Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cover ideas?

Michelle Carter, author of my favorite biz blog, left a comment on yesterday's post asking for more.

Info, that is, relating to cover ideas for the new faculty insert of a medical magazine. Since I am sincerely looking for brainstorming here, I hope this helps generate some thoughts.

The magazine is an in-house publication for a large hospital system associated with a medical university. The goal of the bi-annual piece is to let doctors know what their colleagues are doing, in order to foster relationships among specialties and also generate more referrals "in house."

My favorite section is the new doctor insert. Instead of seeing these docs pose in white coats next to an x-ray light boxes, I photograph them doing a hobby or activity that they love. Might be working with bonsai trees, ballroom dancing, painting, cooking, gardening, opera singing, kayaking - you name it and some doctor loves doing it, and it is ten times more fun for me to shoot.

The only negative has been the cover of this section. The client did not want to feature a doctor on the cover. I can make some doctor ego jokes here, but I will refrain. Anyway, for some reason we ended up using this one (booring) shot of a part of a building. For years!

Now, we have a chance to change the cover. Still, no featured doctors. So, we are trying to figure out something that is more symbolic. Something interesting, but not too busy that we can't put titles and other info around it. And, it can't be too surgical, or too anything that is too much one specialty. Our doctors' expertise range from mental health to pediatrics, emergency surgery to opthamology.

And, even if I really like an idea simply because it looks cool, I have to create a full blown argument of why it works. I'm good at this reasoning, though, so let's just focus on raw visuals here, and I'll take care of the deeply rooted reasoning behind how we came up with them.

"The budding leaves on the tree symbolize new life brought by these new doctors. Vibrancy birthed from the existing strength of the hospital, enabling it to reach further into our community with the newest developments in medical expertise . . . . "

However, in defending a photo like this one, I might choose not to mention the fig leaf/cover up association.

4 comments:

Michelle Malay Carter said...

OK, me again. I am much more word oriented than I am visually oriented. So my mind goes there. When blogging, I always do my visual last, and it is usually derived from the headline. So my question to you is, what is the name of this section? I hope it's not just: The New Doctors Section. If it is, can you add a subhead like: Behind the white coat. Or: A closer look. Or Holistic Medicine - Meet Our New Doctors in and outside work. Each of those would lead me down a different visual path.

Michelle

EdistoCam said...

In response to your request for visual ideas for the cover –

I think the image might be one of a human subject rather than a natural one. Indeed, the possible metaphors inherent in nature images border on infinite, but for something that needs to typify the universal practice of medicine, a picture of nature, to me, seems a bit evasive. It could also suggest holistic medicine, something you clients would most certainly reject.

Medicine is about human beings. Therefore, I would suggest a simple montage of images of people doing healthy physical things. How about a selection of images that reaches from child to senior; an intergenerational and multi ethnic representation of the range of life – i.e. a child c. 8 , a teenager, young adult couple, a middle age person, a septuagenarian. The opening and closing images are neither too young nor too old.

Eight year old girl skipping rope –
Teen age boy, or boys, playing soccer…
Young adult couple hiking …
Middle age woman teeing off on the golf links…
Septuagenarian man making a dynamic back-hand return in tennis…

You might even title the theme – The Range of Life – the inference being the Range of Life is made possible by sound and dependable medical practices, etc…


Frost
Septuagenarian in training…

Anonymous said...

How about a caduceus with a smiling snake?

Heidi Mehltretter said...

These are helpful, thank you. I think it is interesting what Michelle says about her words coming before her images. It is the opposite for me, and I find that difference fascinating.