Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.32.14 AMMother Jones

Issue: Sept/Oct

Editor: Clara Jeffery

Creative Director: Ivylise Simones

Publishing Company: Foundation for National Progress

Circ: 215,199

The general election is still over a year away, but it’s already impossible to escape its pageantry. So far, most of the headlines have been focused on Republican candidates, but that wasn’t the case for the left-leaning Mother Jones in its September-October issue.

The cover is relatively amusing at first glance. But look deeper and it becomes much more thought provoking. While many potential voters are allegedly “feeling the Bern,” Mother Jones wanted to contextualize the implications of what is now considered a more legitimate candidacy.

“We originally wanted to go really straightforward with this,” says creative director, Ivylise Simones. “The current hype around Bernie Sanders in the media was starting to grow, so my main objective was to draw curiosity, and not give away too much.”

Her first concept was a nod to vintage campaign materials with bold colors
and only a headline that read “Bernie?!” However, that evolved into the final version—“Mount Bernie Rushmore,” as she refers to it.

Simones also did her homework. Sanders has used “Bernie!” as his campaign tagline since his first mayoral run in the 1970s. Simones combed through years of campaign materials and recognized that she needed to play up his enthusiastic messaging. And by adding the question mark it adds more depth to the editorial feature, but keeps it “simple and sweet,” she says.

Designer's Comments:

When looking at the color palette, you could say the red type on the blue background vibrates and hurts your eyes, but I think it’s very clever. The red and blue represents two different political parties and their clashing of points of view.

The image of Sanders with pursed lips, gazing off to the side might suggest he’s not ready to be President. Or is it a question of whether or not we ready for him to be President?

I really like this cover and wouldn’t have done anything differently. I like that it made me think.

- Erin Douglas / Art Director / Women’s Running/Competitor Group

Screaming ‘BERNIE?!’ in huge red type is about as broad as Bernie is and it makes for a dramatic cover that can’t be denied.

Using Mt. Rushmore as a motif is a great idea, full of hyperbole and promise, but its execution is too rough for me. I would have used an illustration that blended his image more realistically and kept the facial expressions similar, rather than his sideways glance.

The underline also falls a bit flat for my liking. It has all the impact it needs, but lacks finessing or some kind of integration into the overall layout.

- Matt Strelecki / Creative Director / Meredith Agrimedia