The Art of the Cover

LD+A Magazine | October 2020

By Paul Tarricone

I like magazine covers. Every so often, I will copy a cover from The Week, TIME, Sports Illustrated, even the AAA magazine and forward it to the LD+A team for inspiration. The one thing magazines offer over digital media is the opportunity to make a statement with a cover—whether you are publishing that magazine in print or online. That’s a benefit to the reader. And the cover-selection process is fun for the editorial team as well.

LD+A Magazine | October 2020
LD+A Magazine | October 2020
So how is an LD+A cover born? To explain that, I like to start at the end. Think of it this way: as a monthly periodical, we get 12 turns at bat. The question becomes, how to use those 12 opportunities. Some months the choice is obvious: The IES Illumination Awards, for example, appear on the cover in August to coincide with the announcement of each year’s IA recipients. In other months, a project’s architectural lighting is so spectacular that there is no debate. But as a magazine covering the lighting profession—not just lighting projects—there are months when a pretty picture won’t do. For instance, theme issues on “light and health” and “connected lighting” are often better served through a concept illustration than a photo. (October’s COVID-themed cover attempted to do just that.)

LD+A Magazine | February 2021
LD+A Magazine | February 2021
Likewise, this issue on “lighting history” also cried out for a concept. On the pages within, we bring you stories on how lighting design helped revive a city hall building turned marketplace, a dilapidated urban park, a pedestrian bridge that would make its trailblazing namesakes proud and a 19th century campus building restyled into an events/exhibit space. Each project is a work of art. But rather than choose one for the cover, we opted to salute them all through an illustration depicting a designer “Remaking History” using the light sources on his palette. We hope it does them justice.

Contributor(s)

Paul Tarricone

Paul Tarricone

Paul Tarricone has more 25 years of experience in association and business-to-business publishing, specializing in the engineering, design, construction and facilities management markets. Mr. Tarricone currently serves as Editor and Publisher of Lighting Design + Application,... More info »