The Art of Science Making Things Popular with Scientific Journal Covers

Sven Grampp 1 *

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So far cover pictures of scientific magazines have only been examined sporadically. This article is a humble attempt to improve this deficit. Especially cover pictures of the science journal Science will serve as examples. Following a system–theoretical foundation of my access, the central visualization strategies of the cover pictures of Science will be identified and their functionality evaluated. Three thesis statements shall be proposed within this. First Thesis: On the cover of scientific journals a popular picture of (natural) science is designed which is meant to make a (natural) scientific approach especially attractive and communicatively accessible for recipients independent of concrete research contexts. Second Thesis: Therefore a specific aesthetic is developed on the cover of scientific journals with recourse to the artistic avant–garde (especially of Pop Art and Minimal Art) and their visual form principles of seriality. Third Thesis: Through the iconic and indexical foundation of these form principles a direct affecting of the recipient is targeted at in a special way.


Scientific Journal Cover Art Science Function Icon Index Symbol Affect Hyper–Connectivity Popular Seriality Similarity Paratext Aesthetics


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp. 157-180

Published Online: 15 Apr 2015

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