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 magazine‚Äôs April cover, but also the team collaboration required to put it all together.
‚ÄúThis was a team decision, it was something we controlled, and that‚Äôs the beauty in it,‚ÄĚ Johnson says.
The challenge was to create a package that delivered relevant content that could kick off one of the magazine‚Äôs most important seasons‚ÄĒtrout fishing. To do that, Johnston and his team put themselves in their reader‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúepic crates,‚ÄĚ photographing them, and deciding which one worked best.
Constructing a cover package with a new narrative was formidable task. ‚ÄúWe wanted something simple. A vibe that this could be in your den, we were trying to show off the biggest fish we could,‚ÄĚ says Johnston. And that they did, the cover features a 50‚ÄĚ Muskie backed by lodge-style wood paneling, and is definitely reminiscent of something you might see in sportsman‚Äôs den or man cave.
The April cover is somewhat of a departure from Field & Stream‚Äôs typical appeal. ‚ÄúThis 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,‚ÄĚ says Johnston.