Harper’s Bazaar’s Secret Cover Designs

Stumbled across this when looking today’s post Color Story: Harpers Bazaar US September 2011, turns out Harper’s Bazaar prints different covers for their general circulation than their subscription base. This strikes me as a great idea as it recognizes the difference between these readers. General circulation buyers are less loyal, they need to see an overview of the features inside to convince them to select from the cluttered magazine rack. Subscribers on the other hand are loyal readers, they don’t need to be convinced. But they do need to be made to feel special, and an exclusive cover design, that’s far less cluttered and much rarer is a good place to start. 


Read on to see cover examples.

Harper’s Bazaar – September 2011 edition – Anne Hathaway


Cover version 1 – General circulation 

Cover version 2 – Subscribers

Note that they haven’t taken the easier option and used the same photo with reduced text, but another shot completely. This further adds to the “exclusivity” for subscribers. This also means that these can become collector’s items and can command prices far beyond the original cover price.  


Miley Cryus – showing the power of a cover – I would have never brought the magazine rack version (left), however the subscriber version is stunning! 


From Harper’s Bazaar UK – view past covers side-by-side here



Quite a few more examples including the next two can be found one the blog life:and:lim.

Gwen Stefani via life:and:lim

Sarah Jessica Parker via life:and:lim 



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