I am often asked how we create and choose our MiNDFOOD magazine covers. My first response is ‘with much planning!’ We have an annual planning day that will often direct the brand for the following year in terms of special features and themes. Last year’s group planning day is where the idea for the Winter Food Special came about, with the help of Post-it® Easels from 3M.
Once we have chosen a theme, we often look at which celebrity is involved in a charity related to that theme or who may have a movie release at the time of publication. From there, we work with the movie houses and celebrities agents, photographers, stylists and our writers, in creating the interview.
This entire process can take many months of advanced planning and so I have folders allocated months ahead of potential cover stories and celebrities that could potentially be a MiNDFOOD cover feature. That folder is stacked with copy, images, Post-it® FLAGS from 3M, scribbles etc. On my desk I have a stack of different coloured Post-it® Notes that I will scribble down quotes, thoughts or anything I hear about a celebrity we may have planned for an upcoming cover, and they all go into the folder.
As the issue draws closer, we finally decide on who we will run with – sometimes with the help of an office poll – with the help of some coloured Post-it® Notes.
And so commences the allocation of photographer, writer, stylist, before obtaining sign off from agents, and then from both the actor and photographer.
In creating the actual cover, we look at many different images, headlines and cover lines before we finally decide on what will be published. As MiNDFOOD offers a wide range of stories, we are always trialling different cover lines, right up until we send the cover to the printer. Recently, we have experimented a little with cover images; the full length cover image of Diane Keaton with a dog walking along her side her has been a big seller for us, but at the time it was a gamble, as it was a very different look and feel for us. The success of a particular cover also depends on whether the public actually like the celebrity we have run with, or are interested in learning more about them.
As a general rule of thumb for us, a happy, smiling face always produces great sales.