The winter issue is at the printer. For me, that means I have a few days to dig down to the top of my desk and work on other assignments, some of which I’ve had to put off while I finalize and proof the magazine.
For Mike, it means organizing and finalizing our mailing lists and deciding our Canada Post distribution of free copies. We try to change the free distribution each issue, in order to introduce the magazine to as many people as possible.
The cover of our winter issue is a little unusual for us. At first I had been thinking of going with a traditional, beautiful Christmas theme. But then I thought it looked a little predictable and – well, sleepy. I keep trying to improve our covers to make them more arresting, interesting, irresistable even.
Then I took a closer look at one of the photos we’re using in our icewine feature. It’s an entertainer portraying Jack Frost, so he has white makeup covering his face, and he’s…I’ll just say he’s engaged in an unusual, colourful activity. As well as being an interesting photo, it also has the right technical composition for a magazine cover. There’s a science as well as an art to a good magazine cover, and I aim to apply all the rules and ideas I can.
One thing I insist on with our covers: they have to be “real journalism.” They have to be photographs of what is actually contained in our issues. I don’t want to use stock photography that anyone can access. Our covers are the work of photographers who illustrate our features and departments. A photo in our magazine has been taken by someone we know, usually for a specific assignment. We’re the real deal. Our covers are not just pretty pictures that have nothing to do with our contents. Our covers are meant to show you what you’ll find inside.
Do you agree with this approach, or am I being too uptight? What do you think a good cover should be like? Is there a cover you remember as being particularly striking? I mean any magazine, any time, not just ours.