The Winter 2014 issue of Rotman is set to hit newsstands on January 13.
The cover features Albert Einstein, perhaps the most iconic and symbolic chap most people could identify as a “brainiac” if polled on Family Feud.
"The 30th issue of Spacing (Winter 2013-2014) and our 10th Anniversary issue was super fun to create and eventually eat. We commissioned pastry artist Sarah Fortunato to create a cake in the shape of Toronto City Hall. I had originally imagined the image on the cover would be the cake lit with candles, while the eaten version of the cake would appear on the final page of the magazine. But when the photo shoot was completed and I began to comb through the 300-plus photos, it was the eaten cake that seemed to resonate as the cover image.
"City Hall is currently in disarray and the idea of 'stick a fork in it' seemed appropriate. And, as I have written before in the magazine, it is nearly impossible for us to write about current events surrounding Rob Ford, as the news seems to come at us in waves by the day or even the hour: by the time the magazine hits newsstands whatever we have written about would be stale. So we decided to declare what was not in the magazine with our bottom headline, ‘Absolutely no article about the Rob Ford saga. Zero. We promise.’ But in smaller text, ‘Just analysis of his poor decisions as mayor of the city.’ And in even smaller text, ‘Okay, maybe a few words about crack.’"
A very cool link to other Spacing covers: http://spacing.ca/toronto/2013/12/13/stories-behind-10-spacing-covers/
Online research is easy or daunting depending on how well you can weave through all the information out there on the web. Here are a few librarian-approved sources and easy-to-do tricks—most of which you can try at home in your pajamas—to save time while digging deep into the virtual stacks.
1. Find out what you have access to
Though not often publicized, and sometimes veiled as “e-resources” or “digital collections,” libraries have growing selections of online goodies that you can access with your library card. Download magazines you want to pitch to, research new story angles and find niche publications for your work by signing up for a Zinio account through your public library (for example, the Toronto Public Library). You get free, unlimited access to the current digital editions of hundreds of magazines, and in some cases, back issues. Need to reference works by Alice Munro or Malcolm Gladwell? Download their ebooks through OverDrive.
2. Tap into databases, high-quality web resources and guides
Maybe your first instinct was to Google your topic. Now you have to back up your research with factual information from authoritative sources. Try searching paid databases and web portals via your library for newspaper articles, journals, consumer reports, statistics, encyclopedias and more. If you’re new to a subject, guides are one of the best starting points—search for “guides to [topic].”
3. Access hard-to-get (for free) research
Science, health and medical journals usually aren’t freely available to the public. Nonetheless, it’s worth a shot to search Google Scholar for full-text articles. If you study or teach at a university, there’s a good chance you have an all-access pass via the library website to subject-specific databases containing journal articles, abstracts and other types of documents. Start with the topic and then dive into the suggested resources to gather what you need.
4. Use social media as a research tool
Even if Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t your thing, they’re a gold mine when it comes to discovering new businesses and interview sources, and listening in on both expert and non-expert commentary. One neat trick you can do on Facebook is pull up posts, discussions and any other mentions of a particular topic by adding a hashtag to your search term. For instance, typing “#snow” into the search box will bring up public posts and comments from people on your friends list that mention snow. This is particularly useful for newsworthy events.
5. Back up documents you may need later
Web links break all the time. Content is taken down or revised. In some cases, entire websites disappear. Documenting webpages for research purposes is as easy as clicking File>Print>Save as PDF, if you’re using a Mac, or taking a screenshot. Skitch is a free app for Macs, Windows and mobile devices that allows you to annotate screenshots, maps and pictures. Do a web search for screenshot apps and plug-ins that create full-page records, and try a few out to find one that suits your needs. (Worried about copyright infringement? Read about fair dealing in the Copyright Act. In Canada, research, private study, criticism and news reporting are exceptions to copyright infringement.)
Mimi Szeto (@mimiszeto) is a freelance researcher and editor from Toronto who holds a Master of Information Studies degree in Library and Information Science. Formerly an online listings editor at St. Joseph Media for torontolife.com and where.ca, she has coordinated fact-checking projects for torontolife.com and worked in various public, academic and non-traditional libraries in the city.
