Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for March, 2013


Posted by admin On March - 29 - 2013

The latest cover from Canadian Business (April 15th, 2013) is sure to cause a stir. 

Recipe for success:

Iconic Canadian brand + Beloved motherhood product + Controversey + Brilliant art direction = Great Cover = Success!

Here’s what Art Director John Montgomery had to say about the cover:

“We chose the Tim Hortons cup for our cover because we felt that Tim’s is known for their coffee more than anything else. It is such a recognizable Canadian icon, especially when you see the distinctive red and yellow of Roll Up The Rim.  So we thought it would attract newsstand attention. It doesn’t hurt that Tim Hortons is running that Roll Up The Rim promotion right now. Putting a serious, provocative business headline on the company’s cheerful packaging creates a tension that will draw readers in.”

Click on image to Enlarge:

Cottage Life: Less is More!

Posted by admin On March - 28 - 2013

The April issue of Cottage Life looks like a winner!

Cottage Life covers are always strong, but this one has a particulalry good vibe, and is extremely timely, given all the negative press in the newspapers these days about the housing market.

The cover feature taps into that vein of greed and fear, and offers a compelling Value Proposition.

The 2013 Real Estate Issue does everything right:

  • Great use of skybar area to shout out the main thrust of this issue
  • Big, bold, and assertive type on main sell line
  • Benefit-Oriented main sell line…simple and direct
  • Additional hooks have strong appeal to target audience and aspirationals
  • Nice starburst button
  • Fabulous and classic cottage image

PMB Spring Top Line Data Released

Posted by admin On March - 27 - 2013

PMB has just released the 2013 Topline report.

Canada’s History scored the largest readers per copy at 23 readers per copy of all magazine measured by PMB, delivering a total audience of 874,000

Outdoor Canada came in at 22.5 readers per copy, delivering an audience of 1,960,000

Hockey News came in at 22.3 readers per copy, delivering an audience of 1,967,000

People Weekly came in at 21.7 readers per copy, delivering an audience of 3,324,000

Canadian Geographic came in at 19.2% per copy, 3,644,000

Here’s what Deborah Morrison, Publisher of Canada’s History and President of Magazines Canada had to say: 

“The Spring data from PMB is encouraging on a number of fronts.  It shows that Canadians are still very committed to their magazines generally, so from an industry perspective this is good news.  For Canada’s History to top the list for readers per copy tells me that it’s Canadian stories they want to read about.  We’re anxious to see the detailed demographic information because if trends from the Fall continue, most of that growth is coming from readers 30-45, blowing away the myth that only older people are interested in magazines and/or Canadian history. “

Azure goes Green

Posted by admin On March - 23 - 2013

The May 2013 issue of AZURE is stunning and, I predict, will be a big seller. 

Creative Director Karen Simpson really created a winner, that is both artistically arresting and pushes all the right buttons when it comes to selling. 

It helps that the editorial team focused in on a subject matter that is timely and where they can speak with great authority…subject matter indeed matters here.

The image is warm, bright, energetic, and creates an illusion of width.  It’s up-market, on trend, and sophisticated.

  • Great use of the cover real estate for the main sell line
  • Great use of color to help the eye travel down the page
  • Super starburst
  • Benefits abound
  • Clean and Uncluttered

Here’s what Editor Catherine Osborne had to say about this issue:

“Azure attracts both professionals and general readers who have a keen interest in architecture and design, so we look for cover images that appeal to both. It can be hard at times, but this particular house hits both notes. It’s contemporary but it also has a human scale that’s immediately familiar. You can imagine living there.  I really like that Karen kept things very clean and inviting. The colours — limey green, yellowy orange and purple (aubergine!) — really pop.  Go green” was the slogan everyone was using five years ago. But sustainability has advanced so much since then… buildings can now generate more energy than they use and passive cooling and heating systems are a regular part of architectural design. We went with “Newest Green” to make those evolutionary changes as clear as possible … that we’re talking about the next generation of green.”

