This Month: ELDR

Issue: Winter
Frequency: Quarterly
Circulation: 75,000
Editor: David Bunnell
Publishing Company: ELDR
Designer: Katharina Schultz

In case you had your doubts: “Those are really her legs. That is really her body,” says ELDR designer Katharina Schultz.

The woman on the cover of year-old ELDR’s second issue is 73, “doing a pose most 25-year-olds can’t do,” according to ELDR editor-in-chief David Bunnell. The image is a metaphor for “brain fitness,” he says, a point of interest for their readership of men and women over 60. In addition to a general demographic concern, the cover is tied to an 8-page feature in the issue called “Work Out Your Brain.” The story draws on six other images of the same woman, from the same shoot—one in which she bounces on a trampoline while playing with a Rubik’s Cube, and another of her playing chess in a different yoga pose.

The team chose this from the six because it left room for a lot of cover lines. “We had to use an image that would allow us to do that because we’re new,” says Bunnell. “People are not familiar with us yet.”

Similarly, this model was chosen because she looks “real,” says Bunnell. “We don’t want to be confused with AARP. Typically, they put a celebrity on the cover who’s maybe in their fifties, but looks younger from plastic surgery or too much makeup. We’re about real people. We’re not patronizing older people.”

Schultz says the photo needed very little work—just a little clean-up of a glare at the fold, caused by the orange backdrop. For her, the image—like the magazine’s typography and color scheme—reflects the main goal of the title: “To show the older generation as hip and progressive.”

“The main photo image feels terribly forced. From the expression on the woman’s face to the bird book in her hand, it doesn’t seem natural at all. There must be a clearer, smarter way to convey working your brain out. As for all the color type and varied weights, it seems to be trying too hard to be youthful and, in the attempt, it just creates clutter. There is no clear point of entry for my eye. It all appears to be a bit random. ”
-Andrew Swish, Illustrator

“There is a real attempt to get a youthful feel with the design, but it seems to be a case of a viable concept gone astray. The space between the logo and the model’s head is overpowering. The whole cover might work if that negative space was maintained throughout the layout, but with the overcrowding of type everywhere else, there is no compositional balance. Also, the prominence of the bird book is confusing.”
-Jennifer Perez, Perez Design

“A model in pajamas doing yoga and reading a book says to me that the team was trying too hard to say too much and, in turn, came up with a very literal, ridiculous, condescending shot. The cover lines are also very light and on the edge of playing down to their readership.”
-Kelly McMurray, Creative Director, 2communiqué