Newspaper design guru Mario Garcia asks that question in his latest post for the Garcia Media blog. Why do so many magazine covers look the same? Why do they all use the same crop and style of photography, and why so many cover lines and tiny chip shots? Garcia has noticed this trend around the world (the above newsstand photo is from Buenos Aires). He talks with longtime magazine designer Robert Newman (that's me!) and weighs in with his own thoughts.
It's a good discussion. A couple key quotes:
Newman: "The sameness of cover design is a direct result of cover testing."
Garcia: "People want more items on the cover, more of the cover as navigator." (This will not make a lot of art directors happy).
The Mario Blog is updated daily with great insights and comments on newspaper design and publication design in general. It's one of the first things I read every morning and I always take away a lot of learning and smartness.