American Society of Magazine Editors

ASME Best Cover Contest 2018 Winners & Finalists

Best News and Politics | Best Entertainment and Celebrity | Best Business and Technology | Best Service and Lifestyle | Best Sports and Fitness | Best Fashion and Beauty
Best Travel and Adventure | Most Delicious | Brainiest | Most Controversial
Readers' Choice AwardsCover of the Year

 

Cover of the Year

The New Yorker
"Blowhard," August 28, 2017

David Plunkert, Illustrator

“'President Trump’s weak pushback to hate groups—as if he was trying not to alienate them as voters—compelled me to take up my pen,' said David Plunkert, the artist behind the cover of the August 28, 2017, issue. Plunkert seldom takes on political subject matter, but felt moved to do so in light of Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville. 'A picture does a better job showing my thoughts than words do; it can have a light touch on a subject that’s extremely scary.'”


Best News and Politics

Best Cover Winner

The New Yorker
“The March,” February 6, 2017

Abigail Gray Swartz, Illustrator

"The 'pussyhat' made its appearance around the country at the Women’s Marches of January 21, 2017, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration. Abigail Gray Swartz, who marched in her state capital of Augusta, Maine, was inspired by the spirit of the day to paint 'Rosie the Riveter,' wearing a knitted pink cap. 'I marched for my three-year-old son and for my six-year-old daughter,' the artist said. 'Even though I couldn’t take them with me, I was there for them.'”

Readers' Choice Winner

National Geographic
“Gender Revolution,” January 2017

Emmet Smith, Designer
Robin Hammond, Photographer

"In January, we published a special issue on gender. To examine how the conversation about gender is rapidly shifting, we spoke to 80 nine-year-old children from around the world. One of them was Avery Jackson. She has lived as an openly transgender girl since age five. We loved this photo of Avery—strong and proud. In a glance, she sums up the concept of 'Gender Revolution.' Says photographer Robin Hammond, 'It is my hope that Avery’s pride and confidence can act as a message of hope for a community who have, for far too long, been misunderstood and marginalized.'”

Finalist

Mother Jones
“Trump vs. the Law,” May/June 2017

Ivylise Simones, Designer
Morten Morland, Illustrator

"The May/June 2017 cover illustrates 'Trump vs. the Law.' In three short months since his inauguration, President Trump had already shown his disregard for the US justice system, and that he would attempt to remake the legal system in his own image. While this cover was being designed, Trump had just blindsided the country with his executive order on immigration, and fired then-Attorney General Sally Yates. To symbolize this upheaval, the May/June 2017 cover depicted a scowling Trump, with a terrified lady justice flailing over his comb over."

Finalist

Texas Monthly
Hurricane Harvey, October 2017

Emily Kimbro, Designer
Dirk Fowler, Illustrator

"We had a different issue planned for October, but when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, our staff was faced with a conundrum: How does a monthly print magazine handle a major breaking-news event? When the storm struck, we were entering the third week of our four-week production cycle. We decided to scrap our planned feature well and tell the narrative of the hurricane, as completely as possible, in an immediate oral history. Rather than display an image of destruction on the cover, we decided to represent the resilient spirit of Texans with a simple, powerful graphic of a lone unsinkable star."

Finalist

TIME
“Nothing to See Here,” February 27-March 6, 2017

D.W. Pine, Creative Director
Tim O'Brien, Illustrator

"Artist Tim O’Brien’s imaginative style made him the perfect choice to create a portrait of disruption in a reeling White House. 'Painting this cover was like imagining a movie,' O’Brien says. The line captured the Trump administration, and its supporters’ view, clearly: 'Nothing to see here.' Just as clear: the impact of the cover, designed by creative director D.W. Pine. The issue was one of the year’s best sellers, TIME’s tweet of the animated cover was retweeted 58,000 times. And the cover image even inspired a re-enactment at a Madame Tussauds wax figure museum."

Finalist

TIME
“Person of the Year [The Silence Breakers],” December 18, 2017

D.W. Pine, Creative Director
Billy & Hels, Photographer

"How to illustrate a movement of millions on a single cover? For the widely-acclaimed choice of The Silence Breakers as the 2017 Person of the Year, Billy & Hels photographed six women who represent the breadth the reckoning–– those known around the globe and those whose stories might never have otherwise been heard, including the elbow of a anonymous woman who stands for all who remain unable to come forward. Creative director D.W. Pine designed the composite image, which went viral and instantly defined a movement. 'Let’s all be silence breakers,' Jennifer Lawrence said the night of the cover’s release."


