About the Cover: The Tough Issue

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.

Jawbreakers from above




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.

Cover outtake 1 Cover outtake 3 Cover outtake 2

Cover outtake 5 Cover outtake 4 Cover outtake 6 

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: 

the Tough issue final cover

All photos by Ryan Brown.

Kristin Rogers is Bitch's art director. She is quite possibly the messiest perfectionist ever.

by Kristin Rogers Brown
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Kristin Rogers Brown is a creative director, designer, and problem-solver. She was Bitch Media’s Art Director (2010-2018). When not designing, you can find her teaching illustration and design at PNCA or hoping to pet your dog. Follow her on twitter or instagram.

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7 Comments Have Been Posted

Is "About the Cover" a

Is "About the Cover" a regular feature? If not, it should be; this is really cool and interesting!

So glad you're liking it!

So glad you're liking it! That's good motivation for me to do more of them.

Beautiful work. Thanks for

Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing these.


!I like the cover. Jawbreakers are sweet but very tough, kind of like many of us. And the color scheme is cute.


This is great, Kristin. I missed the other *about the cover* posts so thanks for linking them, Sarah. Super cool and interesting to see the outtakes especially. :)

Thanks, Emilly! (And

Thanks, Emilly! (And everyone!) Stay tuned for the Love/Lust issue...

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