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Archive for the ‘Then and Now’ Category

New Look for Fly Fusion

Posted by Scott On November - 13 - 2019

Fly Fusion (which was originally launched in 2006) has just unveiled a completely re-designed magazine, inside and out.

The Winter 2020 issue, which goes on sale November 26th, will have the following upgrades:

  • Changed width from 8 3/8” to 9” wide – adding a full inch to a double-page spread
  • Half-page ads were upgraded to a full bleed (from 7.25″ x 4.575″ to 9.125” x 5.479”)
  • Cover was upgraded to 80 lb cover weight – Matte stock with Grit UV coating
  • Interior pages changed from gloss to matte stock
  • Full redesign from cover to cover
  • Cover Price Increased from $7.95 to $8.99

The Publisher, Jennifer Bird, adds…

Our approach to this process was to dismantle the way we approached everything.  Strip the magazine down to the roots.  We examined what Fly Fusion meant to our team and what we wanted it to represent to the reader.  Then we built it back up based on those core values.  Virtually every aspect of the magazine has undergone some degree of change.  

First we changed our tag line from the dated “North America’s Fly Fishing Authority” to the more culturally relevant “The Soul of Fly Fishing”.  In doing so, we have given ourselves a bar by which to measure everything that appears within its pages.

Next, we looked at how we could change the materials used to impact the readers experience.  A matte stock gives images more depth and removes the text glare provided by the more traditional glossy coating.  The grit coating on the cover was thoughtfully selected in that it adds a tactile experience for the reader. The added width ensures extra impact with larger images and a cleaner design, featuring more white space.   And of course, our advertisers aren’t complaining as they now enjoy a significantly larger piece of real estate to feature their products. 

Finally, we wanted our most loyal readers, our subscribers, to receive an additional benefit for their commitment to Fly Fusion.  So, we have created a separate cover, clean from the traditional sell lines, that they can proudly feature on their coffee table…or toilet. We’re not picky!

The newsstand cover, and the subscriber cover, can be seen below:

Previous design looks:

Broadview Born Again

Posted by Scott On April - 15 - 2019

The United Church Observer has been relaunched as Broadview magazine.  According to their press release, the magazine is “Canada’s oldest continuously published magazine,” with roots going back to 1829.

The new-look magazine, edited by Jocelyn Bell, and art directed by Carol Moskot, aims to deliver a “progressive Christian lens to spirituality, ethical living and social justice stories.”

This will be the fourth name in the magazine’s 190-year history.

The May 2019 issue is on newsstands now.  For further information contact Shellene Drakes-Tull, DAYO Media & Communications, 416-882 6678.


Re-Design for AD Flops in Canada

Posted by Scott On March - 2 - 2018

First published as a quarterly in 1920, the venerable brand formally known as Architectural Digest is a survivor.  Condé Nast Publications purchased the title from Knapp in April 1993.

Effective with the April 2017 issue (here in Canada) the magazine was re-branded as AD.

Now I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of using initials for a magazine’s name…I’ve always been a fan of keeping it literal.  Canadian House & Home,  Canadian Running, Canadian Cycling, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Cottage Life, Horse Canada,Toronto Life, are names that say what it is…and work.

In 2016, the Canadian newsstand posted an overall decline of 11.8% on all English-language magazines sold in Canada, according to the CTC Boxscore.  And Architectural Digest had a relatively good year that year, dropping only 218 copies per issue on average or 3.5%…a very solid performance!

So how have things gone since the re-design?  10 consecutive issues have posted hefty, even alarming declines:

  • April 2017…down 32%
  • May 2017…down 13%
  • Jun 2017…down 24%
  • Jul 2017…down 26%
  • Aug 2017…down 58%
  • Sep 2017…down 33%
  • Oct 2017…down 12%
  • Nov 2017…down 28%
  • Dec 2017…down 30%
  • Jan 2018…down 18% (with more returns to come)…so the drop is over 23% per issue on average.

