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The Economist December 24th 2022 - January 6th 2023
ผู้แต่ง : The Economist

• Our end-of-year double issue is a rare chance for our journalists to forsake the news—for half its pages at least—and write about whatever takes their fancy, be that a mafia murder mystery revealed by a megadrought, the lessons of Brazil’s 19th-century rubber boom or the decline of the oldest form of city planning.
• The cover, too, moves away from the news. Christmas covers have to attract readers’ attention not because of their witty takes on what is happening that week but for their charm, their fun and, we hope, their beauty.
• Beyond that, Christmas covers can—generally—go one of two ways. They can feature a single image that in some way encapsulates the spirit of the season, such as this snowy telescope scene, or refer to a single story in the issue, such as this chilly tiger. The alternative is to use the design to highlight many or all of the stories in the double issue, often in a way that requires a little detective work on the part of readers. Last year we came up with three linked images in which all the Christmas features appeared. We decided to go down the second route for this year’s cover.
• Our first idea was to use a data-based story about the popularity of different breeds of dogs in a variety of countries. We knew the subject would be pup-ular. Could we design a cover around a dalmatian whose spots represented the different stories in the issue? Our cover designer sketched out some ideas but ultimately we decided that it ran the risk of feeling gimmicky.
• Instead we turned to Sophy Hollington, an artist who uses lino-cuts. Here is a draft sketch. It works on many levels. It feels, in the best possible way, rather like a Christmas card. The tree is a clear nod to the season. Around it swirl bauble-like images that contain references to some of the stories in the issue: a Chinese character represents a piece about the intricacies of translating Tang poetry across time and language; cricket and baseball bats allude to an article about the efforts of cricket buffs to bring the sport to America; a cow stands in for a feature about the ways in which the Hindu right have co-opted cattle.
• The text surrounding the main image gives another opportunity to highlight some of the stories in the issue. It means capturing the essence of stories that are several pages long in just four words while also grabbing the reader’s attention and interest.
• But the colours divided people. Some saw a snowy Christmas scene, the tree and details picked out against a night sky. Others thought it seemed gloomy, with little sense of joy. The text, though succinct, is hard to read. The box at the top right, with the issue date, is too dark. It feels detached from the main image—as though it were a second Christmas card crammed into the space. And the main image feels too busy. The details detract from the loveliness of the whole.
• We tried separating words describing the stories from the main image and putting them across the top as well as putting the issue details in plain type. But that undermines the cohesiveness of the cover. It also makes it feel closer to a normal issue of The Economist and we wanted the Christmas one to be as special as possible.
• Adding green to the earlier version and making the background white lifts the gloom. It also makes the details around the tree stand out more. Putting the wording of the issue details on a white background in a simpler box makes it easier to read and balances better with The Economist’s logo. But the overall impression is still a bit dark and it doesn’t quite work. The nature of Sophy’s work created a particular pressure: we needed to commit to the design before it was literally cut out of wood. This is unusual for The Economist. We never sign off on covers so far in advance of going to press.
• Getting rid of the black altogether and using red and green on an off-white background felt suitably festive without offending our creative director’s sensibilities. The images hinting at the stories in the issue stand out. The text is clear. The design balances white space and detail and comes together as a single image. It feels like a witty piece of folk Christmas art. Most importantly, it is beautiful.
• As an extra treat, Sophy created a black-and-white version of the final image which you can download and colour in to celebrate the season in true Economist style.
Josie Delap
Christmas editor

สำนักพิมพ์ : The Economist
ปีที่พิมพ์ : 2022
จำนวนหน้า : 10
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MARC Information

245 a : Title 
The Economist December 24th 2022 - January 6th 2023 
100 a : Author 
300 a : Total pages 
650 a : Subject 
050 a : Classification No. 
050 b : Publish Year 
260 b : Name of publisher 
The Economist 


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