In today's installment of #SundayStories
- why do all magazine covers look similar? 👩👩👩
It's no great secret that, most of the time, magazine covers hold to a very strict, time tested formula which is proven to sell with consumers. While sales may be up, the down side is that we are left with basically the same format for a cover image, month after month, for most magazines. Consumer psychology comes into play when dictating what can and can't appear on a cover. Firstly, the model nearly always has to connect with the reader through direct eye contact to draw them in. That means looking squarely at the camera and so you will rarely see a cover model looking off to the side of away from camera. Cover stars are also most often smiling, which is another way of inviting a potential reader to pull the magazine from the stand and buy it - You'll hardly ever see a cover star exuding any emotion other than pure joy on a magazine. Another "rule" of covers is that in order to maximize the recognizability of the cover star and sell that magazine you'll most often only see the cover subject from the waist up (or even just their face) making a full body cover far more rare. For the same reason black and white covers are also less likely than full color, as are covers with complex backgrounds.
Over my career I've done a few hundred covers and 99% of the time I've had very little say regarding what image makes it to print. For this #VogueKorea
cover I shot a few years back, I was personally asked which image of the hundreds we shot I'd like to see on the cover. I picked one that broke all the rules - I was looking off camera, I was pictured full body and I was in black and white. According to the laws of advertising this was, in theory, a bad cover... but I loved it. I thought it was an interesting pose and photo and I was so proud to see it actually published. Often I think we in fashion can rely to much on formula, forgetting that our industry should be about trying something new and more inventive. Are you stuck in a rut? Go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is.