Ozzie Profile: Fast Company
an end-goal of either provocation, engagement or both. But not too much, itâs a business magazine, after all. Nevertheless, according to Dean Markadakis, Fast Companyâs art director, the magazine has a luxury most other business publications donât: A readership thatâs particularly tuned in to pop culture. Hence, the September 2006 coverâfeaturing the eminently expressive comedian Lewis Blackâtook home a Gold Ozzie for Best Cover, consumer above 250,000 circulation.
âWe have a readership thatâs a little savvier with pop culture and entertainmentâmore so than other business magazines, and we felt he was a really good fit,â says Markadakis. âWe felt our readers would recognize him.â
Blackâs rant-infused comedy routines played well against the cover story on customer service. But the cover was more than a celebrity-tinged ploy for newsstand recognition. âWe never put someone on the cover who we donât have access to or speak to. Thereâs always a quote on the cover from that person and thereâs always a Q&A or an essay by that person inside the magazine,â says Markadakis.
Fast Company covers are designed for the reader first, says Markadakis, not according to what will sell the most copies. It helps if the content backs up the design: The magazine also pulled in Folio: awards for Photography (Bronze Ozzie), Full Issue (Silver Eddie), and Single Article (Gold Eddie). âA good cover never compensates for a weak magazine,â says Markadakis. âWe never do a cover just to sell a magazine. We do a cover thatâs right for that particular issue.â
A challenge, notes Markadakis, is maintaining creativity within consistent boundaries. Every cover features a personâusually without any props or environmental contextâbacked up by a glowing radial gradient. âWe usually like to focus on the subject and not have any distraction,â says Markadakis.
Judges comments: âFun and completely germane concept, beautifully executed. Nicely varied, easily visible type. A first-class job.â