Author + information
- ∗University of Minnesota and VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- †Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
- ↵∗Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Jagat Narula, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Mount Sinai Heart, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Mailbox 1030, New York, New York 10029.
“Don't judge a book by its cover.”
—George Eliot (1)
Starting next month, readers of iJACC who have for the past 6 and one-half years associated our journal with exquisitely delightful and colorful covers will see a new minimalistic outer cover design. The new cover format, displaying the table of contents but no images, will be consistent across JACC journals. Before you wonder whether iJACC has morphed into something else, let us assure you that your beloved iJACC still lurks as the same powerful engine under a new hood (bonnet for our overseas friends)! Recognizing the uniqueness of iJACC's covers with images, the publications committee of the American College of Cardiology allowed us a bit of leeway. We are happy to report that we will still put out visually delightful images that are designed to make you smile even before you open the long table of contents, only now, like a gift that is skillfully wrapped, it will be visible once you unwrap the main cover. We are an imaging journal and will remain one; we can think of no better way to invite you to the journal except with wonderful cover or inside cover images.
A legendary brand is supposed to set the standard in its field, creatively destroy the current status quo, and generate positive feelings among a loyal audience. Associating with such a brand enhances consumers' experience and makes them feel a visceral connection with the brand. However, a common issue across all enterprises is how to harmonize brand identity across vast and disparate elements of an organization and yet preserve what is unique in each individual unit. Each of these units has something unique and of high value that may be present, if at all, in a much smaller measures in other entities. This uniqueness adds to the success of the overall enterprise. Often, consumers and clients are emotionally attached to these unique traits, which is part of the reason they prefer one product over another. Losing these traits with their intangible value thus has implications beyond traditional measures of competitiveness. One of the most difficult tasks is to achieve unity among diversity: to keep this individuality alive and exposed while being consistent with the overall branding message. If JACC were a company, we would like to think that we are the division that deals mainly with images as our medium: “Imaging for Health.”
What is it that differentiates us in dealing with images as our medium? It is obvious that providing a platform for only the most outstanding of imaging sciences is our raison d'être, and our obsession with delivering on this promise each month is an important reason for iJACC's impact and readership volume. However, we are quite sure that our attractive cover pages were also a part of the affectionate and loyal bond readers developed with iJACC. It is said that the word branding comes from the days when ranchers branded their cattle to identify them, and from what we hear, a cover with an attractive image for an imaging journal has been seared into the minds of our readers. It is a unique element our audience associates with us. We receive regular feedback from numerous readers about how much they love the covers, how unique they are to iJACC, and how fitting they were for an imaging journal. In our very first issue, we set out to be the “Life of Imaging” (2), and our covers have been an important part of who we are and what we aspire to be as an imaging journal. Our covers, drawn from the outstanding science we publish, will continue to convey that we are thriving and strong in the field of imaging. One advantage of the new imaging cover location is that it will not have the mailing label affixed to it. Authors who collect covers related to their publications can now frame them more easily without clutter.
Although not officially true, we the editors like to think to ourselves that our cover is like our brand mascot—like the kidney-shaped grill or the Hofmeister kink in BMW automobiles—a trait that by itself does not mean much in terms of functionality but conveys something timeless about the product. For us and our readers, iJACC's covers convey that we are primarily an imaging platform. In addition, although the Hofmeister kink was not even originally designed by BMW and has since appeared on cars from multiple other makers, one carmaker perfected it and created a consistency about it, so much so that it is now almost exclusively identified with one brand. Similarly, attractive cover images appear and will continue to appear elsewhere, but our readers tell us that they take special pleasure in our covers; and it is our assurance to you that we care deeply about what we show you.
Why are we celebrating the cover so much? Does it mean that we have fallen into the classic trap of being in love with minutia and possibly inconsequential details, squandering time and resources that could be better devoted to the bigger picture? We assure you that Jean Baudrillard is always at the back of our minds, lest we get caught up in the “inessentials.” In this model (the ideal or desirable product or idea) and series (mass-produced “me-too” products) construct, series aspire to reach the model product but do so by stressing only insignificant changes (e.g., color or shape)—the inessentials—and claiming an imaginary, fictional uniqueness to differentiate themselves from other similar products. We like to think of iJACC as the model, and its cover to us is an extension in that direction, a belief that although science must be meticulous, it needn't be drab and colorless. We will continue to provide the premier forum for outstanding science, and our editorials will continue to critically place this science into perspective for our readership. However, we also want to encase your journal in what the French so aptly call la bulle de bonheur—the bubble of happiness! We plan to occasionally welcome images for the cover from our readership, though of course, only the most elegant images will earn the chance to present themselves to our readership; no case reports please. So enjoy your journal, avec plaisir—with pleasure.
The authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- ↵Eliot G. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_judge_a_book_by_its_cover. Accessed May 16, 2014.
- Narula J.