Look Grandma! No Cover Lines!
Designers from Rolling Stone to Eldr revert to minimalism.
Magazine cover design is cyclical. When every magazine is trying to be innovative‚ÄĒbe it E-ink or loaded with cover lines and type, as Esquire has done‚ÄĒthere‚Äôs always an urge to move in the opposite direction. The latest (but not new) trend in cover design? Minimalism. Specifically, no cover lines.
It‚Äôs a route normally reserved for political figures or prominent global personalities. Time magazine‚Äôs famous 1993 cover shot of Bill Clinton might be the most prominent example, but Rolling Stone has also dabbled in the art of no cover lines with its July Obama cover and its iconic 1981 Lennon-Ono cover.
Eldr, the magazine that ‚Äúcelebrates aging,‚ÄĚ recently published its one year anniversary issue touting ‚Äúno cover lines.‚ÄĚ
After experimenting with a number of cover line combinations, Eldr editor in chief Dave Bunnell decided to ‚Äúthrow caution to the wind and let the photo‚ÄĒof three female skydivers aged 78, 73, and 70‚ÄĒstand on its own. Readers I tested this on all loved it and a couple even said it ‚Äėprovoked‚Äô them to open the magazine,‚ÄĚ he wrote in an email to FOLIO:.
But wait. The Eldr cover actually does have cover lines, however unobtrusive. Bunnell wrote that they ‚Äúadd some punch.‚ÄĚ
For magazines dependent on newsstand revenue, of course, going ‚Äúnude‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒwithout any discernable points of entry‚ÄĒisn‚Äôt always a viable option.
‚ÄúNewsstand to us is a very minor part of our circulation strategy,‚ÄĚ Bunnell wrote. ‚ÄúSo I decided it was worth the risk."
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