I spotted this in illustrator Wendy MacNaughton’s Instagram feed.
MacNaughton painted the cover art for a recent issue of Print Magazine: A big fish being held by a somewhat smaller fisherman. The cover includes the standard utilitarian elements of a newsstand magazine — the magazine’s title, the issue date, cover lines that tell you about articles inside — but most of the cover’s real estate is given over to MacNaughton’s artwork. It’s the art (or photography), after all, that draws our attention to a particular issue of a magazine. You might say art (or photography) is the native language of magazine covers.
If you’re an advertiser that pays a premium to place your ad on the back cover, then, you would be well advised to do whatever you can make your ad’s creative design as awesome as the artwork on the front cover.
Or, in the case Shutterstock, the back-cover advertiser for this issue of Print, you might just let the artwork from the front cover spill right into your ad. Then, anyone who wants to enjoy the full Wendy MacNaughton fish illustration needs to open the magazine, turn it face down, and view at the front and back covers — including the Shutterstock message behind the fish’s tail — at the same time.
As the artist herself puts it, “bonus: we got the advertising to support the art. high five, print mag.”