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How to Judge a Magazine By Its Cover

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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PLUNGE THAT NECKLINE Cosmo

We here at Radar have long been fascinated with the question, "How do you create a successful magazine cover?" Our answer: Put someone's head on someone else's body. It seems other magazines, however, have differing philosophies. WWD posed the question to a variety of leading editors and discovered the following:

Kate White, Cosmopolitan: Cleavage! But not all cleavage. "It's not about big breasts like it used to be. It's just about showing off your breasts, whether they're double As or whatever." As for the proprietor of said funbags, White says it should be "someone that you'd love to drive cross country with, you're not going to end up arrested with, and with whom you're not going to get bored." And how does she know if a cover will sell? "If I dance with it, or if I feel the urge to make out with it, then I'm like, 'Wow, it works!'"

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Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair: "There is no science to this."

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