Best Entertainment and Celebrity

Best Cover Winner

New York
“David Letterman Returns,” March 6-19, 2017

Thomas Alberty, Desginer
Jody Quon, Photography Director
Christopher Anderson, Photographer

"Chris Anderson had less than five minutes with David Letterman to take this picture, in a drab conference room, constrained by the subject’s stipulation that he would not pose and face the camera. To prepare, Anderson strategized with New York's photography director Jody Quon, then scouted the room a day ahead to gauge the light. In his seconds with Letterman, Anderson made the (excellent) portrait that leads off the feature and figured that he was done. As Letterman got up to leave, he put on his sunglasses; Anderson seized the moment and said, 'Wait, one more.' That’s the cover."

Readers' Choice Winner

Entertainment Weekly
“Let’s Hear It for the Red, White and Ru," June 23, 2017

Keir Novesky, Designer
Tony Kelly, Photographer

"With the LGBTQ community at the center of our nation’s political zeitgeist, RuPaul was the clear choice to anchor our issue leading into the Fourth of July. Our photographer and photo team worked with RuPaul herself to imagine her take on America, starting with the first lady of drag at the presidential podium. As we worked on the cover there was one line from her hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race we kept in mind: 'Good luck, and don’t f**k it up!' Thankfully the shoot was poppy, electric, and unlike anything else. (All things that also happen to describe RuPaul)."

Finalist

Esquire
Pharrell, February 2017

Anton Ioukhnovets, Design Director
Mario Sorrenti, Photographer

"We caught Pharrell Willams at an anxious moment: The man who convinced ninety-nine percent of the world to be 'Happy' was, in the wake of the presidential election, feeling anything but. We knew that the inimitable, sharp-eyed Mario Sorrenti would pull off a memorable shoot. What we didn’t anticipate is that the two would collaborate on an off-the-cuff, ambitious approach, in equal parts pensive and provocative. No detail was overlooked toward supporting the theme. Jewel-toned background. Stark framing. A sad, stylish man holding a bright, yellow balloon. The result may well be the greatest portrait of Pharrell ever taken."

Finalist

Esquire
Adam Driver, December 2017/January 2018

Raul Aguila, Design Director
Norman Jean Roy, Photographer

"Is there a more unlikely marquee actor right now than Adam Driver, a brooding military vet with El Greco features and a brooding disposition that seems balanced on a knife-edge between transcendence and disaster? Hollywood handsome he is not. What he is: Stylish, bold, whipsmart, iconoclastic. All of which is to say: He represents what it means to be an Esquire man. Norman Jean Roy’s portrait of the Star Wars villain on his back, comfortably defeated, captures the self-aware seriousness in a way that is not tongue-in-cheek, but sincere and moving."

Finalist

TransWorld SKATEboarding
Dylan Rieder, January 2017

Keegan Callahan, Designer
Paul Kobriger, Illustrator
Ryan Allan, Photographer

"Skateboarding lost a beloved and iconic figure in 2016. Dylan Rieder changed skateboarding forever with his style, power, and grace. He was a gentle soul and one of the all-time greats and will be remembered as such. We wanted to do a cover that would emphasize our love and appreciation for him. So I tasked our Marketing Director, Paul Kobriger, an amazing portrait artist, to create a portrait of Dylan. The process, called stippling, took Paul over 60 hours to recreate Ryan Allan’s photo of Dylan.We’re proud to pay tribute to Dylan, his family, friends, and fans."

Finalist

Vanity Fair
Serena Williams, August 2017

 


Best Business and Technology

Best Cover Winner

The New Yorker
 “Coding 101,” November 20, 2017

Malika Favre, Illustrator

“'I decided to look at the future so I could create a positive image,' Malika Favre says, about her cover for the Tech Issue, dated November 20, 2017. 'When you read about women sharing their experiences in a field that is so dominated by males, it can get pretty depressing. For me, it’s obvious that the solution has to start from a young age, with education and the games kids play.'”

