This month: Banking Strategies

Issue: March/April 2006
Frequency: Six times a year
Launched: 1924
Circulation: 31,500
Editor: Pat Allen
Publisher: BAI
Art Director/Design: Pressley Jacobs: A Design Partnership
Photography: Dan Goldberg

Concept: When a creative director at Chicago-based publisher BAI gave a fellow engaged employee a wedding cake topper as a gag gift she never intended for it to become the cover art of Banking Strategies. But, when editor-in-chief Pat Allen and the design team at Pressley Jacobs sat down to brainstorm how to convey the March/April cover story, they wanted to hint at the findings of a customer research study suggesting that customers are no longer willing to “commit” to their banks. And, the cake topper, which depicts a groom running from his bride-to-be, seemed the perfect fit. “It was given as a joke, because it showed the groom running away from the bride, and the bride snagging him by the collar,” says Allen, adding that banks are looking for a lasting commitment, whereas customers are not.

Production: Allen and staff designed the pinstripe wedding cake made by a local bakery and found the wedding cake topper in a party store. A model with a runaway bride was considered, but the team decided that the concept of someone with commitment issues is more commonly applied to a man. The topper’s base was retouched during post-production to make it look as if the figurines stand directly on the frosting.

Our design panel says: “Nice colors, but really an ineffective piece of communication, because I have no idea what it is that ‘people can’t commit’ to… I’m led to believe that the only way to have a successful banking strategy is to land a rich husband. And at all costs. Very Fifties… I like the fact that the bowl of the “g” loops around the grooms neck like a noose…It is editorially unwise to put a commercial logo on the cover; this will make readers question the editorial integrity of this publication…The color palette is lovely and restrained…Plays into stereotypes nicely…”

The Panel: Jandos Rothstein, Governing Magazine; Charles Brucaliere, Forbes; Jamie Stark, Stark Designs; Ina Saltz, Saltz Design; Bruce Ramsay, Newsweek; Criswell Lappin, Metropolis

Have a unique “cover” story? Contact Folio: Assistant Editor Linda Zebian at

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