• Canadian Geographic September/October 2018 issue

    Cover options for the September/October issue of Canadian Geographic. Although the bison won the audience vote, the Can Geo team decided to go with the first option. Read on to find out why.

Sometimes the opportunity to do something different is too hard to pass up. So it was with the cover of the September/October 2018 issue of Canadian Geographic. In the magazine’s nearly 90-year history, we’ve had just seven covers that featured some nature of illustration, the last seven years ago.

Three of Canadian Geographic’s few past illustrated covers, from 1996, 2005 and 2011.

Fast forward to 2018, and despite the fact that the image of the bison posing majestically on Canada’s southernmost Prairie polled highest in our regular online cover vote (held to solicit feedback from our followers to help us choose the front page of each issue), we decided to go with one of the options that did not win. That’s because our publishing team, from publisher and COO Gilles Gagnier to director of circulation and production Nathalie Cuerrier, agreed it was the best fit for this exciting upcoming edition. 

We were just that keen to try this illustrated cover, illustrator Kerry Hodgson’s representation of the 49th parallel, which in October 2018 celebrates 200 years as a major part of Canada's border. In fact, in our internal discussion, our final choice stood out from the start, with Gagnier and Cuerrier both saying it was clearly superior to the other options in that the illustration encapsulates the spirit and long history of Canada’s 49th parallel border with the United States far better than the bison, no matter how majestic.

And while we greatly appreciate the feedback from our followers in our cover vote — the results of which we almost always implement — we had to trust our publishing instincts.

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