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For maximum identification, establish a distinctive cover style and stick to it.
Cosmopolitan and New Yorker magazines always come to mind whenever I think of publications doing a great job establishing a look for the cover and successfully sticking to it for many years. They both exemplify the obvious rewards of memorability and instant recognition that can be realized by using such a sensible strategy.
To date, Making Waves magazine is my best attempt at following in their footsteps. The goal was to use topical images on each cover that had been filtered in Photoshop to create a painterly effect inspired by the work of French Impressionist Paul Cezanne. With the filter combination built and tested, it is a fairly simple matter to create the visual characteristics shown here using any photo. However, this first cover is the last time that the effect was used.
The very next issue's cover story was devoted to a new company president. While it made perfect sense to show his portrait, my client felt a photo should be used rather than the painterly style that the approved creative direction dictated. Since I had only been hired to develop the format and first couple of issues of the magazine, the painterly aspect of our cover concept was soon forgotten. While the client's position was understandable, it was a dilemma that could have been solved had there not been so many decision makers involved behind the scenes.
In hindsight, as the years have taught me again and again, furthering even the basics of good creative direction from a freelance position can be a formidable challenge. Each and every aspect of a concept must be explained to the point that a client understands and sees its value as clearly as the creative director. And, is willing to make sure all others on the client side are equally informed and enthusiastic.
A new view on historical events can be irresistable to your readers.
People remain interested in things they remember and generally know something about. Revisiting favorite topics in an anniversary publication is a sure way to make it something readers will want to keep. Like in an album, the built-in nostalgia naturally rekindles new looks at old memories. Especially with the help of insightful writing that does a good job of relating past times to present day circumstances.
With far more than this to choose from, there was more than enough to warm the hearts of a this association's membership. The real work was in determining how many images could reasonably be shown. And, which ones would have the most impact.