In writing the foreword to Vogue Paris Covers: 1920-2009 by Sonia Rachline, Carine Roitfeld poses a fascinating question: What is a good cover anyway? She then proceeds to answer her own question with her typical aplomb. I loved reading about Carine's thought process as she decides on a cover so I thought I would share her words with you along with a selection of my favorite covers she has created. Which are your favorite covers by Carine Roitfeld?
Foreword to Vogue Paris Covers: 1920-2009
Creating a cover is at once exciting and stressful. How can you be sure of your work — certain that you got it right? And what is a good cover anyway? Is it one that encourages people to buy the magazine? Or where the quality of the image has lasting interest? One or two things you learn from experience: the visual immediacy of the graphics, a clearly defined goal, a model who looks straight at the camera and holds the reader's gaze, a touch of luxury — all of these work to one's advantage. Gold, silver, red and pink lettering work well, whereas green does not. Humor is appealing, nudity less so. And yet those guidelines alone are no guarantee of commercial or artistic success, as we see if we look back through the magazine's archives, trawling through ninety years of graphic design. This is particularly true of Vogue, which has traditionally relied on a bold, even iconoclastic approach. So, what does that mean? For a visually attuned person like myself, a good cover is a pleasure to look at, and has an impact that one can return to without getting tired of it, but it is also underpinned by an idea, a way of looking at things that is entirely subjective. At the end of the day, there is only one recipe for success as I see it: a cover must be true to itself.
Editor-in-Chief, Vogue Paris
Cover images © 2014 CR Fashion Book and Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.