Thursday, March 28, 2013
The April issue of Cottage Life looks like a winner!

Cottage Life covers are always strong, but this one has a particularly good vibe, and is extremely timely, given all the negative press in the newspapers these days about the housing market.

The cover feature taps into that vein of greed and fear, and offers a compelling Value Proposition.

The 2013 Real Estate Issue does everything right:

  • Great use of skybar area to shout out the main thrust of this issue
  • Big, bold, and assertive type on main sell line
  • Benefit-Oriented main sell line…simple and direct
  • Additional hooks have strong appeal to target audience and aspirationals
  • Nice starburst button
  • Fabulous and classic cottage image

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PMB has just released the 2013 Topline report.

Canada’s History scored the largest readers per copy at 23 readers per copy of all magazine measured by PMB, delivering a total audience of 874,000

Outdoor Canada came in at 22.5 readers per copy, delivering an audience of 1,960,000

Hockey News came in at 22.3 readers per copy, delivering an audience of 1,967,000

People Weekly came in at 21.7 readers per copy, delivering an audience of 3,324,000

Canadian Geographic came in at 19.2% per copy, delivering an audience of 3,644,000

Here’s what Deborah Morrison, publisher of Canada’s History and president of Magazines Canada had to say: 

“The Spring data from PMB is encouraging on a number of fronts. It shows that Canadians are still very committed to their magazines generally, so from an industry perspective this is good news. For Canada’s History to top the list for readers per copy tells me that it’s Canadian stories they want to read about. We’re anxious to see the detailed demographic information because if trends from the Fall continue, most of that growth is coming from readers 30-45, blowing away the myth that only older people are interested in magazines and/or Canadian history. “

Monday, March 25, 2013
The May 2013 issue of Azure is stunning and, I predict, will be a big seller. 

Creative director Karen Simpson really created a winner that is artistically arresting and pushes all the right buttons when it comes to selling. 

It helps that the editorial team focused in on a timely subject that they can speak with great authority about...subject matter indeed matters here.

The image is warm, bright, energetic, and creates an illusion of width. It’s up-market, on trend, and sophisticated.

  • Great use of the cover real estate for the main sell line
  • Great use of colour to help the eye travel down the page
  • Super starburst
  • Benefits abound
  • Clean and uncluttered

Here’s what editor Catherine Osborne had to say about this issue:

Azure attracts both professionals and general readers who have a keen interest in architecture and design, so we look for cover images that appeal to both. It can be hard at times, but this particular house hits both notes. It’s contemporary but it also has a human scale that’s immediately familiar. You can imagine living there. I really like that Karen kept things very clean and inviting. The colours — limey green, yellowy orange and purple (aubergine!) — really pop. 'Go green' was the slogan everyone was using five years ago. But sustainability has advanced so much since then...buildings can now generate more energy than they use and passive cooling and heating systems are a regular part of architectural design. We went with 'Newest Green' to make those evolutionary changes as clear as possible...that we’re talking about the next generation of green.”

And here is what creative director Karen Simpson said:

“This cover design works well because it is strong, simple, direct and warm. A clear visual hierarchy moves your eye from the yellow circle graphic (looks like the ’sun’) to the main cover line (top left position) and down to the figure bathed in warm light walking to greet you. The overall mood is clean, fresh and relaxed. There seems to be a glow in the sky created by the colours on the type, the yellow circle ’sun’ and the warm lighting in the walkway.”

 Click to enlarge image:

Thursday, March 21, 2013
First published in 1989, Homes and Cottages has had several different name and design tweeks over the years, but until now has never undergone a complete re-design.

Refreshing the brand in this case yielded a very nice result.

According to publisher Steven Griffin, the re-design had several goals:

  • Produce a higher-end, more sophisticated-looking product for the consumer marketplace
  • Attract more readers
  • Attract more advertisers

However, the publication was clear that it did not want to be confused with a decorating magazine. Rather, the goal was to still to focus on ”the nuts and bolts functional approach of the editorial content,” endeavouring to make it the best Canadian renovation and building magazine in the marketplace.

The re-design process started with a focus group. “The most challenging part of the re-design was that as a split-run magazine with both a trade and consumer version, there are many audiences. Every feature article appears in both versions, but the content had to be presented to each group in different yet relevant ways,” said Griffin. “By containing the image area on the cover to a square, we are now less dependent on finding a vertical shot.”

“Overall we set out to make the book more consumer friendly without alienating the trade group, builders, architects, designers, etc. The resulting update looks elegant without being stuffy or trendy. The increased trim size (changed to a wider format) provides a unique size and lends itself to greater image selection.”

The re-design was handled by K9 Design Co.

New Look. 

Old Look:

Thursday, March 21, 2013
The March 2012 issue of Avenue Calgary (its 9th annual Food Issue) won gold at the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association annual Excellence Awards Gala.  It was the second year in a row that Avenue Calgary took home this honour.

Published by Redpoint Media and Marketing Solutions, the cover featured a fabulous foldout cover.

“We are so proud of our amazing creative team. They worked incredibly hard on this shoot, and we are thankful for the recognition from AMPA,” said RedPoint’s president Pete Graves.

“We want to share this award with Avenue’s wonderful and loyal readers and thank them for their support. We had never done a cover like this before, but we went for it and the finished product was exactly what we wanted,” added RedPoint’s creative director Anders Knudsen.

Click on image to enlarge.

About Me
Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock is the the creator of Bullock has worked as circulation director for both consumer and B2B magazines including Toronto Life and FASHION. If you have a great cover to share, please send all submissions to 

Note to readers: some of Bullock's posts may refer to his clients.
Most Recent Blog Comment
Kelly says:
Any news on how it performed on newsstands?...
Blog Archive
2017 (75)
2016 (43)
2015 (86)
2014 (59)
2013 (101)
2012 (81)
2011 (75)
2010 (53)