Look magazine had a real hit on its hands with this Kelly Brook cover, the latest winner of IPC’s cover of the month award. So this is a good time to lift the lid and take a look at the thinking behind the cover design, and why it works.
Central to its success is the ‘Love Your Body’ special issue theme, illustrated with an exclusive Kelly Brook shoot. This isn’t some random idea; body confidence is core to the Look brand promise. This is content it can truly own. Celebrity news is an important part of the Look mix, hence Jen holding up the bottom right corner, but here, splashing with access gives a real premium feel. To sell well on newsstand these days, a regular issue isn’t enough. Every issue has to feel like a special, every issue has to be seen as totally un-missable.
Kelly is a smart choice, she’s not a Hollywood A-lister, but she’s highly relatable. Her curvy body shape is inclusive, completely in line with Look’s promise of serving: ‘Every Girl, Every Shape, Every Size’. The play-suit might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Fashion director Jill Wanless has cleverly found the right balance between flesh and fabric. And Jill’s palm tree detail takes the reader somewhere way warmer than an English summer. But for me, the secret newsstand weapon in this picture is the hair. There’s plenty of it, and it looks absolutely magnificent.
The Look logo is now much bigger. Full width here, it leverages recognition, and again, makes the brand feel more premium and less tabloid. Art director Stuart Jones’s typography is a well judged mix of premium serif, friendly handwriting, modern typewriter and a punchy sans.
Editor Maria Coole’s lines are cracking. For the Look reader, ‘Style Ideas’ are now just as much value as ‘Style Buys’, the liberal use of ‘Yours’ is is always catnip, there’s a big fat number, and the whole show closes with the promise to ‘Work Your Best Asset’.
But with this, as with any cover, colour is key. Look has long used ‘teal’ as its signature colour, but here the combo with coral (another Look favourite) not only gives a terrific aesthetic, but real newsstand punch. And it all clearly worked, as the cover sold like an absolute train. Nice work.