Readers' Choice Winner

Popular Science
“The State of Water in Our World,” March/April 2017

Mike Schnaidt, Designer
The Voorhes, Photographer

"Making a high-impact statement on a cover is critical; for a single-topic issue, those stakes are magnified. The March/April edition of Popular Science announces the topic of water scarcity through the interplay of a pointed coverline and an arresting image: A faucet gushes sand instead of life-giving water, as if responding to the phrase 'The State of Water in Our World.' To create the scene, cover artists The Voorhes pumped sand through a salvaged spigot, using compressed air to keep the pipes 'flowing.' Shot close-up with a wide-angle lens, the torrent of dust appears as imposing as a waterfall."

Finalist

Bloomberg Businessweek
“It’s Not Easy Being Mark Zuckerberg Right Now,” September 25, 2017

"Our cover on Mark Zuckerberg surrounds him with words that represent all the problems and accusations surrounding Facebook."

Finalist

The California Sunday Magazine
“The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley,” October 1, 2017, gatefold cover

Leo Jung, Designer
Dru Donovan, Photographer

"Our October cover story profiles Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman, who, like other Silicon Valley leaders, had undergone a political awakening following the election. Altman believed our democracy was broken. His solution: to treat it like a startup. The cover features a close-up of the 'techie uniform'; the inside cover, a politician’s suit. This juxtaposition gestures toward a shift in the nation’s center of power: as tech companies have gathered might, their leaders have gained influence over Washington. The cover also hints at the ambition of those like Altman, whose schemes may one day include replacing the political establishment altogether."

Finalist

Landscape Architecture Magazine
“The Big Blow,” April 2017

Chris McGee, Designer
IABR/H+N+S Landscape Architects, Illustrator

"LAM's April cover might look like abstract art--but it's actually a graphic showing wind current lines roaring over the North Sea. The image illustrates a story about the ambitious vision of the Dutch landscape architecture firm H+N+S to install 25,000 offshore wind turbines in order to meet the Paris Agreement goal of phasing out carbon emissions entirely by 2050."


Best Service and Lifestyle

Best Cover Winner

The California Sunday Magazine
“A Teenage Life,” December 1, 2017

Leo Jung, Designer
Alessandra Sanguinetti, Photographer

“'In December, The California Sunday Magazine released an issue dedicated to the world of teenagers. In the photo essay 'Hanging Out,' Magnum photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti offers a sweeping look at the ways teens across California spend time together, away from adult supervision. On the cover, a group of friends in San Jose take a selfie. To capture the photograph, Sanguinetti met the girls at a boba shop and transformed it into a makeshift studio. The striking composition frames a familiar activity in an unfamiliar way: We see only the girls’ faces on the phone screen."

Readers' Choice Winner

Concealed Carry
“Comfort & Style,” May/June 2017

Ken Wangler and Dusty Reid, Designers and Photographers

"Carrying a handgun comfortably while dressing with style is no easy task. For our 2017 'Comfort & Style' issue, we featured a classic American icon — the cowboy. We met real-life cowboy Keith Janke at his stable on a cool morning. Decked out in his own threads and tending to horses with his Springfield Range Officer on his hip, the relaxed and confident rancher exudes comfort. His distinctive cowboy hat and rugged jacket epitomize natural style. Meanwhile, the barn’s muted tones give the shot an authentically rustic feel while the sunlight peeking through old boards provides an additional eye-catching element."

Finalist

Garden & Gun
Tenth Anniversary, April/May 2017

Marshall McKinney, Designer
Andrew Kornylak, Photographer

"Garden & Gun’s tenth-anniversary April/May 2017 issue cover called for something extra special. A cocktail? Too expected. Cake? Too fussy. Three of our most popular cover subjects reunited for the occasion? Bingo! We brought together Rimi, a golden retriever (December 2013/January 2014); Deke, a British Labrador retriever (December 2011/January 2012); and BB, an English setter (December 2016/January 2017)—all working gundogs—at a North Carolina quail plantation for photographer Andrew Kornylak. He has a unique talent for capturing dogs’ noble qualities to painterly effect and for keeping them still for the camera (no small feat)."

Finalist

The New Yorker
“Bright Star,” July 3, 2017

Kadir Nelson, Illustrator

"'It's a diverse celebration for the Fourth of July,' Kadir Nelson says, about his cover of the July 3, 2017, issue. 'Family and friends get together with kids just being kids, and parents being parents.'"

