Which Pizza Belongs on the Cover?
How we chose our November cover image
Posted Thursday, October 17, 2013, 12:47PM
It was raining pizza in the office this month! We considered more than 20 pies for the cover before deciding on the image with the pizza we most wanted to eat.
One of my favorite parts of my job is designing the magazine covers. At some point every month, while I'm spending endless hours tweaking the cover lines and image, I think to myself, "I just love doing this!" For our November issue, our executive editor Erin Meanley and I were thrilled to be doing a pizza issue. We had been talking about it for months. I teamed up with photographer Luis Garcia to photograph the best-looking pies around town. Luis' instructions were simple: “Shoot pizza, and lots of it, and we like things messy.” Luis set up a photo studio in 10 pizza joints around the county and called on idle waiters to scatter pepper flakes, toss flour, and help make the cheese ooze.
After reviewing 530 images for the cover, we were down to these final three shots.
- #1 Margherita pizza at Crust
- #2 Theodore's Fix pizza at Alexander's on 30th
- #3 A mix of Blue Ribbon's best-selling slices put together
We polled the staff, our VIP readers, and a select group of San Diego Magazine subscribers. The clear winner in terms of votes was #3 (which was also the favorite of the art department). Those voters commented that they liked the variety and that the pizza looked healthy (or shall we say healthier?), and had pops of color.
It wasn't a clear winner around our office, however. Our newsstand cover consultant chose #1, as well as our circulation director, whose job is to make sure we sell sell sell on newsstands. They, along with the other #1 voters, seemed to like the delicious simplicity of tomatoes, melty cheese and basil. The art department was collectively, quietly rooting for #3.We liked the assortment and look of them. The Erins were hungry for #2 and Kim, our senior editor, was on the fence. But she's a picky eater. :)
We debated it until 10 p.m. the night we shipped the magazine. That's right. The pizza pie was the latest cover switch we've had in years. We were set on the Blue Ribbon slices for most of the final hours of production, but at the last second, swapped it out for Alexander's, for its "I want to eat it right now" appeal. Everyone, including the outside voters, agreed that pizza was the one they would most like to eat. Simple as that.
The winner: Theodore's Fix pizza, with Maui onion, spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, red chili flake and sliced pepperoncini, from Alexander's on 30th in North Park.
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