We shall be using this space in each issue of the ASLME Insider
to answer frequently asked questions about the Journal of Law, Medicine,
& Ethics, the American Journal of Law & Medicine, and give a
peek behind-the-scenes at the production of both journals. Your tour
guides for this look at ASLME’s publications will be editors Ted
Hutchinson and Courtney McClellan.
This Month’s Question: How do you select the cover art?
Picking out the cover art for each issue is one of our favorite parts of completing the issue. First we discuss the issue’s general themes and topics and then scan hundreds of images that fit within this idea. We try not to get too specific: the cover art, after all, is our readers’ first visual glimpse as to what the issue is about. As editors we work with text all day long, so switching gears to choose cover art is not only fun for us but also gives us the opportunity to present the issue as a visual whole. Our goal with the artwork is to convey the significance of the issue’s main topic and introduce the symposium without words—in other words, get readers thinking about it.
It’s not as easy as it might appear. Some options convey messages that are too strong, too political, too funny, too cynical, too emotional, or too black-and-white. Sometimes one of us loves a particular piece of art while the other does not. Some options don’t work because of their layout or color scheme. And sometimes we enlist our co-workers Katie and Margo for their thoughts or to help break a tie between options. In the end, there is always at least one that we are proud to showcase on the cover of JLME. And when the issue is finally completed, revealing the cover fills us with a combination of nerves and excitement—but mostly excitement—for we aim to bring you, readers, an engaging issue from cover to cover. Our next cover art will be no exception, so stay tuned for a sneak peak of the cover next month! Until then we hope you enjoy our current cover featuring the tender image of a pediatrician and his infant patient.
-Courtney and Ted