Well, this was unexpected. Option one in the cover vote for the March/April 2018 issue of Canadian Geographic, a close-up shot of the subject, took 64 per cent of the tally, clearly winning the competition. (Each issue we solicit feedback from our followers to help us choose the front page.)

But after fact-checking the photo information that had been provided to us (as we do with all our content), it turned out the subject was not a Yukon wolf in a sanctuary, but a wolf dog. That disqualified it.

Enter option three, a verified Yukon wolf, which had finished second in the tally with 22 per cent (option two earned just 14 per cent) to claim the coveted spot. Creative director Javier Frutos then integrated key elements from option one — namely the gold frame and text treatments, which our newsstand consultant Scott Bullock says help a cover image pop — with an eye toward including some of the features likely responsible for option one’s success.

Here’s hoping the gold was what really won the hearts of voters, and that it will have the same impact on the newsstands.

If you don’t already receive our cover vote email but want to, simply click here and sign up for the Vote on Canadian Geographic Covers newsletter. And if you’re not a subscriber to Canadian Geographic already, be sure to get your copy of the March/April 2018 issue by subscribing today.