This Month: Discover

Issue: Febuary 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Launched: October 1980
Editor: Corey Powell
Publisher: Discover Media
Creative Director: Emiliano Neri

When Discover creative director Emiliano Neri went to the Brooklyn Museum to see Ron Meuck’s sculpture titled “Big Man,” he was inspired to put an image of the art on his February cover. As it turns out, the cover art does not correlate to any particular story from the issue. “My approach to cover visuals and pretty much every single page of the magazine is to find a compelling image that will grab your attention,” says Neri. “It doesn’t really have to go with the article inside.”

Neri then contacted Meuck himself, who sent a photograph of the sculpture. The photograph was cropped so Neri and his team had to recreate the floor in the foreground. To do this Neri went to a friend’s house who had a similar floor and shot it with the same angle and light to match the original floor. “It’s the perceptions that people have that make a cover speak to them,” says Neri. “This image can give you so many emotions—some people think it’s a real man, and some people find it very offensive to have a man naked on a cover. Some think it’s a fat guy and some, like me, think it’s a beautiful piece of art.”

“This is a very disturbing image. Since no caption is provided and he is surrounded by seven cover blurbs, with relatively equal emphasis, we are left to discern for ourselves which story he illustrates. The next question is: If this subject were important enough to be illustrated on the cover why didn’t it also deserve top billing?  If the measure of success is to stand out on the newsstand, this cover succeeds. But do people want to read about fat or look at it displayed on their coffee table?”
—Bryan Canniff, Bryan Canniff Designs

“The cover image is jarring, drawing you in with the pure unexpectedness of it. It’s certainly not attractive, but you can’t ignore it.

I think the pink title goes along well with the image. The pink color plays off of the flesh tones, and it holds up well against a dominant image.”
-Robert Siel, Sumner Communications

“Covers like this one make a designer wonder whether it’s enough to have an image that’s cool and arresting or if you really need to have a photo that connects to content. Even though this image doesn’t really have much to do with any of the stories I think it makes a successful cover—it stopped me when I saw it.”
-Ina Saltz, Saltz Design