Magazine Power In One, Two, Three Mr. Magazine™ Musings…

January 27, 2015

The Power of the Black Cover

The Advocate-21

Oklahoma Today-20


I picked up three magazines recently that I love to follow and read on a regular basis: Essence, The Advocate and Oklahoma Today. The content of these magazines is always stellar and the designs stunning, but my attention this time around was seized by more than the usual attributes these great titles bring to the table. This time I noticed that the covers were all done in black; spectacularly simplistic black.

In addition to the striking approach in design of these covers, the magazines all shared another common denominator that couldn’t be denied: a relevant and important message to their readers.

For Essence and Oklahoma Today, the message is delivered via special issues, while The Advocate dons its black tails for its February/March edition, but whether special or frequency, the impact and power of the print covers is unmistakable. All three grab the customer from the confines of the newsstand, wrestle him or her down, and show the reader the necessity of buying that issue. The dynamic consequences of covers in print emerge in the manifestation of commanded respect of the magazine and its vital information and a deep and abiding satisfaction for the reader. The special message the cover announces not only resonates with the audience, but with media as a whole and does it unlike any other platform out there.

Long live the power of the magazine cover!

“Make It” a Magazine, Please

Make It Vintage-31

Make It Patchwork-29

Make It Over-28

Make it Organized-30

It seems lately there is a common thread weaving its way through some of the titles of new magazines. And with this thread, I may have discovered the secret to the successful naming of a multitude of newborn ink on paper. If so, the ramifications could impact the entire publishing industry. And maybe even Mr. Magazine™ might try his hand at putting out a new title; maybe.

It would appear that two words are all it takes to conceptualize a new magazine in today’s media world “Make It.”

Make It Over
Make It Vintage
Make It Patchwork
Make It Organized…just to name a few of the more recent titles.

The secret formula works like this: Verb+Subject+whatever-your-mind-can-conjure-up. Here are some ideas I’ve been playing with:

Make It Real
Make It Big
Make It Print
Make It Necessary
Make It Relevant
Make It Audience First…OK – it’s apparent Mr. Magazine™ should quickly add the ™ mark to those titles before some folks snatch them for their own use.

Now, I’m not saying the “Make It” trend is a bad thing, just an idea that has suddenly become like a revolving door with many different scenarios parading in and out of it. Remember the phrase discretion is the better part of valor?

Make It Carefully, please!

Will Facebook have an 80th Birthday?


The Backwoodsman-2



Easy Riders-1

Country Woman-5

Big City Rythm & Blues-7

Alternative Press-4

Alter Press-3

Longevity is something we’re all looking for; longevity plus good health. How many of us do not want to last for 100 years as long as we can stay in fantastic health?

Magazines are no exception. And there are some out there who have the staying power and stamina of a redwood. Here are some celebratory anniversary issues:

Alternative Press – 30th anniversary
Big City Rhythm & Blues – 20th anniversary
Country Woman – 45th anniversary
Easy Riders – 500th issue
Savannah – 25th anniversary
Interview – 45th anniversary
The Backwoodsman – 35th anniversary
Yankee Magazine – 80th anniversary

In media, magazines definitely have proven themselves when it comes to their staying power; the above titles are testament to that. No other medium can tout an 80th anniversary anything that I know of. No television show, radio program or website, for that matter. Trying to imagine the Internet having anything that remotely outlasts the latest edition of Good Housekeeping is very difficult.

Will Facebook have an 80th anniversary? Or Snapchat? Or Instagram? Or any other platform’s contribution to media? Mr. Magazine™ is going out on a limb here and saying: highly doubtful.

So, let’s celebrate the durability and endurance of these wonderfully-aged titles, because while they do have a few years on them, their content and designs are timeless.

Until the next Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

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