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Face Up: Home Channel News

Linda Zebian By

This month: Home Channel News

Concept: To illustrate cover subject Orgill reaching $1 billion in sales, Home Channel News art director Steven Dixon wanted to avoid clichés like a company storefront or an executive headshot. “I wanted to keep the cover relevant to the industry without being limited to the same overused artwork and concepts,” says Dixon. Nothing seemed more fitting than a hammer and nails. “One billion in sales speaks for itself,” says Dixon. “We just helped it speak a little more loudly.”

Production: “We were faced with limited resources of supplied art, so we needed a concept that I could execute on a budget, and within a week,” says Dixon, who used both rendered elements and royalty-free art to create the cover. After the concept was imagined, the team sat down to discuss which of the characters in the coverline would be represented as nails. At first, Dixon envisioned the number one as a nail but found it was difficult to read the nail as a number, so he then replaced the letters “L” in billions.

Our design panel says: “I like the direct connection between the coverline and the image, and the alignment of the lines with the hammer head; also the “clever” use of the nails as letterforms; this effect is often attempted but seldom well-done; here, it works! … This concept could create a dynamic metaphor, but the image should go further. Showing movement blur in the hammer and maybe using another, larger nail for the 1 in $1 billion might have worked more drama into the concept … Great photo and concept, however the execution is lacking impact. Beveled treatment of the “1 Billion” looks dated (or like someone just learned how to use a new filter in PhotoShop). Drop shadows on main sell lines are unnecessary.”

The Panel: Ina Saltz, Saltz Design; Robert Sugar, AURAS Design; Iris Stein, Scuba Diving Magazine.

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

Linda Zebian By

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