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Best cover image of the year?

Beth Ditto should have won the Maggie, IMHO

LoveThe Maggie awards for best magazine cover of the year have given first prize to Q magazine's cover of Lily Allen.

But IMHO (speaking as a magazine production editor), this cover of Love magazine, with Beth Ditto, knocks the Q cover into a cocked hat.

QThe Q cover has a poor colour balance (it particularly needs red at bottom right to balance the Q, and there should be more space between Allen and the right-hand panther) and it is also over-busy, with too many low-class coverlines dotted all over it. The Love cover, in contrast is wonderfully colour-balanced and shows a very sound understanding of typography and how to use it. It seems to me that the judges have trouble differentiating between an image of a sexy girl and a well-balanced overall design.  

HistoryThe rest of the covers in competition were also fairly ordinary and BTDT. Using a tiger on a cover always looks arresting, but simply because the tiger is the most beautiful object on earth rather than because the cover itself is in any way interesting. However, the WW1 cover of History magazine showed a sensitive balance of shading from monochrome to colour, with the poppy in the headline - very nicely done, and generates a sense of the war receding now beyond living memory. 

On a lighter note, speaking of Beth Ditto, I was very pleased this morning to find that AskMen has voted her 79th sexist woman in the world, even though she's obese, a lesbian and doesn't shave her armpits or wear deoderant ('punks are supposed to smell'). They acknowledge that the AskMen reader is not what you might call her demographic, but that to her demographic, Ditto clearly has great appeal. 

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