Finalist

Surface
“Rossana Orlandi,” April 2017

Delfino Sisto Legnani, Photographer

"For the cover of our Taste Issue, we selected Italian gallerist and curator Rossana Orlandi, who possesses a special ability to spot and foster emerging talent in art and design. She has an untamable, unrepeatable vision, one that is clearly reflected in this honest, insightful portrait by Delfino Sisto Legnani. The shot, which captures Orlandi’s truest essence and spirit, is so strong that it functions almost as the lede of the story itself."

Finalist

Texas Monthly
“The 50 Best BBQ Joints,” June 2017

T.J. Tucker, Designer
Marc Burckhardt, Illustrator

"In June, we released our highly anticipated top 50 barbecue joints in Texas. With an influx of new spots and a number of older joints operating at higher levels than ever, the Texas Monthly editors decidedly dubbed 2017 the Golden Age of Texas Barbecue. For our cover, we called on Marc Burckhardt to illustrate a scene inspired by Dutch still-life paintings: beautifully arranged slices of white bread, an ornate gravy boat of sauce, torn salt and pepper packets, plastic cutlery, a halfpeeled potato, and a chalice of Big Red– all of which together convey this craft of passion reaching perfection."


Best Sports and Fitness

Best Cover Winner

GQ
LeBron James, November 2017

Fred Woodward, Designer
Pari Dukovic, Photographer

"When the World's Greatest Living Athlete is also an off-the-court phenom in business, in movies, and increasingly in politics, the time allotted for a photo shoot is limited (it was 45-minutes from the frame to the last). But photographer Pari Dukovic nevertheless captured LeBron James in a timeless, almost deified image that shows the strength, fierceness, and regal nature of GQ’s November cover subject. One worthy of blowing up and framing like a piece of art (which we did)."

Readers' Choice Winner

ESPN The Magazine
Kirstie Ennis, July 17, 2017

Chin Wang, Creative Director
Peter Yang, Photographer

"Kirstie Ennis, a retired United States Marine Corps sergeant, is the first veteran we have featured in The Body Issue. She has undergone more than three dozen surgeries since 2012 when the helicopter she was in was shot in Afghanistan, yet she has been determined not to let any of that limit her. Aside from training for future climbs—Kistie's goal is to climb the Seven Summits—Joshua Tree, California, provided a stunning location for our shoot."

Finalist

ESPN The Magazine
Corey Seager, April 10, 2017

Chin Wang, Creative Director
Marcus Eriksson, Photographer

"This iconic image of Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and its perfect tagline, 'The New Classic,' were right on theme for our MLB Preview cover, both visually and editorially, which evokes the style of a vintage baseball card. Inside the issue, we wanted to capture what most excites us about the current moment in baseball: young stars, new faces and relaxed 'rules' combining to make baseball a new – and better – version of the game we have always loved."

Finalist

ESPN The Magazine
Brent Burns and Joe Thornton, July 17, 2017

Chin Wang, Creative Director
Ramona Rosales, Photographer

"Professional hockey players Joe Thornton and Brent Burns are teammates and good friends. We wanted to play with their huge personalities and take the idea of the playoff beard to its extreme. The San Jose Sharks teammates sat patiently for over an hour while our special effects artists created the masterpieces using both real and synthetic hair. The beards were heavy and were supposed to provide adequate coverage. We hadn’t counted on the wind!"

Finalist

Sports Illustrated
“Super Bowl Miracle,” February 13, 2017

Stephen Skalocky, Designer
Ezra Shaw, Photographer

"Books will be written and films will be made about the New England Patriots’ incredible Super Bowl victory—the narrative arc of the greatest comeback in championship game history, led by the greatest quarterback in NFL history, is sweeping. It’s all captured perfectly in a spectacular photograph of Julian Edelman’s mind- and body-bending catch, a key play in the comeback and an instant-classic sports moment. It’s a split-second frozen in time, the improbability and miraculousness of the play neatly summarizing the game itself. 'I don’t know how the hell he caught it,' Tom Brady said. Gaze and wonder yourself."

Finalist

TransWorld Motocross
Ken Roczen, November 2017

Shane Kinman, Designer
Mike Emery, Photographer

"November’s TransWorld Motocross illustrates the gravity of the horrific career-threatening injury and recovery process of its sport’s brightest star. The imagery directly represents Ken Roczen’s struggle by leading the readers’ eyes from his expression straight to the scars on his arm almost lost to compartment syndrome. A poignant but fitting cover line lays subtly in the shadows, allowing the portrait to carry the weight of a heavy cover story."

