Illustrating magazine covers is always a fun challenge. The responsibility of having the cover coupled with the excitement that the editorial direction is calling for an illustration adds to the adrenaline rush. There are so many factors to consider beyond creating a regular picture. The artwork is reflecting the entire issue even though the focus is on the feature. The masthead and headlines are key elements that need to interact with the concept and the design. As many of us can attest, the headlines are often being written up until the last minute so we only have rough blocks of text to work with. The idea needs to be simple and strong. Graphic simplicity is also key. I’m often asked to create and integrate typography as part of my work. I love this challenge as I’m always keen on doing as many of the elements as possible.
Above are two recent cover illustrations. The first two are for Strategy Magazine. Strategy is a Canadian publication that deals with the advertising and branding industry. This was a ‘double’ issue. The Creative Director at Strategy is Stephen Stanley (some of you may recall him as the one and only Stephen Stanley of Canadian rock band, LOWEST OF THE LOW fame – yup, that’s the man). Stephen emailed me explaining this would be “a main issue cover along with a companion issue concerning creativity in the Ad world. The two would be complimentary, and could very well have a cohesive image that carries through both.”. Stephen is wonderful to work with. He immediately liked my ideas and after a bit of tweaking here and there, the final printed result is what you see above.
I’ve never worked for Canadian Lawyer before. I don’t often do much work in Canada as the fees were always traditionally lower. To my surprise, Canadian Lawyer met my fee and were exited to have me do their cover. The AD is the fantastic Bill Hunter. Like Stephen Stanley, Bill gets me and my work. When an AD tell me to just “do my thing”, it always sets a nice stage where I can really shine and do a picture I am happy with. This was “The Money Issue”. ADs love it when I do “old-timey” type illustrations and since that’s a big part of my visual vernacular, I’m always happy to comply.