Face Up: Backstage
Issue: February 14
Circulation: Under 25,000
Launched: 1960; Re-launched in 2012
Publishing Company: Backstage LLC
Senior Art Director: Cristela Tschumy
Executive Editor: Daniel Holloway
For more than 53 years, Backstage has been one of the most trusted places for actors to find career advice and casting information. This b-to-b title is used by performers to get the information they need to succeed in the entertainment businessâbut in early February the title wanted to feature something a little more delicate instead of business as usual.
âOur editor came up with the idea of shooting high-profile couples,â says senior art director Cristela Tschumy. âThe couple on the cover was down to do it. This was my first conceptual cover and I was in the middle of transitioning from our previous art director. While working on this cover, I also had to learn the process.â
Tschumy had to make the quick transition to producing for a weekly magazineâthe art director had previously worked at a monthly title before joining the Backstage team.
âThe main challenge was making sure it looked right because this was my first cover so I was unsure of the process of how to put it together on the production side,â she says. âOur photographer came up with the background for the photo shootâthe stripes in the background was his little touch. For the typographic element, I really wanted to play off of the whole romance novel idea. I wanted really pretty script and I couldnât find it so I hand drew it. I practiced a few times and brought it in for our illustrator to trace it. In Photoshop we put on the finishing touches of the inner shadows.â
âThe Backstage cover accomplishes an immediate message of Valentineâs-related content. The stripes, main font choice, wardrobe and pose encourage a sophisticated, yet fun, spin on the emotions that pink invokes. The slight lean of the couple complements the type and the overlap creates a nice package.
âThe subjects command your attention, but are maybe too near the bottom corner exit of the page. The type is somewhat camouflaged and could have been bigger with more contrast for page balance and newsstand purposes, especially the âPerformers...â line, which I wasnât initially sure went with the image.
âTo a man, the cover is pleasing, and Iâd imagine many women couldnât pass it by unnoticed.â
Matthew Stallbaumer, Assistant Group Art Director, Ogden Publications
âI like the coupleâs expressionsâvery sweet and sincere. Looks like a love story. The colors instantly read as a Valentineâs issue. I like the idea of the main cover line running behind the couple.
âThe large cover line is easy to see, but the smaller lines are very difficult to read. The opacity of the masthead, in combination with its monochromatic scheme, makes it blend into the background. With so many secondary cover lines, it would be nice to have more of a size range.
âOverall, a very sweet and lighthearted coverâjust wish more attention had been paid to the secondary cover lines.â
Cassidy Zobl, Art Director, Hour Detroit
âThe typography in the center is very nice and well done, but Iâm not terribly excited by this cover. The photograph of the couple seems a little stiff and isnât that interesting. But the bold pink background and vertical stripes are attractive, however, and would catch my eye on a newsstand.â
Jim Cooke, Art Director for Gawker, Deadspin and Jezebel
Have a unique âcoverâ story? Contact associate editor T.J. Raphael at email@example.com.