And here is what Creative Director Director Karen Simpson says:

“This cover design works well because it is strong, simple, direct and warm A clear visual hierarchy moves your eye from the yellow circle graphic (looks like the ‘sun’) to the main cover line (top left position) and down to the figure bathed in warm light walking to greet you. The overall mood is clean, fresh and relaxed. There seems to be a glow in the sky created by the colours on the type, the yellow circle ‘sun’ and the warm lighting in the walkway.”

 Click to enlarge image:

Homes and Cottages gets New Look

Posted by admin On March - 21 - 2013

First published in 1989, Homes and Cottages has had several different name and design tweeks over the years, but until now has never undergone a complete re-design.

Refreshing the brand in this case yielded a very nice result.

According to publisher Steven Griffin, the re-design had several goals:

  • Produce a higher-end, more sophisticated-looking product for the consumer marketplace
  • Attract more readers
  • Attract more advertisers

However, the publication was clear that it did not want to be confused with a decorating magazine.  Rather, the goal was to still to focus on “the nuts and bolts functional approach of the editorial content”…endeavouring to make it the best Canadian renovation and building magazine in the marketplace.

The re-design process started with a focus group.  “The most challenging part of the re-design was that as a split run magazine with both a trade and consumer version, there are many audiences.  Every feature article appears in both versions, but the conten had to be presented to each group in different yet relevant ways, ” said Steven Griffin.  “By containing the image area on the cover to a square, we are now less dependent on finding a vertical shot.”

“Overall we set out to make the book more consumer friendly without alienating the trade group, builders, architects, designers, etc.  The resulting update looks elegant without being stuffy or trendy.  The increased trim size (changed to a wider format) provides a unique size and lends itself to grreater image selection.”

The re-design was handled by K9 Design Co.

New Look. 

Old Look:

Avenue Calgary Cover Wins Gold

Posted by admin On March - 20 - 2013

The March 2012 issue of Avenue Calgary (9th Annual Food Issue) won gold at the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association annual Excellence Awards Gala.  It was the second year in a row that Avenue Calgary took home this honour.

Published by Redpoint Media and Marketing Solutions, the cover featured a fabulous foldout cover.

“We are so proud of our amazing creative team. They worked incredibly hard on this shoot, and we are thankful for the recognition from AMPA,” said RedPoint’s President Pete Graves.

“We want to share this award with Avenue’s wonderful and loyal readers and thank them for their support. We had never done a cover like this before, but we went for it and the finished product was exactly what we wanted,” added RedPoint’s Creative Director Anders Knudsen.

Click on image to enlarge.


Posted by admin On March - 19 - 2013

The third issue… post re-design… of Alternatives Journal looks like a winner.

Here’s what Editor Eric Rumble, has to say:

“Early on in production of the Greenbelts issue of A\J, we got excited about the idea of having a Balkan lynx on our cover,” says A\J editor Eric Rumble. “We thought this intriguing and endangered creature was an excellent ambassador for our feature story about rejuvenating biodiversity along the old Iron Curtain route across Europe. Plus we figured that lynx are good looking enough to compete with any celebrity mug on the newsstand.”

New Look…Click to Enlarge Image

Old Look: 

You Tube Video on John & Yoko

Posted by admin On March - 18 - 2013

Canada’s History magazine has just released a new YouTube video promoting the Apr/May 2013 issue.

And the second YouTube video just released.


Posted by admin On March - 14 - 2013

The latest issue of Toronto Life is hard to miss on newsstands.  This cover is “radically clear” and totally “commits to the cover” in a bold, aggressive, and deliciously luscious way, that will connect with food lovers instantly…i.e. in less than 3 seconds!

Here’s what Editor Sarah Fulford has to say about this cover:

“We wanted a dish for our annual April “Best New Restaurants” issue that’s luscious, irresistible and super trendy. Breakfast sandwiches are all three. The dish on the cover was styled by Toronto Life’s art director, Christine Dewairy, to insure maximum ooziness. The giant yellow word EAT is part celebration, part directive and, we hope, will be clear and inviting on the newsstand.”

Click on image to enlarge!

Michelle Obama looking Vogue

Posted by admin On March - 14 - 2013

The new issue of Vogue is sure to be a top seller.  The cover women is First Lady Michele Obama. 

Annie Leibovitz performs her magic once again.

For the full story, go to

Click on image to enlarge.


About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



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