The Magazine Cover
This chapter addresses scholarly and industry literature that explores the importance of the magazine cover, both culturally and economically. In many ways, a magazine cover serves as a kind of media wrapping paper—a promise of a gift in the form of content inside. In an environment of fleeting images, video and audio, the magazine cover stops time, reminds readers of influential moments in history and acts as a barometer for what is important in the world. With the advent and explosion of digital media, many media-centric Web sites focus on magazine covers either exclusively or as part of their overall examination of the media industry. Despite changes that will inevitably come in reader habits, new technology and new ideas, the magazine cover will likely remain one of the most powerful visual and verbal tools a magazine can use to produce revenue and send a message.