Imagine you’re in the Art director’s shoes. You open up a piece of artwork and immediately groan. It’s beautiful sure, but where on earth are you going to fit the Journal title in this composition? It’s detailed all over, and there are at least six different bright colours in it. Each one of those is another colour that you can’t render the title in as it’ll be illegible. And what about those five different article titles that you’ve also got to get on there. The editor keeps pushing you to add another two, but even five is going to be a struggle. I suppose there’s a tiny crevice around the molecule in the bottom right? You sigh, open up photoshop, and proceed to dull all the colours in the beautiful artwork, dropping the luminosity into the dark greys. But hey, at least everyone will be able to work out which journal they’re reading from the cover now that your title is white on grey. Look at a few past journal covers and get a feel for how much text the art director needs to put around your image. Ideally when you’re creating the image, you want to limit the number of colours you use (see point 8) and keep all the detail in the middle. Ideally you should create your image with plenty of negative space around it and let the art director elegantly crop it depending on what suits. The easiest way to do this is just to extend the background. If that’s not possible, consider blurring out the outermost edges of the illustration to make it easier to read text on top of them. For instance by using depth of field, which makes things far away very blurry, or using a tilt shift filter, which makes the top and bottom of an image blurry. Your art editor will thank you for it.