Thanks to Editfish readers who entered the Canadian Press Stylebook giveaway. Congratulations to the winners, Suzanne Boles and Amanda Oye.
Here’s what art director Jamie Hodgson had to say about the cover process:
“Coming off of last years awards issue, which we described as a ‘keg party’ of athletes, I was challenged with following it up in the same vein. I came up with a holiday wreath of athletes. The great thing about these types of covers is they are engaging once you get them in your hands. People will always show their knowledge by pointing out athletes they recognize. I wanted to take it a step further and create an interactive info-graphic style cover. Having to physically spin the magazine to see all the athletes and having all the sell lines point to specific athletes (and a few non-athletes) will engage the reader longer which is always the goal. Looking for 'their guy' is the goal here. I always have fun putting in a few things that don’t belong (non-athletes like Paulina Gretzky and even one movie star). Like last year, one athlete is duplicated and a contest is run to see who can figure it out. Everyone asks me, how many are on the cover? Guesses range from 100-300 athletes. The answer? 149. Yes, that includes fan-favourite Blue Jay Munenori Kawasaki. It took a long time to put together but it’s good fun, and thankfully only once per year.”
The new issue of Dirt Trax magazine is set to hit newsstands December 18, 2013.
Art director Andrew Knor pushed the creative edges by creating a split-screen cover. In a world now dominated by a “windows” way of interacting with information, and television news and weather programs training people to look at their screen in a multi-tasking way, this cover communicates that it is packed with useful information for off-road enthusiasts.
Cover slash, check!
Good use of big numbers to quantify value, check!
Blessed words like Best, check!
Bold type, check!
Good use of key “real estate” at top and left, check!
The Winter Design issue has always been a strong seller for Garden Making. This cover should be no exception to that pattern. Here’s what publisher Michael Fox has to say about it:
“When we launched four years ago, some people were surprised that we’d publish a new issue of a gardening magazine in Canada in November, a time of year when most gardens are put to bed for winter,” says Fox. “But with its design theme, our winter issues consistently sell as well as (or better) than other issues.”
"The cover features a stunning urn planted and styled for Garden Making by Paul Zammit, the Nancy Eaton director of horticulture at Toronto Botanical Garden. Foliage is front and centre in the design package with articles about fancy-leaf begonias, plants with silver foliage and hardy ferns, as well as three urban front-yard gardens in Toronto and the best ways to light your landscape at night.”
Garden Making is quarterly, every three months, timed with the seasons.
The controversial Rollingstone cover of August 1st, 2013 sold 39% better than the same issue last year (Justin Bieber). Only two other issues have sold as well in 2013…Johnny Depp and the Top 50 Hip Hop Songs.
The Bitter Pill cover from Time magazine sold 20% better than the issue prior to it, and sold 5% better than the issue following it, and sold 2% better than the same time slot in 2012. Only 1 of the first 11 issues out sold it in 2013 (Rise of the Drones).
The April 2013 issue of Vogue, featuring the First Lady Michelle Obama, sold 26,095 copies in Canada. The issue didn’t do as well as the March 2013 issue featuring Beyoncé, which sold 35,491. However it did outsell Jan, Feb, May and July issues. It did not outsell last year’s April issue featuring Jennifer Lopez.
The December 2012 issue of Vogue, featuring Anne Hathaway 32,953 copies in Canada, a full 60% better than the November 2012 issue, and whopping 88% better than the January 2013 issue, which came before and after Anne.
Sports Illustrated’s May 6th cover sold 43% more copies than the same issue last year.
The annual 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue failed to deliver as many sales as the 2012 edition, even though Kate Upton was the cover girl on both issues. Perhaps Rule #26 was a factor….Hot not Cold covers. The 2013 issue sold 48,146 copies in Canada, while the 2012 issue sold 57,734, a negative variance of 9,588 or down 17%.