Some of My Favorite Covers – Clients (and former clients) Part 1

So in case you ever wondered what some of my personal all time favorite covers were.

Here are some from the list of clients (and former) clients and magazines I have known and loved:

The Knot Fall/Winter 2004. Love the dog! All time best wedding mag cover ever!
Pittsburgh Magazine's August 2009. How can you not love Troy?
Madison Magazine February 2007. Food always sells well in regional magazines and this one hit the spot.
Juxtapoz Magazine's July 2008 "Miss Van" cover. Everything you need to know about this magazine on the cover in a perfect illustration.

Kewl Magazine August 2007. During the brief boom in "tween" magazines, this cover captured the essence and spirit of the time.
Fur Fish Game January 2008. This soon to be 85 year old magazine uses beautiful illustrations on it's cover.
Slap Magazine April 2007. Slap redesigned and relaunched itself in 2007. The concept was fascinating and while we grew the newsstand, the numbers weren't there and the magazine is now internet based only.
Athlon Baseball 2005 Detroit Tigers Cover. This was a year or two before the venerable sports publisher redesigned their cover and logos so the design may look dated. But I love the positioning of Rodriguez against the backdrop of Tigers Stadium.

There are more articles published all over the internet and in industry rags about what makes a good magazine cover than you could shake a stick at. So what’s my wisdom worth? After a lot of thought and consideration, it seems to me that cover design is mostly inspiration and art than any actual science. But there are some rules of thumb about what works and most people who understand single copy sales understand what makes a good newsstand cover. You’ll note that I said newsstand. There’s a big difference between a cover that is designed to sell on the newsstand and one that is simply designed to appeal to a subscriber who’s already paid for their copy (in order to get their hands on that mini mp3 player).

My number one piece of advice to all of my clients has always been to not be too cute,  too stuck on yourself, or too inside. You’re offering a reader a service. You’re knowledge and expertise. Unless you’re Spy Magazine (which hasn’t published in years), don’t be too cute, or snarky.

All of these covers are:

>Very clear about who they are.

>Have very clear images that are almost immediately identifiable (who wouldn’t recognize Troy Polamalu?)

>Made some use of their skyline.

More on covers coming up. Plus, some more of my favorite covers from other national and local titles.

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