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Archive for the ‘Then and Now’ Category

Maxim Grows Up

Posted by Scott On February - 27 - 2015

thenandnow_125x125Maxim magazine has announced an all new look and positioning effective with the March 2015 issue. The once hyper-successful “lads magazine” has experienced a sharp decline in circulation recently, down 33% in the first half of 2014.  The magazine, which was launched in 1995 reached a zenith of 2 million circulation.

The redesigned magazine targets an older, more affluent audience to match the magazine’s core readership, which has seen its average age increase by 10 years over the past decade. “Our guy has grown up,” said publisher Kevin Martinez. “He’s 33, starting to make money and looking at his life differently, ” according to an article in Ad Week.  

Apparently, the less raunchy approach to both the covers and the interior content, has resulted in a success with advertisers.  The March issue is up 30 pages-a 289 percent increase-from a year ago.  High-end brands like Prada, Armani, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Bloomingdale’s, have bought ads aimed at the older, more sophisticated male target.

The new cover approach steers clear of any cleavage or bikinis, and is a “less is more” approach.  See new cover and 2014 covers below.

Mar 2 2015

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Apr 2014May 2014

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Sep 2014Oct 2014

Nov 2014Dec 2014

New Look for Canada’s History

Posted by Scott On February - 17 - 2015

thenandnow_125x125Canada’s History is unveiling a new look, effective with the Apr/May 2015 issue.  Here’s what the Editor-In-Chief Mark Reid says:


Apr 2015 (Small)

“In 2015, Canada’s History — formerly The Beaver magazine — will mark its ninety-fifth birthday. As Canada’s second-oldest magazine, we’re proud of our past, but also focused on the future.

For more than a year, the editorial team, led by art director James Gillespie, has worked on a refreshed design that places Canada’s History squarely in the spectrum of twenty-first-century publishing. It was truly a team effort, with special thanks going out to design consultant Karen Simpson for her advice and encouragement.

Our new look, which debuts with our April-May 2015 issue, features new fonts and font sizes that improve readability.
Both the front and back of book sections have been streamlined. The Currents section is now more visually dynamic, and some regularly recurring items — such as “Brush Strokes” — have been re-imagined for a modern audience. Our former Reviews Section is now titled Books, and will feature not only book reviews but also interviews with authors, book excerpts and other items of interest to readers.

The features section also received a makeover, and now employs a tasteful design that showcases — rather than competes with — the words, pictures and paintings. Layouts are cleaner thanks to the creative use of white space.

As many readers know, Canada’s History used to be called The Beaver, and we have not forgotten our historic connection to that iconic publication, or the Hudson’s Bay Company, which launched the magazine in 1920 as an internal newsletter. In Canada’s History you will find many nods to our past; we’ve retained our Trading Post column that showcases fur trade-era artifacts; every feature article ends with a small beaver icon; and we’ve renamed the Letters page “The Packet,” as it was called back in 1920 when the magazine was launched.

In unveiling our new look, we pledge to do our best to honour the legacy of this historic publication. And we look forward to sharing Canada’s stories for many years to come.”

Mark Collin Reid
Editor-in-Chief, Canada’s History magazine

New Look for Mojo

Posted by Scott On September - 22 - 2014

thenandnow_125x125Art Director Amy McCleverty has just unveiled her “refreshed” new look for Motorcycle Mojo.

The title has been on a roll of late, with the last nine straight issues outselling the same issue from prior year.

Here’s what Amy had to say about the re-design:  “We are very excited about our new look, a refresh was over due!

Freelance art director, Gary Davidson got the ball rolling with the new direction.

Bold new fonts, big images and more white space give the magazine a fresh, modern look. Motorcycles are our reader’s passion, so we are keeping it fun and the focus on beautiful bikes, amazing travel, and industry news.

The cover is very different, with a white bar behind the logo, which we hope will make us stand out from the crowd on the newsstand. It also allows for a sky bar that is legible and room for more photos. The cover lines are bold, and lots of them.”


Nov 2014


SeptOct 2014Jul 2014 (Small)

Canadian Antiques & Vintage

Posted by admin On August - 15 - 2014

thenandnow_125x125The Upper Canadian Antiques Showcase is being re-launched as Canadian Antiques & Vintage effective with the September/October 2014 issue. Canadian Antiques & Vintage has a history of publication in Canada dating back over 50 years, to 1963.  The publication was a merger of Canada’s two best-known antiques publications: Antique and Collectibles Showcase (dating to 1963) and The Upper Canadian (in continuous publication since 1980) following their acquisition in 2005 by Canadian publisher 2Brilliant Media Inc.

