bill displays using money creatively rather well. Option B looks like a hastily put together self-published book done with stock images,” another person wrote.

In addition to living in the age of creativity, we’re living in an age of unicorns.

Which One Won: book cover featuring a unicorn made of money

Balance work, play, and the reader

Another feature of Option A’s cover that respondents appreciated? Its clean design. Option B looked a little too creative for some.

“Even though the rainbow coloring is supposed to look creative…I prefer the more professional cover look of A,” one person wrote. “The coloration with the origami folded dollar bill looks creative, yet professional.”

There’s a balance to strike here. While the book’s title implies a creative approach to moneymaking, the design makes clear that the book is serious about business.

Only one respondent mentioned the book’s target audience, but it’s a valuable comment for the author to hear.

“[Option A] appears more sophisticated and thus more likely to attract a business class or a businessminded person. The other one [feels] like a more creative book, for someone that might be more interested in art than business,” said the respondent.

Key takeaways

For a book about applying creativity to a traditionally conservative field like business or finance, aim for these three things as you design the cover:

  • A mix of creativity and professionalism
  • An organized layout that’s easy to read
  • Design that focuses on your target audience

Are you designing a business-focused book cover? Need help deciding on the title of your book? Split test your options on PickFu to get unbiased feedback from your target readers.

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Laura Melchor

Laura Ojeda Melchor (she/her) is freelance writer whose work has appeared in Parents.com, Mom.com, Gardener’s Path, and of course, PickFu. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle grade novel, Missing Okalee, comes out from Shadow Mountain Publishing in the fall of 2021. Find her online at lauraojedamelchor.com.

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