Friday, December 18, 2009
Anatomy Of A Cover
posted by Mary Gerlach, associate editor
[Ed. Note: Blogspot is a lil' fickle this morning, so the above cover looks blurry. Click here for a better view of the Dec/Jan cover a well as past covers.]
Creating the cover is one of my favorite tasks for each issue of Baby & Kids. I imagine each and every magazine has a different way of doing this, but I thought it would be fun to explain how we do it.
I continually gather images that might work for the cover. I look for amazing products as well as fun, engaging photography. It’s the Baby & Kids style to include two images of kids and one room scene on the cover so this provides a little guidance. I try to keep the images timed for buying, which is why the Dec/Jan issue has products for warmer months on the cover.
Once I have a few companies and images, our graphic designer Joanna and I talk about colors and what pictures work together and which don’t. This typically happens weeks before we finish the issue simply because Joanna has wonderful ideas, and I need to time to mull things over.
In fact, the bottom-right image on our Dec/Jan issue was a late substitution. Another company was slated for that spot on the cover. Although this company had great products, the photos just didn’t work out. Knowing what colors I had to work with, I remembered an e-mail from Cynthia at Blue Ridge International and Joanna slipped a stroller accessory in the third and final place.
As for the other images, I found Oilo at the ABC Kids Expo in September and absolutely loved the bedding. I’ve wanted to put furniture other than beds on the cover, so the chair in this image sealed the deal. I met the ladies from Polka Dot Tot Couture at the Atlanta Apparel Market. Once I heard their story and the concept behind the line, I knew I wanted to put them on the cover.
I get a ton of submissions for every issue, and I use about 25 percent of those. However, everything that comes through my In-Box is reviewed and filed away by category. Sometimes it’s weeks before I return to the cover folder to find new products, but I always love looking through the submissions; they’re my favorite.