Best Fashion and Beauty

Best Cover Winner

Marie Claire
Emma Stone, September 2017

Wanyi Jiang, Designer
Greg Kadel, Photographer

"We turned the iconic September cover—the main event in fashion magazines—on its head to highlight Hollywood’s highest-paid actress of 2017: Oscar winner Emma Stone, captured by legendary photographer Greg Kadel in his Marie Claire debut. The tight shot and red wash brings an intense, subversive edge. With head cocked and hand covering her mouth, Emma meets the reader’s gaze with her direct stare. Black lace, tousled hair, and smoky eyes—the result is unexpected: a haunting high-fashion cover that stands out in a sea of standard Septembers."

Readers' Choice Winner

Allure
“The Beauty of Diversity,” April 2017

Patrick Demarchelier, Photographer

"The beauty and fashion industries have been too white for too long. By celebrating a range of underrepresented skin tones on our cover, it was our hope to move the needle in the beauty world, to redefine what beauty means. It’s vital to acknowledge that there is no one definition of beauty—and here at Allure, we are overdue. The response was overwhelming: both long-time readers and women who had never connected with Allure before told us how much our April issue meant to them. The needle, in a meaningful way, had moved."

Finalist

GQ Style
Brad Pitt split covers, Summer 2017

John Muñoz, Designer
Ryan McGinley, Photographer

"When the summer issue of GQ Style hit the internet and newsstands, it quickly became one of the most celebrated—and debated—magazine moments of the year. The concept? Three distinct covers featuring Brad Pitt, all shot by eye-of-his-generation photographer Ryan McGinley. Each of the covers depicts Pitt in one of America's great national parks and monuments: White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, and The Everglades. And each cover captures a different shade of the star's fractured emotional state as he waded through a high-profile divorce: raw, wounded, vulnerable, and beautiful as ever."

Finalist

Harper's Bazaar
Kendall Jenner, May 2017

Camilla Akrans, Photographer

"In May of our 150 anniversary year, supermodel Kendall Jenner blew kisses from our subscriber cover with help from photographer Camilla Akrans and a largely forgotten technology known as lenticular printing. A winking reference to a classic Richard Avedon cover from April 1965, it became a collector’s item overnight, proving that, even in our tech-savvy, Bluetooth-enabled world, the simplest solutions can still pack a punch."

Finalist

WSJ. Magazine
“Fall Fashion,” September 2017

Pierre Tardif, Designer
Mario Sorrenti, Photographer

"WSJ. offers its readers a wide lens on the world, covering topics from art to fashion to travel. That uncommon editorial agility is highlighted by the September Women's Fashion cover, for which photographer Mario Sorrenti captured one of fall's most coveted runway looks—a Balenciaga gown and thigh-high boots—worn by model-of-the-moment Faretta on a Venetian gondola. It's the perfect curtain raiser for the issue's 32-page portfolio showcasing the city's historic mystique and the excitement of the Venice Biennale, mixing groundbreaking fashion with portraits of soughtafter artists such as Mark Bradford and Kiki Smith."

Best Travel and Adventure

Best Cover Winner

Bike
“Open Season,” July 2017

Chato Aganza, Designer
Mattias Fredriksson, Photographer

"Swedish photographer Mattias Fredriksson combined the hauntingly monolithic nature of Mont Blanc with inviting, light-hearted, sweeping singletrack immortalizing the joy of mountain biking while distilling the emphasis of July’s feature story: the careless inviting ease of high alpine singletrack within Italy’s larger-than-life Aosta Valley. Designer Chato Aganza clever wove 'OPEN SEASON' wording into a perpendicular junction drawing the viewer’s attention to both the arcing riders and the towering height of Mont Blanc. Aganza hid 'Bike' within the clouds to further heighten the ferocity and scale of Mont Blanc’s domineering presence, delicately combing a sense of fun with foreboding power."

Readers' Choice Winner

VICE
Post-election road-trip issue, June 2017

Alen Zukanovic, Designer
Naomi Harris, Photographer

"Naomi Harris has always been attracted to the American road trip. For our June Issue, she spent the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency living out of her car and traveling across the country. Her motivation was figuring out 'how the polls and the media got it all wrong.' She traveled across 19 states, speaking to Americans (and taking their portraits) to find out how and why they voted. The cover features Richard, a Vietnam vet she met along the way (he voted for Clinton). We think the story and cover is playful and surprising yet timely and provocative."

