One of the changes I instigated in my eight years as Science Editor of The Biochemist was to invite design staff to the magazine's Editorial Advisory Panel meetings so that we could consider the visual angle for each issue (and also so that I could interfere incessantly with the cover designs). Sometimes thinking up novel cover concepts was tough, especially when the default option is to use a chemical structure but more often than not, dreaming up effective ideas for each issue proved an amusing exercise. Rather like practical jokes, sometimes the fun is in having the idea and it's usually better not to go ahead with the execution. But just for your amusement, I recount the stories behind some of the covers. Here are four cover concepts that it's probably just as well never appeared in their original incarnation and one that should have been slightly different.

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