Issue: October 2009
Frequency: 10 Issues a Year
Launched: 1995
Publishing Company:
Grand View Media Group
Publisher: John P. Harris
Matt Migliore
Imaging Artist: Julie Flynn

When imaging artist Julie Flynn took a temporary art position with Grand View Media’s Flow Control last year—she’s now full-time—she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of creative freedom she had. “I came into an environment where the staff wanted to experiment with different concepts,” she told FOLIO:. “I can’t say enough how nice it is to work with a team that helps me to think outside the box.”

For the October 2009 issue, the main feature was coverage of the 2009 Innovation Awards, which recognized the year’s most compelling advances in fluid handling technology. Like every issue, the publisher and editor-in-chief wanted to come up with a concept that was both unique and eye-catching as opposed to simply placing the winner’s product on the cover.

“The publisher liked the idea of using monster movies as an inspiration,” Flynn says. “He also loves Halloween. All three of us talked on the phone and, as a result, the concept became an image of a scientist working in a lab on his [fluid handling] technology.”

Making it “Realistic”

The image of the mad scientist was found in iPhoto and Flynn made it vector using Photoshop in order to “make it look more realistic.” She also took the shade of green used in the magazine’s logo as the main color for the entire cover and used fonts that were similar to those used in comic books. “The image was originally blue, but we thought green would work better with the concept,” she says. “And then we wanted the cover to pop, so we added in some yellow.”

And to further tie in the awards program into the cover, the shelves in the back of the lab were filled with bottles that are shaped like actual products chosen as Innovation Awards runners-up. The awards logo was also worked into the cover via the reflection on the mad scientist’s goggles and at the bottom of the beaker he’s holding.


“It’s got some illustration on the cover, so that’s a plus for me. The first thing that I noticed is the amount of small caps they’re using. Seems a little overkill. The design is very top heavy, with so much happening at the top and all the open space at the bottom. The feature headline could have been pulled down to uncover more of the illustration and balance things out a bit more. Maybe they needed mailing label space down there? I like the color palette and the illustration okay, but that repeating “awards winner” logo in the flask and goggles is just making things busier than needed. That horror movie font should have been custom kerned a bit, there is a lot of open and awkward gaps between letters, especially in the smaller headlines. I like the concept and the fun they had with the type, but it could have been executed better.”

Brian Taylor | Design Director | National Defense Magazine

"I think it is a humorous idea to have the mad scientist and horror movie typography, but I think both could have been better executed. The reflection in the glasses should be backwards and upside down. I think the neck of the beaker would benefit by being elongated, so it would look cleaner by pulling the awards logo away from the main headline and allowing it to be unobscured by the hand. It has quite a few elements that are unnecessary—the bar, rule around the type and overlap—because it doesn’t feel separate from the rest of the cover."

Andrew Skwish | Illustrator

Have a unique “cover” story? Contact senior editor
Chandra Johnson-Greene at


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