The giant flower on the cover is first thing you’ll likely notice about the May issue of your Real Simple magazine subscription. Yes, it was just a few months ago in January when the flower close-up concept heralded a cover package of stories about how to be happier in the new year.
This time the flower references a cover story about increasing your energy levels–and thus productivity–throughout the day by spiffing up your morning routine, infusing the day with energy boosts (and knowing when to take a break), and acknowledging that different people work better at different times of the day or night.
When the magazine ran another “Energize Your Life” story last
September, a drenched orange slice (also shot by photographer Stephen Lewis) was used
on the cover.
Meanwhile, once inside the May magazine, the flower imagery is gone, though the text is sprinkled with lots of color and, well, energetic, bits and bobs. Instead of flowers or orange slices, there are black-and-white riffs on clock faces stylishly shot by Rodney Smith. Some of the images recall surrealistic photographs taken by André Kértesz, Man Ray and others in the late-1920s and early-1930s, using a model’s body and/or arms as the hands on the clock, or looking at her through a large clock face. The different settings of the photographs reflect stages of the day, from first stretch of the morning to workday to sleep at the end.
There’s another beautifully illustrated story in Real Simple’s May issue: This one is about how to prune your closet as well as your clothes shopping methods. Readers are guided through a series of questions designed to get to the heart of one’s personal style, best fit, etc., to eliminate the kind of shopping that results in a closet stuffed with rarely or never worn clothes.
The piece is illustrated with Laurie Rosenwald’s simple, colorful renderings of various items of clothing paired with ink sketches of a woman pondering items, receiving feedback from friends (love the expressions), etc. You’ve probably seen Rosenwald’s work before; her clients include a number of magazines, as well as ad agencies, TV networks and IKEA.
With Rosenwald’s illustrations and writer Sarah Stebbins’ tips, you may find yourself actually looking forward to tackling your closet. Yet again.