This month: Foreign Policy

Issue: March/April 2006
Frequency: Bimonthly
Launched: 1970
Circulation: 110,000
Editor: Moìses Naìm
Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Art Director/Design: Travis Daub

Concept: A cover story entitled “The Return of Patriarchy” deserves cover art that reflects the mission of the article, while walking the fine line between being controversial and offensive. “We first considered an image of a ‘nuclear family’ circa 1955,” says art director Travis Daub. “But those images all felt tired and overused.” Daub and managing editor Will Dobson decided on a domineering playing card image of a king, to play up the more controversial aspects of the piece: Men and women returning to more traditional roles.

Production: Daub says the cover was relatively easy to create although finding the perfect king for inspiration was a bit challenging. “Face cards in every deck of cards appear to have a unique emotional state,” he says. “Sometimes the characters look worried, sometimes mad, sometimes scared. It took a lot of searching to find the right smug look for our king!” Graphic elements from several different sets of cards were combined and scanned, then outlined, customized and colorized in freehand to create the final king.

Our design panel says: “I’m partial to the whole graphic two dimensional look of this cover. Very clever use of the King card… Good image for the concept, good colors, I think the designer “nailed it”…This has all of the elements of the perfect cover: A strong graphic, powerfully sized and positioned, melding perfectly with a provocative cover line, sending a single clear message… It feels a little locked up somehow with the king head not really balancing the rest of the elements properly. The type and the logo seem somehow unrelated. . .If the two headlines are part of the same package, great! If they’re not, it’s a slightly comical juxtaposition.”

The Panel: Sharen Conway, Access Intelligence; Thoralf Tollefsen, Northstar Travel Media; Ina Saltz, Saltz Design; Trevett McCandliss, freelance designer; Stephanie Faucher, Computerworld.

Have a unique “cover” story? Contact Folio: assistant editor Linda Zebian at

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