Here are two versions of a book tour poster for "Rebel Voices," an anthology of texts from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The "Rebel Voices" book cover is an old image of a protest.
I felt that this image was a bit uninspiring and only appealing to history enthusiasts. So I decided to use a historic symbol of the IWW screaming, the sabocat (pictured below). The sabocat has been used as a threat to employers of a "wildcat strike."
Design/Illustration Folio www.mendedarrow.com
I feel the design screams vistaprint or some other business card printing service. The poster feels bland, like some over hyped conference in a hotel lobby. If I saw this walking around a college campus I would not stop to see what it is all about. I like the background effect however.
Yeah they look pretty strong and I think the first one, where the cat is face on works better. Style wise, its look matches what you're promoting and the limited use of colour really works well.
If I am honest, I feel the poster doesn't fully explain what is it is trying to promote though. "An anthology of [classic] texts from the Industrial Workers of the World" is more clear as to what the poster is promoting than the tag line "the classic collection of revolutionary wisdom from America's original anti-Wall Street Union." Its shorter, clearer and gets to the point.
I think this is what I would change although if you are doing this for someone else, I understand that you were probably told what to put. By making the change, it gets the message across quicker which is very important when it comes to promoting something.