Finalist

AFAR
“The Dream Trips Issue,” July/August 2017

Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson, Designer
Frédéric Lagrange, Photographer

"If you’re going to devote an issue to 'Dream Trips,' the cover better be dreamy. That’s how creative director Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson approached AFAR’s July/August 2017 issue, which revealed ways to make your travel fantasies a reality, whether you want to sleep in an overwater bungalow in Fiji, cycle the Tour de France, or, as depicted on the cover, hike behind a waterfall in Iceland. Photographer Frédéric Lagrange, who has a knack for elevating landscapes to art, captured both the grandeur of the setting and the subtle details that draw the viewer into the scene."

Finalist

Condé Nast Traveler
“30th Anniversary Issue,” September 2017

Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers, Photographers

"When photographers Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers returned from shooting in Oaxaca, Mexico, we took one look at this image and knew we had our cover for September’s Design and Style issue. The city is an emerging design and food mecca, where women artisans and entrepreneurs are powering a slow-craft movement. We loved how this picture completely captures that vibe, as well as the elusive, perfect moment we chase when we travel – the only-there cocktail, the laidback café, the buttery afternoon light – which inspires our Plan B fantasies and keeps us dreaming of our next trip."

Finalist

SURFER
“The Great Wave,” October 2017

Donny Stevens, Designer
John Severson, Illustrator

"This will go down as a classic SURFER Magazine cover, as it incorporates the artwork of the magazine’s late founder, John Severson. Severson started SURFER Magazine in 1960, and the early issues were filled with his own photography, writing and illustrations. Severson, a self-taught publisher, learning how to make a magazine on the fly, which is why his art felt like a perfect fit for SURFER’s DIY issue. The painting, titled 'The Great  Wave,' described by Severson 'It’s a statement of our big-wave charge and reckless drive into unpredictability, slabs and unknowns; improvising in extremely dangerous and fast changing situations.'"

Most Delicious

Best Cover Winner

Sauce
“Poke All Day,” April 2017

Meera Nagarajan, Designer
Carmen Troesser, Photographer

"We wanted something bright and fresh to welcome spring for the April 2017 issue of Sauce Magazine. Our cover story was a trend piece on poke, which had become a popular menu item in St. Louis – from traditional presentations of the Hawaiian classic to riffs like the vegetarian version pictured on the cover, made with compressed watermelon “sashimi.” We wanted one image to represent the range of poke on offer in the city, and show off its refreshing profile with an upbeat background of pink and white."

Readers' Choice Winner

Feast
“Pizza & Beer,” October 2017

Alexandrea Povis, Designer
Aaron Ottis, Photographer

"The sourdough starter at Pizza Tree has a name. Seymour gets fed twice daily, depending on how much pizza dough needs to be made on a given day – sometimes less, and definitely more when school is in session at Mizzou. John Gilbreth started the sourdough culture five years ago and has kept Seymour alive at Pizza Tree in the heart of downtown Columbia, Missouri, ever since. Seymour is our cover star dressed in a knockoff of the traditional Vietnamese bánh mì, featuring Sriracha-glazed pork belly, housemade purple kimchi, fresh cilantro and a chile aïoli drizzled in a mesmerizing spiral."

Finalist

Bon Appétit
“The Simple Issue,” August 2017

Kristin Eddington, Design Director
Ted Cavanaugh, Photographer

"How do you convey all that peak-season produce has to offer without obscuring it? Well, you strip everything else away. For the cover of our August 2017 Simple Issue, we highlight the power of a perfect ingredient: a single juicy peach, captured in a dramatic photo by Ted Cavanaugh. Design director Kristin Eddington complements the image with a clean, contemporary Futura typeface and warm, on-trend hue, which together evoke feelings of both familiarity and nowness. Ultimately, we deliver a statement: Simple isn’t boring, clinical, or sterile. It has an impact. And, most important, it’s delicious."

Finalist

EatingWell
“Gather & Feast,” November/December 2017

James Van Fleteren, Designer
Melina Hammer, Photographer

"What’s more delicious than a variety of different vegetables? Nothing! This gorgeous Nov/Dec cover comes at the holidays with a non-turkey focus and an emphasis on the abundance of seasonal vegetables. The vegetables fill the page and glisten like ornaments, acting as a perfect but unexpected tease to all the special recipes in the issue."

