Call for Cover Design – International Journal of McLuhan Studies


International Journal of McLuhan Studies

I know that there are arists/designers who are interested in and influenced by the thinking of Marshall McLuhan, some of whom subscribe to this blog. This posting is especially directed at them. “Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen”. – Marshall McLuhan (1969)

International Journal of McLuhan Studies

 Call for Cover Design  : Spring-Summer 2012, Issue 2

Education Overload

From Total Surround to Pattern Recognition

The International Journal of McLuhan Studies presents this open call for the design of its cover for the second issue, titled “Education Overload: From Total Surround to Pattern Recognition”.

The creative approach we seek will combine artistic techniques such as juxtaposition, association, analogy and dislocation to structure the communication of ideas for the purpose of triggering creative insights into its theme of “Education Overload”. Education, in its multifaced and complex dimension, is experiencing the pressure to change visions, tools and skills to be able to deal with, and benefit from, the overload of information and knowledge environment. Education in perception and training in pattern recognition are necessary to be able to deal with these pressures. Art can greatly contribute to this education new frontier.

The methodological approach of the anthropologist Edmund (“Ted”) Carpenter can serve as inspiration for the cover preparation. Carpenter was Marshall McLuhan’s co-editor of the famous Explorations journal, published in the 1950s and one of most influential scholars and collaborators of McLuhan’s intellectual probes, which resulted in such famous formulations as “the medium is the message”,   “global village”, “all advertising advertises advertising”, “affluence creates poverty”, among many others:

“Each medium, if its bias is properly exploited, reveals and communicates a unique aspect of reality, of truth. Each offers a different perspective, a way of seeing an otherwise hidden dimension of reality. It’s not a question of one reality being true, and others distortions. One allows us to see from here, another from there, a third from still another perspective…. New essentials are brought to the fore, including those made invisible by the “blinders” of the old language… This is why the preservation of book culture is as important as the development of TV. This is why new languages, instead of destroying old ones, serve as a stimulant to them. Only monopoly is destroyed…. The appearance of a new medium often frees older media for creative effort”. – Carpenter, E. (1960). The new languages. In E. Carpenter & M. McLuhan (Eds.), Explorations in Communication: An anthology. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.


The cover selection will be made in 2 stages. First, a board of evaluators in the fields of Fine Arts and Media Studies will create a short list of 5 covers, using the following criteria:

1) Conformity with the theme and specifications of the call;

2) Originality and creativity; and

3) The Quality of the presentation.

In the second phase, the selection committee will include the Editorial Board of the Journal; only one work will be chosen.

The chosen work will be the official cover of the second issue of the International Journal of McLuhan Studies, published in hardcover and on the Internet by the Universidad Oberta de Catalunya and distributed worldwide. The best 5 covers design will be published in the Journal as art works, along with short profiles of the designers.

COPYRIGHT – Copyright for the cover is defined in the submission form and is under a Creative Commons License (3.0 attribution).

SUBMISSION – The work must be original and unpublished. The following format and deadline requirements must be followed:

Format – The cover design must be 17,30 x 24,40 cm or 6,80 x 9,60 inch, 300 dpi;  the file must be saved in Jpeg, TIFF or BMP format; and the cover design must not contain any material under copyright or any reproduction of material under copyright and it must not convey anything deemed to be publically, socially or personally offensive.  

Deadline and submission – The cover design must be submitted by email to by June 29th.  The design must be submitted without any signature(s) of the designer(s); designer(s) must fill out the submission form (downloadable from and send both files (submission form and artwork) to the email address indicated. ARTWORKS SUBMITTED WITHOUT THE SUBMISSION FORM WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Final decisions will be communicated by email by July 15th.

If you have any questions, please contact the IJMS board at .

Examples of cover designs:  some issues of Explorations:

Fluxi-Floco-Fluxus   Explorations Three : Studies in Culture and Communication 

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