While AD sells only 4,555 copies on average in Canada, if the pattern is being replicated in the USA market (i.e. 10 X the size), then problems may be brewing.

The question now seems to be, can AD survive the re-design?


Re-Design for Canadian Woodworking

Posted by Scott On October - 13 - 2017

The Dec/Jan 2018 issue of Canadian Woodworking has a fresh new look.  Publishers Linda and Paul Fulcher commissioned K9 Strategy + Design to assist with the project.

Norm Lourenco, Creative Director at K9 Strategy + Design said this:

“Our main goal with this project was to develop a masthead logo/wordmark that would stand out against its competitors – a challenge when working with long titles. We worked hard to find the right balance that would accommodate the variety of different sized projects that are regularly featured on the cover and at the same time allow the masthead to stand out.”

Here’s what Publisher Linda Fulcher has to say about the magazine and the re-design:

“Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement Magazine was awarded Magazine of the Year in 2017 by the CMC for outstanding circulation growth, and is continuing to expand its presence on the newsstand with the addition of over 1,000 stores for the DecJan 2018 issue.

The brand is celebrating the newsstand growth with a redesign to the cover that will present a cleaner bolder logo. The new logo reflects the brand’s ongoing commitment to the primary woodworking focus and highlights the new home improvement editorial and advertising content.

The redesign is in concert with a recent editorial survey indicating high reader satisfaction with the woodworking content and revealing that interest in home improvement DIY projects has grown from 36% in 2008 to 67% in 2016.

The magazine recently added 8 pages to include the expanded home improvement content while still maintaining the number of pages dedicated to its core woodworking focus.

In addition, Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement has expanded the trim size from  8.125 x 10.625 to 8.625 x 10.875!  That’s a 1/2 inch more space to feature photos and illustrations for the woodworking and home improvement projects. The expanded trim size will also provide advertisers with more room to feature products and services.”

  • Over the past five years, the brand has seen growth year-over-year in advertising revenues, editorial content, and has doubled both circulation revenues and website traffic.
  • 11 of the past 12 issues have posted newsstand sales gains.  Up 49% in 2016.  Up another 22% in the first half of 2017.
  • With the expanded newsstand presence, bolder logo and larger format, the publication is positioned to enjoy continued growth in 2018.
  • The cover price is being raised from $5.95 to $6.97, an increase of 17%.

Some Recent Issues before the Re-Design:


New Logo for Horse Canada

Posted by Scott On February - 3 - 2017

thenandnow_125x125The Mar/Apr 2017 issue of Horse Canada will be sporting a new look logo to kick-off the new year.

Look for it on newsstands February 27th, 2017.

Publisher Jennifer Anstey says, “Horse Canada has had the same logo since it launched in 2001, and needed a fresh look to match its vibe. The contents, fonts, and presentation have been updated over the years, but we realized that the package wasn’t complete without a new logo. The new style reflects the friendly yet authoritative tone of the magazine, keeping horses and Canada front and center.”

The Art Director is Sieu Truong.

2017 MarApr



2002 MarApr (Small)2016 Dec (Small)

Marilyn Covers from Life

Posted by Scott On October - 14 - 2016

Here are some oldies but goodies from Life Magazine.












Atomic Ranch has New Look

Posted by Scott On May - 6 - 2016

thenandnow_125x125One of my favorite magazines in the Homes category is a magazine called Atomic Ranch.  Their tag line:  Mid Century Marvels, gets to the nub of what the magazine’s editorial focus has been.  The magazine was recently sold by the original founders to Engaged Media, Inc.

The new management has come out with their first “Special Issue”, which is called “The Renovation Guide”, and is it ever impressive.  The magazine is 134 pages thick, and is packed with before and after shots of six recently renovated homes.

The magazine’s cover, and interior layouts have been redesigned to be much less quirky, and more akin to what you’d find in Dwell.  It appears that they want to broaden the appeal of this niche magazine so that it not only appeals to the purists, but to anyone with an eye to modern design.

