TORONTO—New York editorial designer Ina Saltz was in town earlier this week at Magazines University to discuss what sells on newsstands. Turns out, it’s not just sex.
There are several words that help magazines sell, Saltz told a packed room at Mags U, an annual conference for magazine professionals. They include: free, now, today, exclusive, you, sex, sexy and secrets. Numbers are good too, she said, but don’t get carried away. A cover line like “2023 ways to please your man” is not only suspicious but also a little overwhelming.
And cover lines should never contradict the main image.
“It’s more than a beautiful image,” said Saltz, who has consulted on a number of publications including Time and Golf. “Words and image have to say the same thing.”
She also warned that too many cover lines will confuse, not enthuse your reader. For readability, there should be strong contrast between the background and cover lines. Letter weight and spacing should be considered, as well as using a variety of point sizes.
“If everything yells out at the same volume, you can’t hear anything,” said Saltz.
However, she also warned that designers shouldn’t squander valuable cover real estate.
“I love white space as much as the next person but you can’t afford to waste it on the cover.” Contact: www.magsu.com