What do you think?
The nominations are in, and as usual there are some very “artsy” covers nominated.
The great Paul Jones once quipped that the best way to win this award was to create a cover that was “Art with Logo.” This was Paul’s witty way of saying that Gold Winners were often pretty, but perhaps had little or nothing to do with the primary job of a cover (for most consumer magazines) which is to help sell copies at newsstand and help generate a renewal to a subscription.
So I asked Paul, winner of the prestigious NMAF Outstanding Achievement Award in 2004, to comment on this year’s covers competing for Gold.
“Implicit in the judge’s selections is a disregard, bordering on disrespect, for words. No cover lines. Tiny cover lines that suggest words are an inconvenience or an embarrassment. Big cover lines in which words serve mostly as indecipherable design elements. Was the Vancouver Magazine cover the only deserving nominee with substantial, legible cover lines?”
According to the NMAF web site, since 1998 the Gold award for Cover of the Year has been won by controlled circulation magazines 6 out of 11 times, or 54.5% of the time. Report on Business has won it twice and so has Saturday Night, with FQ winning in 2004 and Shift in 1998. FQ, Saturday Night and Shift (4 of the 11 winners) are sadly no longer publishing.
Wayne Leek, publisher of Food & Drink, who used to work for Shift said, “We were delighted, but amused, because the award-winning cover was such a poor performer at the newsstand.”
By way of disclosure, I have twice been a judge for the Cover of the Year. I was one of three judges. Both years I was involved, my top pick for Gold didn’t even make the short-list of the top 5 covers in the first round of voting.
Now, take a moment to Vote for the cover which you think should win this year?