Though fewer and fewer scientists actually read dead-tree editions of journals, being featured on a journal cover is still a nice way to highlight your paper to a large community, and is usually considered a great recognition of one’s work. So, how does one go about getting on a journal cover? If you feel you have extraordinarily attractive graphics, do you submit them for consideration to the editor? Or is it useless, and should only be done when explicitly asked (or suggested) by the editor?
Usually the journals (at least with my very recent publication with Nature Publishing Group) ask for a potential journal cover upon notification of your manuscript's acceptance.