Publishers Herb and Sophie Bond say that:

“Canadian Antiques & Vintage serves its readers and advertisers through extensive coverage of national trends in the collection of antiques, folk art, vintage fine art, and vintage collectibles. We deliver: feature stories, authored by experts, on pieces and genres of collecting; detailed on-the-ground coverage of local and regional shows and auctions, including every major national event; personal profiles of passionate Canadian antique collectors young and old – why they collect, what they collect, how they began, the changes they’ve witnessed; insightful conversations with dealers and those in the antiques trade, where secrets are often shared; ‘how to’ collecting articles; hints on decorating with antiques; legal comment on a variety of collector concerns; antique-related travel in Canada, and also internationally, for readers on the antiques hunt; ‘Q&A’ decoding of heirloom treasures; book reviews across a wide variety of collecting; significant collections of Canadiana seen in museums across the nation. More than that, Canadian Antiques & Vintage is the place where Canadian collectors congregate and come together around their passion, offering their insight and experience to others.  Simply put, our readers recognize us as the voice of the tribe.”
The magazine is upgrading to perfect binding, and the cover price will be raised from $6.95 to $7.95, and will be published six times per year.
Coast to Coast will be the distributor, working with CoversSell.Com.
SepOct 2014JulAug 2010 (Small)



New Look for Almanac

Posted by admin On July - 30 - 2014

The 2015 Harrowsmith Almanac is sporting a new look this year. There are a number of subtle changes, but the biggest change was to add benefit-oriented sell lines to the cover.

This classic publication sold over 24,000 copies last year.

Publisher Yolanda Thorton is pushing for even more robust sales with this year’s editon.

The on sale date is scheduled for September 8th, 2014.

The magazine is distributed by Coast to Coast.  Special thanks to Ron Sellwood and Peter Van De Geyn.

Ski Canada New Look

Posted by admin On July - 22 - 2014

Ski Canada magazine, which outsells all it’s domestic and U.S.-based competitors, isn’t playing it safe.

Working with K9 Strategy+Design (who has been art directing the magazine for 8 years) and, the 2015 Gear Guide issue has received a complete makeover.

Publisher Paul Green says, “It was time for Ski Canada magazine to refresh its image so we went to K9 Design, our long term partner in the magazine’s art direction. Assignment: capture the vitality of alpine skiing in an all new look for 2015.”

Norm Lourenco  of K9 Design says,  “We’ve designed Ski Canada for over 8 years but never redesigned it. To say we are stoked is an understatement, but we realize the enormous responsibility and sensitivities that come with redesigning such a celebrated and respected Canadian publication. Our goal is to strengthen the 42 year old brand as a current, authoritative voice on all things ski. Every redesign is a balancing act between yet-to-be-realised new readers and current loyal readers – you’re constantly asking have we gone too far, or not far enough. For Ski Canada, we’ve introduced elements that will bring a bit more fun to the reading experience, while still maintaining their role as the leading publication that is synonymous with skiing.”

The cover price has been raised from $5.95 to $6.99.

The new look goes on sale September 8th, 2014.

Fairmont Magazine Reveals New Look

Posted by admin On June - 23 - 2014

The importance of “refreshing” your magazines look and feel from time to time is the subject of a seminar that I will be presenting, along with Jennifer Neal of K9 Design, at the Manitoba Magazine Conference on Friday June 27th, 2014.

This pertains to not only newsstand and paid circulation titles, but to controlled titles too.

It was recently brought to my attention that Fairmont Magazine has just undergone a makeover.

Natasha Mekhail, Editor in Chief of Fairmont Magazine provided this background:

“Fairmont Magazine is an award-winning luxury publication distributed across the hotel brand’s 70-plus properties around the world. Every issue presents a mix of engaging storytelling and striking visuals that, while focused on Fairmont destinations, services and programs, carries the same rich, narrative tone as top consumer magazines, such as Conde Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure.

We know that our readers are often on holiday when they encounter the magazine in their room; we know we’re competing with their novels, phones, and tablets. They won’t read our magazine if it doesn’t pop for them – nor will they read if they get a whiff of hard sell. In fact, we like to describe Fairmont Magazine as a travel and lifestyle publication that just happens to appear in a hotel. Still, the one place where that may not have come across was on the cover.

Past covers involved a fashion shoot showing a model at a featured hotel styled to embody the spirit of her destination. After several of these, however, our team and our clients agreed that, while beautiful, the staged images lacked a certain spontaneity and intrigue that would make readers look at it and say, “I need to know where that is.” Around the same time, Fairmont adjusted its own branding, subtly moving away from “hotel as focal point” for travel, and towards “hotel as gateway to the destination.” This move gave us license to stage a lifestyle cover.

