Thursday, October 29, 2015
If you haven’t seen the October 2015 issue of Esquire, rush out to newsstands and grab a copy before you miss out.

This issue should be must reading for any publisher, editor, art director, advertising director or circulation manager, as it documents the history of American culture, as seen through the pages of Esquire magazine.

The 212 page issue is packed with insights into the creative process.

And if you ever wondered if covers are taken extremely seriously by Esquire, this issue makes it clear that creating fantastic covers is central to the Esquire brand and identity.

In fact, the October 2015 cover is a huge five-page gatefold (sponsored by Samsung…they get it) that showcases 20+ classic covers from the Esquire archive.

On page 38 you’ll find the very first cover of Esquire, from Autumn 1933an issue that had articles by Ernest Hemmingway, John Dos Passos, and Dashiell Hammett…quite the editorial line-up.

On page 40 you’ll find A Note From the Editor, David Granger, that announces the launch of a new digital archive, Esquire Classic, that has every issue, every article, every cover, every ad ever produced by Esquire.

On page 68 you’ll find four images from some of Esquire’s famous “cover-up” covers, featuring semi-nude models who have been covered in artistically interesting ways.

On page 77 you will find a brief expose on the classic Angie Dickinson cover from March 1966, which led to a re-creation for the famous Britney Spears cover in November 2003.

On page 108 you’ll learn about Carl Fischer (now 91 years old), the photographer who collaborated with editor George Lois, on 60 iconic covers from 1963 to 1972.  It’s a fascinating expose on the creative process.  It features stories about the Muhammad Ali cover (April 1968), the Campbell Soup cover (May 1969), the Sonny Liston cover (Dec 1963), The Chicago Democratic convention cover (Nov 1968) and the Lt. Calley cover (Nov 1970).

On page 134 you’ll find an article on covers featuring JFK…no one has appeared on more Esquire covers!

On page 180 you’ll find two covers featuring sex symbols shaving… Marilyn Monroe March 1965, and Jessica Simpson May 2008…which is clearly sponsored by The Art of Shaving, who has an adjacent gatefold ad…smart!

And sprinkled throughout you’ll find other covers with briefs on why they mattered.

This issue demonstrates the importance of magazines, and why covers matter.  Don’t miss it.


Thursday, October 29, 2015
The November 2015 cover for National Geographic is a winner.  It’s a classic example of the “less-is-more” school of cover design.

The careful layering of the globe over the logo, and over the edges of their yellow border box, and subtle shadowing really make this cover pop.

Simple, but powerful image + Bold type treatment + Timely Editorial Subject Matter = Winner!

In case you were wondering if National Geographic takes cover creation seriously, editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg uses her From The Editor page to show us four completely different covers that were created, but ultimately rejected.  I think you will agree, that they made the right choice.


Thursday, October 22, 2015
The Dec/Jan 2016 issue of Canada’s History is set to hit newsstands on November 21, 2015.  This time slot almost always generates the best sales in any given year.

The Press run for this issue is a new historic high of nearly 20,000 copies. (Special thanks to Ron Sellwood & the CTC team).

Look for special promotions at Chapters/Indigo, Wal Mart and Presse Commerce.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The question a lot of circulators and publishers ponder this time of year is whether or not to raise cover price.

Here’s a case study you may wish to consider.

Outdoor Canada produces a fabulous Hunting Special (SIP) each year. The cover designs are always first class.  In 2014, they raised the cover price from $6.95 to $7.99, an increase of $1.04 or a 15% increase in the retail price.

So, how did that play out?
  • In 2012, the Hunting Special sold 19,145 copies at $6.95, for a total gross revenue of $133,058.  (Personally, I like this cover the best).
  • In 2013, the Hunting Special sold 18,662 copies at $6.95, for a total gross revenue of $129,700. That was a variance of just 483 copies or 2.5%. Still a great performance.
  • In 2014, the Hunting Special raised the cover price to $7.99, and sold 17,676 copies.  That’s down 986 copies or 5.3%.  However, gross revenue was $141,231, for a revenue gain of $11,531 or 9%.
Clearly, this trusted brand still has a loyal following, who appreciate the quality of the magazine, and are prepared to pay for it!

Covers in sequence (2012, 2013, 2014 and the new 2015 edition, which went on sale August 24th 2015):

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The latest in our series of SIP’s is set to hit newsstands on November 2, 2015, just in time for Remembrance Day.

Art Director Jason Duprau has created a completely fresh new look in this series of successful SIPS.

Look for special promotion displays at Chapters/Indigo, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal Mart and Gateway.


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?...
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