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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Boston Magazine's May cover

Boston Magazine's May cover is beautiful. I quite honestly can't think of a more appropriate way to make us all pause for a moment to reflect on the events of last week and remind us that America moves forward.

Today on their news blog, Boston Magazine's Editor in Chief John Wolfson explained the process behind the cover. Although it is always interesting to hear how a cover came to be, this one did make me tear up a bit:

We initially settled on the idea of commissioning Marathon-related essays from a number of Boston writers, and then set about brainstorming ideas for illustrating that package of stories. Should we create a photo illustration of a runner’s bib in the shape of a heart? Should we photograph a tattered marathon olive wreath on a black background? Then our design director, Brian Struble, and deputy design director, Liz Noftle, came up with the concept of taking shoes worn during the marathon and arranging them so that the negative space is in the shape of a heart. For reasons I’ll explain in a moment, I knew as soon as I heard the idea that we had our concept—not just for the collection of essays, but also for the cover. In fact, I quickly realized that the stories of the runners who wore those shoes would be even more powerful than the essays we’d commissioned. We quickly changed course and settled on the cover concept and the outlines of a feature package: We’d shoot the shoes collectively to form the heart, but we’d also photograph them as individual pairs to illustrate the stories told by the runners in the package (which we called “The Shoes We Wore,” and which you’ll find in the May issue). 
Great idea! But how in the world were we going to execute it in time? 

Read the rest of the story behind the May cover on Boston Magazine's blog.

The magazine hits stands on Friday and they are already working on putting out a poster of the cover, and of course all the proceeds will go to The One Fund-Boston.


On a side note of my own, as a person in the journalism and news design industry...

When I saw this cover, I felt almost a sigh of relief. I have handful of friends in Boston, many of them runners, and last week all I wanted was to be there with them, in total mom-mode hugging them tight and controlling how much TV time they had. Boston is a tough city. It takes care of it's own and there is no doubt in my mind that my friends are going to be stronger and braver, and more spirited athletes in the future. But we're all still healing. And after front page after front page of terrifying images, Boston Magazine's cover is like a big bandaid.

I think this cover is a reminder for all of us of the impact of images, the impact of print and the importance of local coverage. A national outlet couldn't have put together something this powerful, and even if they did, it couldn't have the same impact.

Media isn't always the bad guy, out to exploit a story. Often, and especially in the wake of tragedy, media is what pulls us back together in the biggest embrace and keeps us unified.

That's my jumbled, emotional two cents for the day. Share this cover. Read the stories. Hug someone you love.


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