The first thing you’ll notice in Example B: it’s not in a hotel. Instead, we shot an emerging Baku artist in an installation he designed for Azerbaijan’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The oil-rich city on the Caspian Sea, which many describe as the “next Dubai,” also has an incredible wealth of modern artists, who’s work often riffs on Azeri handicrafts, such as traditional tapestries.

We also moved to a full-bleed from a framed image, giving more presence to the cover photo. With this fun, playful cover (the artist actually asked if he could make a suit out of the same fabric as his set – and of course we said yes!), we’ve given Fairmont Magazine that “wow” factor, that spurs readers to pick up the magazine and find out what this incredible shot is all about.”

Cottage Life West (Winner!)

Posted by admin On May - 15 - 2014

When Cottage Life magazine acquired Cottage magazine, the decision was made to re-brand the magazine as Cottage Life West.

Here’s what Editor Penny Caldwell had to say:  “Our objective with the Cottage Life West edition was to provide cottage and cabin owners in Western Canada with content exclusive to their region, which broadly covers Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The editor and regional sales team are based in BC. It is a strategy that is supported by the successful new Edmonton Cottage Life and Cabin Show that debuted in April.”

Here are the covers:

The first is the 2014 04 issue, which went on sale March 24, 2014.  The second issue is the 2014 05 issue, which went on sale May 5th, 2014.  You’ll also see the old covers from 2013.

The regular covers of Cottage Life look like this:

The Western edition retails for $5.95, while the Eastern edition remains at $6.95.  All retailers from BC to SK receive the Western edition, while the rest of the country gets the Eastern edition.

First Covers

Posted by admin On August - 16 - 2013

Canadian Living’s New Look

Posted by Scott On July - 22 - 2013

Canadian Living is debuting a new look with their September 2013 issue.

The new logo has beefed up in size and impact.  The sky-bar area is working much harder with three strong hooks. The main sell line is up top, not down low like so many fashion magazines.  Bold use of the number 30 adds quantity to the quality.  Good positioning of the starburst button.  And love the tag line and treatment.

It’s great to see such a legendary brand not afraid to shake things up!

Check out that special “TRY ME” price of $2.99.

Bonus:  Every issue will have 4 covers…The Food cover will always be the lead, but each cover has a unique advertising opportunity (Fitness, Fashion, Home).

Here are some additional comments from the editor:

Let’s start with the brand new logo: The masthead is a take on Corinthian Bold and we love the strong simplicity of the single line with the tagline nestled below but getting to this simplicity wasn’t that easy. We felt strongly that both “Canadian” and “Living” were words too long for one line so we played with at least 25 different ways of stacking them: we tried both words at different sizes, different weights, in all caps, in all lower case, right justified, left justified, and more. After all of these combos, we had a favourite but when we showed it to our publisher Caroline Andrews, she wasn’t so convinced and asked us to try both words on one line. “Ridiculous” we chimed after she left but dutifully tried it anyway and got carried away for hours. We played with a skybar, main lines and big numbers and it all started to come together. By about 11:00 PM that night we knew Caroline was right (go figure, she has 24 years of experience in the business) and we had several one-line options to show her but had narrowed them down to two favourites. In the end, our cover team all agreed on this new logo and we brought the template into the studio to overlay as we were shooting our food features.

We’ve been talking about this Refresh of Canadian Living for months now and we knew to do it successfully, we had to nail our cover image so we asked for help. We polled a targeted group of Canadian Living readers and newsstand buyers and asked them to pick their favourite of four potential covers. In this survey we were also able to discover which image and which cover lines generated the highest preference and appeal.

The Smoked Salmon Pizza cover was the resounding winner and the test group loved our main sell line as much as we did: 30 days of easy, healthy & delicious recipes!

 Sidebar: There are four exclamation marks on the front and we know that’s a lot (“too many” says our copy editor Jill Buchner) but we’re just so excited about these stories and couldn’t help ourselves. 



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About Me

Scott Bullock’s Newsstand Cover Quiz Show is legendary in the industry. Using covers as the catalyst, this interactive and entertaining format is a light-hearted but hard-hitting spin on Packaging 101. Testing the cover savvy of magazine professionals across disciplines, the Quiz Show pits publishers against editors, circulators against art directors, retailers against wholesalers -- ultimately leading to new common ground in the quest for better covers. Scott is the Owner of Circ3, Smart Circulation Solutions, a circulation consultancy.



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