A relative outsider has stormed through the pack to take out the supreme award in the inaugural New Zealand edition of The Maggies, with the January 2010 issue of women's surf and snow magazine Curl beating out the big boys to take Magazine Cover of the Year.
The cover, which features an image of world female surfing champ Sally Fitzgibbons in Hawaii, beat out the winning titles from the other categories (see below) for the big one and it also took out the sports category.
Initiated by online subscription company, iSUBSCRiBE and sponsored by New Zealand Post, the covers entered in The Maggies were shortlisted by a panel of mag gurus that was chaired by executive director of the MPA John McClintock. This shortlist was then put to a public vote and over 10,000 of them were cast during a five week period.
"Curl's cover has been beautifully executed, combining stunning photography and a single, strong coverline. It ticks all the right boxes. This cover is a classic example of great cover design," McClintock says.
The magazine was started up around five years ago, is part of Pacific Media (which also publishes Adventure Magazine and Ski & Snow), and is edited by Lynne Dickinson. And, in a quintessential small publishing fashion, the cover shot was taken late last year by her husband, managing director and senior photographer Steve Dickinson.
"It's a huge honour for Curl to win this award considering the quality of the titles we were up against. We are really proud of this cover shot ... We are a relatively young magazine and this award not only gives credit to our magazine and the incredible photography but also to the quality of women's surfing in general. We are stoked."
Dickinson nominated this cover because it showed "no Photoshop, no glamour, just girls getting out there and charging". The judges agreed that it met the shortlist criteria and "possessed a high standard of imaginative design, photography, illustration and sales impact; successfully balanced the image with the coverlines, and encapsulated the brand with something unexpected that grabs the attention of the consumer."
Out of the 30 finalists, NZ Geographic (July/August 2009), Healthy Food Guide (August 2009), OHbaby! (Autumn 2010), New Zealand Retail (October 2009) and Pulp (March 2010) took home category prizes, although it's presumably a bittersweet victory for Pulp, which was recently forced to shut up shop. And for some cutting-edge research, you can check out the all-important poll results to see who New Zealanders like to see gracing their covers.