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- On September 14, 2016
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Jane Ingham is Managing Director of MediaClash, the Bath-based publisher and creative agency who have a portfolio of stylish magazines for cities such as Bath, Cardiff and Exeter.
“What makes a good cover? There are plenty of theories. But you’ll know it when you see it. Most people can tell a good cover from a bad one, even if they can’t quite explain why.
“It might simply be that it catches your eye. It could be a key word on there that does it, an intriguing presentation style, or a powerful image. Sometimes, of course, it’s none of these things – and it makes your jaw drop just the same.
“Most great covers, of course, are a winning combination of many elements: a clear, appealing message; witty, striking words; beautiful typography and to-die-for imagery; colours and composition that make the whole thing glow.
“But the best of them have a little bit of fairy dust sprinkled on top of all that too: some unusual element or secret to find, a clever angle or approach that makes the cover mean more the longer you look at it.
“No part of a magazine is more commented on, obsessed over, critiqued and tinkered with than its cover, but while good magazine covers remain more art than science, there are strict rules we can learn, clever tricks that almost always work. Here are my four golden rules to help you create stunning covers.”
1. Sell the benefits, make your story clear:
Get a strong story, a fascinating image, and the benefits of reading on spelled out for the passer-by and you’re on the home straight.
2. Get people thinking:
Your main coverline wants to be short, snappy, and packed with unexpected descriptive words to snag the reader…
3. Keep your eyes open:
Lots of smart, talented people have been producing powerful covers for decades – so take tips from them. What did they do? Why did their best covers work?
4. Keep it simple:
Yes: busy, complicated covers can be good – but they’re the exceptions, not the rule. Most times, a single strong image set against a plain background is best – and it’ll help your coverlines ‘pop’.”