I did the cover of Contact this year, a double-sided edition with photography at the back. It was an image I did last summer for a US client, should have been a bit bigger perhaps to communicate all the detail, but it's still very pleasant to be featured on it.
I've advertised for years with Contact and for the first time am considering whether to next year. These days, it's almost impossible to tell where work came from. I can't recall the last time a conversation opened with 'We saw your page in Contact' - and many of them did start like that, to the point where I was able to keep a tally of work's origins, so that I could see what investments were working and which weren't. Unless a job has come through my agent, it's unclear what role each of my professional presences played in getting it.
There's a strong argument for a hand-held object with large, well-printed full colour images. There's another which says it's nice, but no longer relevant. I like to produce my own hand-held objects (though it's high time I did this - Christmas was the last). Compared to the cheap-to-freeness of online promotion, it comes with a whopper of a price tag. So right now, I think if you can afford it, it's necessary for those slightly old-school art director and buyers who like a chunky book of pictures to browse through, but only as part of a large artillery of tools including the now-obligatory social networking, blogging, iPhone apps and Tweeting. Those things are not novelty extras any more - they're at the core, but like an apple, the core's no good without the juicy fleshy bits to bite into.
What does anyone else think?