How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine?
This was the task we set for ourselves while working on the September cover, pictured above.
First, of course, we needed a baby, kindly provided by Anne Hoffman, an advertising account manager at Coates Kokes.
On a weekday afternoon, photographer Jason Kaplan and I showed up on the doorstep of the downtown PR agency and found a freshly fed and well-napped model decked out in a new Oregon onesie. Add a design-ready untidy corner office and the gig was a breeze, requiring less than an hour of cooing, booing and other time-honored infant-wrangling techniques.
Once we shot the baby (a phrase that doesn’t trip lightly off the tongue), we needed the perfect cover line. A headline that would counteract any lingering cuteness but still work for an article about a new child care plus co-working business model. Our first thought was to use “Baby. Boom!” But it was too soft, too saccharine — good for the inside spread but not strong enough to support the cover.
Chris, ever on the cutting edge, proposed, “Are Babies the New Office Dogs?” a title that garnered a few (uneasy) laughs before getting nixed by the powers that be.
Then, while Editor Linda Baker was taking a walk one evening, the perfect cover line came to her, like a flash, like a vision. Step into My Office, Baby — the title of a song by Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian. Sure it’s racy and risqué — check out the video below. But the raciness serves as a foil to the adorable baby image, even as the context — 21st century child care and family leave models — scrubs the words of any latent sexism/inappropriateness.
It’s what we in the media biz call a triple entendre…
*Chris, known as much for his puns as his design talent, responded to this idea with his own musically inspired cover line: “C-Suite Child of Mine.”