For the cover of the Tough issue, my love of eye candy met my hunger for a good metaphor.
As we start every issue, I brainstorm ideas for the cover with the entire Bitch crew. When we talked about the Tough issue's design, we thought about visualizing an idiom like “tough as nails” or “one tough cookie”—but I wanted to show something less literal. In the classic jawbreaker, I found super strength in a small package. The idea came from thinking about textures as you bite into something...sinewy, or super chewy, or just plain impermeable.
Our outtakes show off a range of different qualities, from the sharp pang of trying to bite down a jawbreaker to the hard candy's delicate pattern when split—I even have a few close-ups where the jawbreaks look heavy as bowling balls and big as globes. In one pic, a fractured slice of a jawbreaker looks like fragments of a broken vase: fragile, delicate, maybe even a little bit lonely.
Several of these outtakes would have actually made fabulous covers.
In the end, we decided to simply show off the beauty of a candy that’s both sweet and resilient—it looks fancy, and can break a knife blade off its handle (I know because we did it...twice). Here's the final cover:
All photos by Ryan Brown.
Kristin Rogers is Bitch's art director. She is quite possibly the messiest perfectionist ever.