Good clutter vs. Bad clutterMay 12, 2007
So what is the formula for good cover design? Well guess what, there is no such thing regardless what some may tell you. The variables are way too many and what makes one issue sells more than the other depends on the many variables that will need more than this space to list. However, one variable I know will work every time is that of repetition. The number one selling magazine on the newsstand per issue Cosmopolitan has been doing it for over 40 years. Use cover lines, with same themes in the same location. Men’s Health is doing the same. Some may say those two magazines are cluttered with cover lines (by the way, I call them sell lines), and I say but those cluttered covers sell magazines. We are in the business of designing covers to hang on a museum wall, we are in the business of selling magazines. However, if you want to be cluttered, you need to do so in all the right places. The upper left-hand corner is the most important real estate on a magazine cover… you ignore it and buyers will ignore you. Hip Hop Weekly uses the cluttered approach on its cover in all the wrong places… compare those three covers and judge for yourself…none will win an award for design, but two out of three will sell very well on the newsstand. You want to bet which two? Drop me a note.