Magazines that do not have to compete on the newsstand—such as airline magazines, subscription-only publications, or Sunday newspaper magazines—can generally be less concerned with trite, attention-grabbing, commercial appeal on their covers. "We have the luxury of taking more risks with our covers," says Arem Duplessis about the New York Times Magazine. "There are not too many magazines that can conceptualize a cover with a fine artist and actually run it. It wouldn't sell. The commercialism factor is just not as much of an issue for us. This fact helps us avoid putting obscure numbers on our covers, like '43 Ways to a Healthy You.'"
Books jackets face a different challenge in that they generally have to do more, over a longer time period. They must also convey, or at least hint at, the much more comprehensive and singular story line contained between the front and back covers. "The function of a jacket is this: If you read the review and you see a little photo in the newspaper, it makes an impression, and then the next time you go to the bookstore, you'll be reminded of the book," notes Roberto de Vicq. "Also when you're walking through the store, the jacket attracts you to pick up the book and after that, it's the quality of the writing, the blurbs, the jacket copy that gets your attention. The function of the design is to create a bridge between a customer and a product." De Vicq actually minimizes the commercial aspects of book jacket design, as well. "The job of a jacket is not to sell the product," he says. "It's to relate to the audience. After that, it's the quality of product that will sell." This limiting of the role of a book cover helps him hone in on suitable design solutions. "You have to have one central idea that is good," he says. "You try to be as minimal as possible and solve as much as possible simply because you have a very small canvas. It's only 6 x 9 inches (15.2 x 22.9 cm)."