Secrets of cover design 3: some finishing touches

(part 1)
This page shows how magazine front covers have used the main elements of image and text in terms of:

Using the face

Best Magazine; Apr94; revamp Glamour first issue cover Bare front cover
Typical use of the face with boxed text on weekly Best Glamour frames image with coverlines Full face on Bare – most art editors prefer less of a close-up
InStyle magazine cover Glamour front cover Victoria Beckham Frank magazine; Mar 99; Wagadon; sold to EMAP
Upmarket film star allure for InStyle Glamour's prison-shot look for Posh Frank – unusual approach with a very high quality image
FourFourTwo magazine; launch; Sept 94; Haymarket in touch magazine front cover Jump magazine UK; dummy; summer 99
Tough look for football's FourFourTwo Dreamy feel for ICI customer magazine Jump – fun feel for teen girls in dummy issue
Topic magazine cover queen Men Only 1958
Focus by Tom Wolsey on Edward Heath for Topic (1962) Classic 1960s Queen: note cover lines Illustration is now rarely used on mainstream magazines

The power of words

Autocar magazine front cover Business 2.0; last UK issue Q music cover
Words shout it out for
car buffs
Note graduated size of type for main coverline Words are often key for special issues, as with Q (Aug 2004)
Razzle men's magazine issue 6 front cover City Limits first issue cover 1981 Computerland jan 1988 front cover
Art deco masthead dominated Razzle's cover from 30s to 50s City Limits first issue (Oct 1981) in David King's constructivist style Free contract title for Computerland by PR agency Fitzroy (Jan 1988)
Writers News debut issue cover Business March 1990 Wallpaper design awards issue
For writers with their cheap wordprocessing on BBC Micros and Amstrad PCWs (Oct 1989) Business used type to say it all (Mar 1990) Wallpaper design awards issue (Feb 2006)
shortlist weekly men's magazine cover Sky men's magazine Subject first issue cover 2001
Words dominate free ShortList (2008) handed out at rail stations, an idea that didn't take off in 1986 Sky last issue (July 2001): the word 'sex' sells magazines of all kinds Subject 2001: 'The first rule of men's lifestyle magazines is ... you must have sex on the cover'

Words and pictures

Bystander 1916 London Opinion London Life
Bystander 1916: colour covers at Christmas were a Victorian tradition London Opinion used spot colour from the late 1920s (Nov 1927) London Life, with covers of few words, varied its masthead each week (11 Mar 1933)
Woman's Own Bystander 1935 Woman's Own 1937
Woman's Own 1934. Note coverline: 'Gifts made from
jam pots'
Bystander 1935: cover still devoted to adverts
at society weekly
Woman's Own 1937: full colour on a weekly was
a revolution
Wild West Weekly 1938 Blighty Lilliput magazine April 1946
Wild West Weekly launched in 1938: the war was to set back UK magazines 20 years Blighty 'Laughs its way to victory' each week (1944) Lilliput in 1946: man, woman and dog cartoon by Trier dates back to 1937 launch
Vanity Fair 1950 Blighty 1959 Woman's Realm
Vanity Fair (1950) big
Nat Mags monthly until killed off by Cosmo
Blighty switched from humour to pin-ups
Woman's Realm 1959: cover looks like an advert
Honey 1964 Nova first issue cover Mayfair august 1966 first issue cover
Honey (Apr 1960): main cover line, 'A girl's best accessory is a man', runs diagonally Nova launch under editor Harry Fieldhouse (Mar 1965 Mayfair 1966: Mars symbol and Raquel Welch in pink say it all
Flair fashion magazine cover November 1967 Queen November 1968 Harpers & Queen cover April 1971
Flair from November 1967: all about angles Queen (Nov 1968): note diagonal cover line Harper's & Queen from April 1971
Cosmopolitan first issue March 1972 Tatler 1975 Sell Out first issue cover from Time Out
Cosmopolitan first issue March 1972: red stands out on the newsagent's shelves Tatler & Bystander (Jan 1975) still with adverts – look dates back to 1935 and earlier! Editor Janet Street-Porter chose a flasher to front Time Out spin-off (Apr 1975)
Woman's World magazine cover july 1979 The Face first issue may 1980 i-D February 1984
Woman's World, July 1979. Left cover line: 'Exclusive. The agony of being Anna Raeburn' Nick Logan's The Face first issue in May 1980 Masthead pun: i-D makes its subjects, in this case Sade, wink (Feb 1984)
Capital Magazine dummy 1986 Educational Computing October 1987 Riva cover Raquel Welsh
Dummy for Capital, which was to be handed out at London rail stations
(Jun 1986)
Educational Computing, (Oct 1987) for teachers coming to grips with computers Riva (1988) upmarket weekly with contents panel
Excel men's magazine 1988 Mirabella Murdoch launch issue Zest first issue cover
Coverline 'How to spot a bullshitter' led to advertising for Excel being banned (1988) Price was vital to Mirabella launch in September 1990 First issue of Cosmo spin-off Zest (autumn 1994)
Frank first issue cover Scene magazine december 1988 Heat on cocaine
Frank – first issue, October 1997 set out to be (too) different Scene (Dec1998) under Deborah Bee was a visually bold title Heat named 30 celebs who had 'done it'
(June 1999)
Spruce magazine launch Nova magazine launch, IPC Intersection first issue cover
Wallpaper spin-off Spruce borrowed parent's * (2001) IPC couldn't revive the 1960s Nova brand (2001) Intersection (2001): a different angle on cars
Closer magazine: launch issue Jack January 2003 Vogue Kylie Minogue Vogue cover
Boxy look for Emap's celeb weekly Closer
(28 Sep 2002)
Jack started with a pocket format but lacked firepower on the shelves (Jan 2003) Few cover lines for Vogue (Dec 2003): only leading magazines can risk this
Retro April 2003 Rip and Burn magazine first issue cover The Face last issue May 2004
Retro keeps it simple and says it all for games buffs (April 2003) Rip & Burn seem to push Eminem off the cover (Nov 2004) The last Face with Kelis & Andre 3000 (May 2004)
Cut first issue Zoo Weekly Grazia cover
Cut – bad cover, bad concept, sank without trace (Aug 2004) Zoo – competing for flesh count with Nuts (Jan 2004) Grazia with contents strip (February 2005)
Psychologies Meg Ryan cover Good Housekeeping November 2005 Nigella Lawson Prima April 2006
Psychologies – for the thinking woman, from France (Oct 2005) Good Housekeeping – cramming it all in (Nov 2005) Prima (2006): UK's best-selling domestic women's monthly
Car Sept 06 square relanch Woman's Own 2007 Monocle launch cover
Car: relaunches – briefly – with squarish cover
(Sep 2006)
Woman's Own: how busy can a cover get? (2007) Monocle – a Boy's Own Economist (Mar 2007)
Sublime launch issue cover kerrang! 6 August 2008 cover Buck first issue Dec 2008
Stunning profile for Sublime cover (Jan 2007) Clashing cover lines for Kerrang! (6 August 2008) Buck (2008): editor regretted not following left-third rule

