By Dylan Stableford
Issue: September 2005
Publisher: Mark Sullivan
Graphic Designer: Aaron Draplin
Concept: Snowboarders might come off as an irie, laid-back bunch, at least away from the mountain. But when it comes to picking a cover, it’s “a knock-down, drag-out battle,” says Snowboard publisher Mark Sullivan. “I think we must have debated for 15 hours on this one.” For designer Aaron Draplin such deliberation was beginning to fog up his flat screen. “The ﾑstaff’ was huddled over my shoulder the entire time, breathing down my neck. Literally,” says Draplin. “Six dudes, overseeing every pixel.” For the first issue of its second season, Sullivan wanted a clean look and virtually no cover lines. (Instead, they “imbedded” a collage of type-treated quips and inspirational phrases using a Spot U.V. design.) Draplin suggested overlaying the issue’s pink logo with the snow-covered branches, and blurring it to haze overlooking the image of a lone, masked rider busting through;a risk for any magazine, particularly one in the throws of brand-building. Says Sullivan: “Most people found that element shocking;and that is a good thing.”
Production: The Snowboard dudes produced seven mock-ups, and despite Draplin’s contention that the process was one of “excruciating misery,” the actual design took about 4 hours. “We’ve had the ﾑcover rules’ pounded into our heads with previous jobs,” says Draplin. “Our independence allows us to think a little bit differently.”
The Panel: Holland Utley, Glamour; Bill Bridgeforth, Beckett; Steven Brower, SBDesign; Steve Traynor, CSO; Iris A. Stein, AD, Scuba Diving; Daniel Stark, Stark Design; Chuck Green, Ideabook, Don Lamson, Simple Scrapbooks.