Take one look at the cover December/January 2009 issue of MyBusiness and you just might not recognize it.
The bold illustration of Uncle Sam using Main Street as his crutch is a definite deviation from the typical cover of MyBusiness, the magazine we publish for members of the National Federation of Independent Business. But the message it sends is the same one we send in every issue: Small business is the heart and soul of America, representing 80 percent of total employment in the United States and producing roughly half of the country’s annual GDP—and if anyone is going to get the nation through a downturn, it’s small business.
In fact, the entire December/January 2009 issue is dedicated to the economy. You’ll find recession-busting tips from cover to cover. That’s why a typical cover just wouldn’t work this time.

NFIB wanted to make a strong statement about our weak economy—and MyBusiness Art Director Kerri Davis found just the right person who could help us do that.
“With a concept cover, the are no limits to what you can say, especially with such a talented illustrator as Chris Whetzel,” Kerri says. “Once you settle on an appropriate style, the right illustrator can make the message resonate with the reader.”
Because of time constraints, we were a little nervous about working with an illustrator for the cover (we had just a week from start to finish), but the process ended up being seamless.
“Not all illustrators work the same way, but a good one will listen to all the things the client wants and doesn’t want and then offer options,” Kerri says. “Chris provided four very tight sketches. All of the sketches had a different approach with the imagery, varying on the theme a little, but the message was the same, ‘Small Business and Main Street is the foundation of the economy.’ Once the sketch was approved by the client with a few small adjustments, Chris began working on the color version and provided me with a finished product in two days.”
The December/January issue has been the talk of our office, and this week as the 500,000 readers of MyBusiness receive it, it will hopefully be the talk of their offices, too.
Check it out for yourself.