Someone else's idea

Beauty Parade Private Eye 1997 Vanity Fair Demi Moore
Cover by Peter Driben for US title Beauty Parade (Feb 1949) Private Eye in the cover style it adopted in the 1960s (5 Sep 1997) A pregnant Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1981
Oz 1971 September Private View magazine cover Glamour 2007 Myleene Klass
'Young love' cover for Oz (issue 37, September 1971) David Sullivan's porn apologist Private View; editor Miss Doreen Millington (Mar 1974) Myleene Klass does a Demi Moore (Aug 2007) for Glamour
arena 1988 autumn Vanity fair London Opinion Leete Kitchener 1914
Arena shows David Bailey's 1965 image of Michael Caine (autumn 1988) Singer KD Lang being shaved by model Cindy Crawford for Vanity Fair (Aug 1993) London Opinion sparked Kitchener's recruitment posters (5 Sep 1914)
Arena November 2004 Attitude Jordan Seprember 2004 Economist Paulson London Opinion Leete
Jude Law tries to mimic Michael Caine's Alfie for Arena(Nov 2004) Model Jordan (Katie Price) and Peter Andre pose for Attitude (Sept 2004) Still being copied 94 years later (Economist, Sep 2008)

Evolution of a magazine cover: Men Only

Men Only Dec 1935 first issue cover Men Only 1936 Men Only magazine cover 1937
1935: launch issue of pocket format Men Only 1936: illustration on
Men Only cover
1937: relaunch with full-page cartoon, setting 20-year pattern
men only 1956 Men Only January 1957 cover Men Only cover 1960 August
1956: celebrating 21 years using celebs
on cover
1957: film stars, in this case Diana Dors, dominate 1960: photographs of models have replaced illustrations
Men Only cover July 1963 Men Only 1965 cover Men Only
1963: last of the pocket format issues 1965: images now dominate Men Only covers 1971: first Men Only under Paul Raymond

Man About Town through the ages

Man About Town (US) Man About Town 1955 Man About town 1958
1939: Man About Town launch issue in US 1955: Man About Town in UK (spring issue) 1958: Man About Town launched again in US
Town magazine cover Man About Town (Australia) Man About Town 2007
1962: Man About Town becomes Town in UK 1968: Man About Town launch issue in Australia 2007: Man About Town rides again in UK

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