Judge By Its Cover

I’m a huge fan of print media. There’s an elegance to it that you can’t find in TV or the Internet and a tangibility that digital media lacks. If I could, I would jump headfirst into a career in print. In a heartbeat.

Magazines were my first love. Newspapers are cool but there’s a certain design freedom you get in a magazine spread than you would in a newspaper layout. Newspapers focus on news, but with magazines, there’s a certain concentration on the art – and how’s it laid out.

Magazine covers always intrigued me. It’s interesting how designers find that perfect blend with finding one strong dominant image and managing to fit all that text around it perfectly, so that it doesn’t clutter the page.

Today, we examine three major magazines (which happen to be some of my favorite reads).


The April 2012 issue of Game Informer,

Photo Courtesy: www.gameinformer.com/

the January 2012 Esquire,

Photo Courtesy: www.esquire.com/

and the March 2012 Glamour.

Just look at the intensity of these cover images. The subjects are all in the center, directing all energy towards the viewer. Game Informer even uses a full spread – both front and back page, to immerse its audience into the setting of Assassin’s Creed 3, where we see the game’s protagonist Conner Kenway and his environment – Colonial America in the midst of revolution in the dead of winter. Esquire incorporates George Clooney sitting on what seems to be steps surrounded by waves of absolutely captivating typography. Glamour features one Amanda Seyfried seemingly primping in the bathroom.

Each cover is compelling in its own way, but in all honestly, Game Informer’s lack of cover lines and immersion of the viewer into the scene with Kenway, it speaks volumes despite the lack of text, especially because it extends to the back cover. In a sense, it tells a story, something the other covers didn’t seem to do. The flag even mutes itself in the background to draw more attention to the art. Since Game Informer features upcoming games and typically doesn’t use cover lines anyway, the coverage of the games plus the art is enough to get their readers hooked.

Like I said, Game Informer typically doesn’t use cover lines, but Glamour utilized six and Esquire used about three, but used a fascinating use of typography to compensate. Glamour’s use of color and text in the cover lines was great, but Esquire did a great job with the use of ribbon-like around Clooney’s figure and the text engrained on the steps he’s sitting on. Unlike Glamour, Esquire chose to incorporate the covers lines and text into the dominant image, not try to separate the two.

I will say this for Glamour, they did a great job of drawing attention to their brand – their name. They made sure that their flag was prominent on the page, doing so with size and color. Taking a color sample right out of the hairdryer Ms. Seyfried was holding, which stand bright and bold in front of the muted neutral background and stretching out the font to extend to the width of the page, the text stands out so that the audience knows exactly what its reading.

My favorite cover though, would be a toss up between Game Informer and Esquire. Though I am in love with Esquire’s use of typography and incorporation of it into the image itself, Game Informer does the opposite but still manages to grasp the attention of the viewer in a similarly powerful way.


What’s in a Week?

Being a Virginia Beach native, I like to take pride in (most) things that come from home. The Virginian Pilot is no exception – it’s a great paper with great design. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. After attending the Associated Collegiate Press conference in Seattle this past week, I learned that many prestigious designers thought so too. Hearing them boast about how good the designs were for my hometown newspaper? That was pretty mind blowing. Read the rest of this entry »


The Stick Shift Gets Sexy

My car’s name is “Daisy”. “Ms. Daisy,” if you want to get fancy. I know a guy who called his car, “Chelsea,” and have a friend who drives “Tricia.” More often than not, you meet anyone who takes pride in the car they drive, they’ve got some kind of pet name to go with it. I had always wondered why people, mostly men, named their cars after women. It wasn’t until I watched a particular ad in this year’s Super Bowl that a light bulb went off over my head. Read the rest of this entry »

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Competition in the Commonwealth

Most days, I like to consider myself a morning person, waking up just a few hours earlier just to take my time in getting ready for the day, enjoying a few sips of coffee and casually flipping through the newspaper before I walk out the front door and deal with the chaos of the outside world. I telling you, to me, there are few things that are more relaxing than sitting down to a cup of coffee and a good daily newspaper. And especially on those early mornings, newspapers need to get your attention.

Let’s look at a few local newspapers and examine their front page appeal. After all, no one wants to sit down with a bland newspaper before even starting their day, you’d want to go back to sleep, you’d be so bored.  Read the rest of this entry »


Oh, page design.

How I wish to be the Darth Vader to Halliday’s Emperor Palpatine.


Introductions and Instant Messages

Hello world! Gabby Pedro, here. And I feel like I could describe my world as a whirlwind of organized chaos. But then again, at twenty, who couldn’t?

This strange little world I live in, which, at the moment, revolves around the incredibly small town of Farmville, Virginia, where I go to school, is currently gearing up for the last semester of the school year. I’m a semester away from my senior year, and the rest of my life seems to be speeding towards me, leaving me feeling like a deer in headlights. Luckily, thanks to resolutions of the New Year and personal growth, I feel ready enough to go for it and dive right into what this semester holds for me. Aside from my classes in mass media communications (my major) and graphic design (one of my two minors), I’ll be juggling the remnants of a social life, a part-time job at a frozen yogurt bar, and a position I am very proud to hold with the school newspaper, The Rotunda, as assistant layout editor. My job as layout editor is something that I love doing and hope to one day, turn into a viable career. Read the rest of this entry »

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