Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Eye looking like a Magazine

Posted by Scott On October - 7 - 2010

Laas Turnbull, the new Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Eye Weekly, was lucky enough to be mentored by one of the great cover geniuses, Landon Jones III, a former editor of People and Money magazine. He appears to have been a good student, judging by the three covers his team has already produced.

Turnbull, who started his magazine career with Toronto Life, was Editor-in-Chief of Shift, Editor of Report on Business magazine and Director of Magazine Development for the Globe & Mail, and Executive VP at Brunico, has ambitious plans for Eye.

Turnbull says, “We plan to make some noise.”  When asked if he thought of Eye Weekly as a magazine, Turnbull said,  “Yes, a weekly city magazine.” Asked to elaborate he explained that “Eye will be moving from a how-to plan-your-week approach to a how-to-live-better-and-be-smarter-about-the-city approach. We plan to be different, smart and loud. We plan to be a smart, urban, downtown magazine aimed at the 18 to 40 year old age demographic”.

The covers that Turnbull’s team have already turned out are as good, or better, than many magazines that are fighting for sales on newsstands—and that’s despite the fact that he doesn’t have an art director yet. Eye, of course, is distributed free of charge.

Here are some covers:  the  three covers on the top row are ” before”  Turnbull,  the three on the bottom row are “after” Turnbull.   Click on images to enlarge.

If it looks like a magazine. Talks like a magazine. And walks like a magazine. Maybe it is a magazine. While the job of a cover for a controlled circulation magazine is different in some respects to a newsstand one, a good cover still needs to get people to stop, pick it up, and examine the merchandise.

It appears to me that Turnbull has indeed learned his lessons well about  the importance of subject matter that matters, and the importance of having fun. These covers are fabulous.

2 Responses to “Eye looking like a Magazine”

  1. Laas says:

    Scott: Thank you so much–you really are too kind! You’re also too modest. Scott was the first and biggest influence on the cover philosophy I’ve developed over the years. When we were at Toronto Life together, I spent many hours in his office talking about what worked, what didn’t, and why. Every young editor out there should be reading this blog–Scott is the best cover guy in Canada and this website is an absolute gold mine.

  2. Landon Jones says:

    I think Scott and Laas are both too modest! While I have discussed People magazine covers with Laas, I was learning as much as I was teaching, and judging from his recent covers at Eye Weekly, he is continuing to strike out in exciting new directions. Bravo!

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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. www.circ3.com

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