Warning to coverjunkies: Watch out for paper cuts!

A fun and smart surprise for magazine “cover junkies” has arrived in my mailbox from across the seas: Jaap Biemans’ one-off magazine celebrating the most notable magazine cover designs of 2011. Be warned: despite the cleverly edited title, it IS “an addiction to creative magazine covers that you wanna lick.” Lush, inviting, and expertly crafted, these pages could easily serve as a college textbook for a course on topics such as publishing, marketing, branding, typography, photography, or mass communications in general.

Two things make this effort, all 96 pages in full color, stand out: 1) it’s not just eye candy showing off design pyrotechnics – you can see that daily at the coverjunkie Facebook feed, or others such as our friends at Robert Newman Design – there’s a lot of smart text as well, from standout art directors talking about the covers they admire and why they work; and 2) though I’d seen many of the cover design images before, online, it doesn’t compare to the power of the printed page, and many samples printed full-size, which grab, inform, shock, surprise or delight the reader. It’s a love letter to print publications and the people who produce them.

In particular, the examples chosen offer great lessons in taking chances, surprising and provoking the reader, and avoiding routine ideas that too many others are inflicting on the information marketplace today. Page after page, this is a celebration of “wow.”

Learn more about and order the The CoverJunkie Magazine here. To revisit several blog posts from early 2010 about Jaap after I discovered his work, and his passion for magazines, go here. We dissect a lot of Jaap’s own great design work for Holland’s Intermediair magazine.

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