Field & Stream
Ozzie Winner: Best Cover, Consumer Above 250,000 Circulation
It took a trophy fish to create a trophy cover for Field & Stream in 2012. Design director Sean Johnston not only celebrates the outdoorsman magazineâ€™s April cover, but also the team collaboration required to put it all together.
â€śThis was a team decision, it was something we controlled, and thatâ€™s the beauty in it,â€ť Johnson says.
The challenge was to create a package that delivered relevant content that could kick off one of the magazineâ€™s most important seasonsâ€”trout fishing. To do that, Johnston and his team put themselves in their readerâ€™s perspective, meaning they wanted to evoke the excitement of the upcoming fishing season and challenge readers to catch their own trophy fish. This required pulling numerous trophy fish out of â€śepic crates,â€ť photographing them, and deciding which one worked best.
Constructing a cover package with a new narrative was formidable task. â€śWe wanted something simple. A vibe that this could be in your den, we were trying to show off the biggest fish we could,â€ť says Johnston. And that they did, the cover features a 50â€ť Muskie backed by lodge-style wood paneling, and is definitely reminiscent of something you might see in sportsmanâ€™s den or man cave.
The April cover is somewhat of a departure from Field & Streamâ€™s typical appeal. â€śThis was a different approach, in the past they would have shown a guy holding a fish, but we wanted to kind of show the end result,â€ť says Johnston.