When we put together documents for our clients, and particularly tender clients we give them this advice. The image you put on the cover must emphasise your key messages; and a smiling person on the cover builds rapport and trust. Can you judge a tender by its cover?

The best image to put on the cover of a document is one of your staff doing their job and smiling at the camera. Cheesy maybe, but it instantly builds trust and shows what you do. Better still have them doing something that reflects your key message—is it attention to detail; innovation; customer service; there are many possibilities.


VOGUE Australia has just released their September issue (2021). It has been highly praised for its cover image that reflects the theme of “New Beginnings“. It is getting a lot of media attention, which it deserves. I want to use it as a case study to answer the question—”can you judge a publication by its cover”?

Twenty-seven editions of Vogue from around the world have united for the September issue on the theme of New Beginnings. They see it as an opportunity to reflect on what communities around the world, have learnt from what they call a time of great unsettling and change.

Our Australian edition features Magnolia Maymuru, a Yolngu woman, an actress and a model, and her baby Djarraran. It was shot on Turimetta Beach, NSW, at 7:22am as the sun rose.

Edwina McCann, editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia stated: “I have never been more proud than I am of this cover: a beautiful woman and her baby girl before an Australian sunrise. So raw and so stunning, full of meaning, and pointing to new beginnings, which are calling us all.”

I have had a look at the New Beginning covers from some of the other countries’ editions and I think the Aussie cover is a standout.


I really don’t have to write very much. The thought and the execution that have gone into creating this picture are clear. Obviously Vogue is a fashion magazine so having a beautiful model in beautiful clothes on the cover reaffirms what they do. Having an indigenous woman and child by the sea as the sun rises is as close to the “New Beginnings” message that you could have in Australia right now. It reflects the NAIDOC week message of Healing Country. A mother nurturing her child at the dawn of a new day. It is an image that creates a good feeling and makes you want to go further and pickup the magazine and read it.

Have a look at the image. Think about the emotions it evokes. Now imagine what the image would look like if you removed the woman and child and replaced them with a boat on the water or a four-wheel drive on the beach. Not nearly the same I would suggest.

Please refer to our post on how to choose the right images for your proposal if you want to go into more detail.

So … do you think you can judge a tender by its cover?