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Can’t Always Tell A Cover From Its Book

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“Who’s that over there? And, who’s that?”

Those were common questions during production, with the second edition to feature our revamped design.

There’s a story behind the cover but, more importantly, there’s a purpose behind it, too.

The cover idea came from a frenetic brainstorming session last December when our production team, already squirrely from a steady diet of Christmas sugar cookies and black coffee, decided to change the 2008 production schedule from six to four editions per year. The key was to tie seasonal transportation messages to each publication. Naturally, the June edition would highlight summer construction projects.

Our past three summer publications featured:

  1. cover photographs of a nighttime paving project;
  2. construction workers tying bridge rebar for the South Medford Interchange project and;
  3. earth-moving operations for an interchange rebuild north of Central Point. “Sexy, sexy,” one production staffer said facetiously, looking at the covers.

We decided then to shoot for more eye-catching cover designs.

The March cover – a photo illustration of a young boy hanging upside down like a trophy marlin – resulted in phone calls from three upset readers, each of whom didn’t initially make the connection with our lead story on child safety seats. I assured them that the cover model, Nick Johnson, was unharmed, the magic of photo editing.

Our publication is inserted in the Friday editions of the Mail Tribune and Daily Tidings, which are the largest of the entire week except for Sunday. We compete with glossy advertising inserts, other tabloids, TV guides and the newspaper itself for your attention. Additionally, the publication is available on free newsstands throughout the Rogue Valley (see page 10 for a full list). The success of this 12-page publication hinges on whether you, the reader, go beyond page one – the cover.

So, please don’t stop here.

Further inside you’ll find updates on all of the major state highway projects in Jackson and Josephine counties; a handy pullout section that details all of the summer construction projects in southern Oregon (page 5); and safety tips should your car stall on the highway (page 8).

I hope you enjoy the cover and the entire summer publication. As always, your input is greatly appreciated. My contact information is located at the bottom of this page.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the people who made this edition possible: Steve Johnson, our staff photographer; Pat Solomon from the ODOT History Center; Kevin Beckstrom, Dave Davis, Gary Leaming and Shelley Snow from ODOT Public Affairs; and, finally, Bret Jackson, our graphic designer.

Our next edition arrives in late August, just before school resumes. We’ll have safety tips for you and your teenage drivers.

~ Jared Castle

« Back to the June 2008 edition