They’ve Got It Covered

29 Sep

So this is a bit dorky (at least in comparison to some of my more recent postings), but the American Society of Magazine Editors is sponsoring a contest to pick the 40 Greatest Magazine Covers of the Last 40 Years. According to a story on the Media Industry Newsletter, the competition has attracted more than 400 entries — apparently, many of them are 9/11- or Kennedy-related.

As both an avid magazine reader and a professional in the magazine industry, I’m quite interested in this. I mean, what makes a good cover? Is it a great photo? An eye-catching cover line? An attractive subject (male or female)? A memorable/different/unusual image, such as a caricature? A fun type treatment? A combination of all this? Probably. It’s all part and parcel of the magazine reading experience that I enjoy so much. A cover is how the magazine announces itself. You see the issue on the newsstand or in your mailbox and just know you want to dig in.

Sometimes I’ll buy a magazine only for its cover and then not even read the contents. I’ve saved magazines simply because of their covers. Vanity Fair, GQ, and Esquire, for example, tend to have great covers. And I still have the Friends cover of Rolling Stone from May 1995 framed in my apartment. I’m sure if I looked for it, I’d even find the blown up poster-sized version of the Friends cover that I talked Sid Holt, the former managing editor of RS, into giving me that summer when I was an ASME intern.

So yeah, I find this contest kind of cool. And I’ll be looking forward to seeing who and what is chosen when the winners are announced during the annual American Magazine Conference, which takes place in Puerto Rico October 16–19.

I have no idea which 400-plus covers have been submitted to the contest, but as you’ve no doubt noticed, peppered throughout this posting are some of my favorites. Actually, they’re not necessarily even the best ones I could remember, but they are some fun ones I easily found while doing a quick Google search. And, with the exception of the Friends cover, I still have each one of these issues sitting in my apartment right now.

Perhaps as a way of encouraging some “audience participation” I’ll ask this: Do you have a favorite magazine cover, or remember any particularly good ones? If so, click on the link and post a comment. (Go ahead. You know you want to.)

2 Responses to “They’ve Got It Covered”

  1. the deal September 30, 2005 at 4:31 am #

    dude, that friends cover is from, like, May 1995. Not 2005. Though is does seem like it was just a couple of months ago we were still in college.

  2. Marty September 30, 2005 at 4:40 pm #

    Whoops. Good catch. I’ve fixed that. It’s right now.

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