The magazine retails for $14.99 in Canada.  I urge you to pick up a copy.

2106 Spring



2016 Spring2015 Winter (Small)2015 Summer (Small)2015 Spring (Small)

Canadian Scrapbooker Re-Brands to Creative Scrapbooker

Posted by Scott On January - 20 - 2016

thenandnow_125x125The dynamic duo that launched Canadian Scrapbooker 10 years ago has announced that they are changing the magazine’s name to Creative Scrapbooker.

Katharina Doyle (Co-Founder & Publisher) and Jackie Ludlage (Co-Founder & Editor-In-Chief) have also announced that they will be making the magazine available in the USA at select Barnes & Noble stores.

“After 10 years of developing a reputation as an inspirational and technique-rich magazine that is available in both print and digital formats, this new name will embrace their international growth plans,” says Scott Bullock, newsstand strategist.  “Newsstand sales of this high quality publication have been up for six straight issues over the past year and a half.”

The new name debuts with the Spring 2016 issue, which goes on sale February 29th, 2016.  The magazine’s cover price remains $11.99.

“We are pleased to take this opportunity to rebrand and rename our magazine to showcase the talent we have in Canada, and we now invite our international readers to be a part of each upcoming issue.  We hve grown into a company that has global reach, and we want to reflect that within our magazine, ” say Jackie Ludlage.  “We will continue to have the same dedicated, energetic, and creative team that our readers and followers have come to know and love.”

“Our name change to Creative Scrapbooker reflects the importance of our social media identity.  We feel this is the right time to re-brand and grow,” says Katharina Doyle.

Canadian Scrapbooker was created in 2005 and has become an innovative global leader in the paper crafting industry.  The magazine was the dream of two women in Alberta, who set out to give Canadian paper crafters a voice.

Canadian Cover:

2016 Spring1 (Small)

USA Cover:

2016Spring2 (Small)


Previous Look:


2015 Fall (Small)2015 Winter (Small)








Legion Refreshes Look

Posted by Scott On January - 20 - 2016

thenandnow_125x125Legion Magazine has been publishing for 90 years…quite a milestone in Canadian Publishing.  To celebrate, the Publisher Jennifer Morse unleashed their amazing Art Director, Jason Duprau, to come up with a refreshed look.  Here’s the inside scoop:

“We have come a long way. Legion Magazine is entering its 90th year of publishing and going strong. To mark our anniversary, we have refreshed the look and content of the magazine. More pages are being devoted to coverage of Canada’s military history and current issues related to veterans and defence. New sections have been added, including “Heroes and Villains”, “Artifacts” and “My Story”—we hope you enjoy them. Also during this anniversary year, we are taking a nostalgic look back at where we have come from in “Our back pages”. We have even improved the readability of the text itself. As always, we will continue to present rare archival and rich contemporary photography to complement the powerful stories our writers tell. And most importantly, we look forward to sharing more of this country’s history with you. We wish you good reading.”

Jennifer Morse General Manager “For our 90th Anniversary re-launch, we decided it was a perfect opportunity to give the magazine a complete visual overhaul. Our goal was to create a magazine that was both bold yet elegant and sophisticated. We started with the cover and development of a new wordmark for the magazine. We’ve committed to a clean, uncluttered cover, emphasizing iconic photography, bold cover lines and a clear and concise skybar. For the interior, a new grid was developed to allow more whitespace, which allows visuals much needed breathing room and increases readability. We selected a new family of fonts to achieve striking typography and developed various devices to pull readers from page to page.” Jason Duprau Art Director, Circulation and Production Manager


After Result

2016 JanFeb (Small)



NovDec 2015 (Small)


















Happy Birthday

Posted by Scott On October - 14 - 2015

Playboy’s first issue.  It sure seems like a long time ago.  Now the 62 year old publication has announced it will no longer feature nude women.









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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