As you might expect, the magazine goes to great lengths to come up with cover images that will help sell copies. Anywhere from 10 to 20 conceptual cover treatments are produced every week, in order to find the one gem that might work. In addition to the volume of options, what is also curious is just how radically different the options can be, from photos, to illustrations, from type heavy, to positively shocking.
“Every week we produce anywhere from 10-20 different cover ideas until we settle on what works best or as the story develops, so at the end of each week we wind up with a proverbial wastebasket full of scrapped concepts,” creative director Dirk Barnett writes. “The week’s cover, ‘The Politics of Sex,’ is a perfect example to kick this off.”
Here is the cover that they went with:
And here are a few of the more radical ideas that were rejected: