Covers and their placement of years and subtitles

We can dig deeper into report covers and patterns in their information and layout. Consider the eleven reports discussed earlier  where we selected eleven surveys sponsored by U.S. law firms that published reports in 2017. 1  Here we used the same methodology of assigning year of publication and subtitles — if part of the cover — to a primary location on a nine-cell grid. For this research, subtitles are any additional text after the main title, often preceded by a colon or a new line.

Three of the firms did not put on the cover the year of the survey (KL Gates, Proskauer Rose, and Ropes Gray). In fact, KL Gates offers neither the year nor a subtitle. Therefore it does not appear on the plot below. The green dot in the middle is Foley Lardner that had the publication date but no subtitle. Three firms had both a subtitle and the date: Baker McKenzie, Carlton Fields and White Case.

As with the location of the law firm’s names and report titles, which we found before are clustered in the lower left or upper right, subtitles and years of publication also cluster in those same areas. Whether this is coincidence, group-think, or based on cognitive perception studies of how people scan pages (saccade, if you want to get technical) can’t be known.

As to co-sponsors, three of these eleven covers identify one: KL Gates (Forbesinsights), Morrison Foerster (ALM Intelligence), and Ropes Gray (FT Remark). The covers place the co-sponsors names on the left side in either the top or the bottom portion of the grid.


  1. The survey reports are Baker McKenzie Cloud 2017, Carlton Fields CA 2017, Foley Lardner Cars 2017, Haynes Boone Borrowing 2017, KLGates GCDisruption 2017, Morrison Foerster GCsup 2017, Littler Mendelson Employer 2017, Proskauer Rose Empl 2017, Ropes Gray Risk 2017, Seyfarth Shaw RE 2017, and White Case Mining 2017.

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