Finalist

The Local Palate
“The New ’Cue,” June/July 2017

Jennifer Hitchcock, Designer
Jonathan Boncek, Photographer

"Some Southerners don’t take kindly to regional barbecue styles crossing geographical boundaries. But when Texan John Lewis brought his smoky brisket to Charleston, South Carolina—closer to pulled pork country—the excitement was palpable and the lines at his restaurant were out the door. Clearly some of us were ready to embrace change. How better to illustrate this moment in the evolution of barbecue in the South than with an in-your-face brisket sandwich against a modern backdrop."

Finalist

Rachael Ray Every Day
“You Got This!,” November 2017

Phoebe Flynn Rich, Designer
Christopher Testani, Photographer

"Thanksgiving is the only day of the year when 88 percent of Americans eat the exact same meal. Because many of them also spend November talking, thinking, and prepping for the holiday, most magazines feature a big old roast bird on their covers. This year, to stand out in that sea of turkeys and deliver on the Rachael Ray Every Day promise—we choose fun and flavor over foodie preciousness—we shot the platonic ideal, cropped in tight, and dropped a big fat line on there that says we’re your recipe source, your entertaining adviser, and your cheerleader: 'You got this!'"

Brainiest

Best Cover Winner

The New Yorker
“Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley,” March 6, 2017

Barry Blitt, Illustrator

“Vladimir Putin may have influenced the U.S. Presidential election, but his plans are much bigger. 'I’m boning up on my Cyrillic,' Barry Blitt, the artist behind the cover of the March 6, 2017, issue, says. In a riff on the magazine’s first cover, from 1925, by Rea Irvin, Blitt imagines a future in which our dandy mascot has become Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley and the lepidopteran under scrutiny is none other than a stunned Donald Trump."

Readers' Choice Winner

Whitefish Review
“Rising Voices,” Winter/Spring 2017

Ian Griffiths, Designer
Michael Haykin, Illustrator

"The cover of Whitefish Review’s 'Out of Time' issue features 'Sparrow' by artist Michael Haykin. (Original art 108 x 72 inches, oil on canvas, 6 panels.)

The artist created the work after a flying sparrow crashed into his artist studio window.

'Simultaneously in the eye of my artist’s heart, the resurrected sparrow rises and flies again to become a painting of itself stolen out of time,' says Haykin.

The 10 anniversary issue features an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the Montana Prize for Fiction winner, and 40 artists and writers."

Finalist

The Chronicle Review
“You’re Wrong,” May 12, 2017

Sue LaLumia, Designer and Illustrator

"The debate in higher education this year was all about... debate in higher education. Joseph Heath's cover essay for The Chronicle Review captured the moment, making the case for adversarial culture. He depicts fields that are supposedly 'full of jerks,' who interupt others, are shockingly confrontational, and enjoy tearing others' ideas down, ultimately in the spirit of intellectual growth. We used the simple image of a heckler's smashed tomato to capture, with a tad of humor, that culture."

Finalist

Harper's Magazine
“Who Owns Black Pain?,” July 2017

Chin Wang, Creative Director
Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Sanford Biggers, Photographers

"To highlight Zadie Smith's meditation on black pain and who owns it, our art directors chose a work of contemporary photography depicting a man, half black and half white."

Finalist

TIME
“Infrastructure,” April 10, 2017

D.W. Pine, Creative Director
Peter Greenwood, Illustrator

"Few topics are less visual than infrastructure, the deadly dull term for the easy-to-ignore backbone of daily life. But the state of America’s infrastructure is dire, and TIME devoted a special report to call attention to the problem––and offer solutions. To encapsulate the project, Peter Greenwood created a poster-worthy illustration of intersecting trains, planes, tunnels and shipping containers in bold, bright strokes. The approach ran directly at the problem, turning the dreary visual language of the topic into a smart, fun and memorable magazine cover."

Finalist

WIRED
“What Lies Ahead,” February 2017

"WIRED’s cover package of future trends in technology provided a challenging concept that was illustrated typographically. On the cover image, stark, geometric type spelling 'What Lies Ahead' emerges from layers of color beds. The words shift from darker to lighter colors, with 'Ahead' coming to the fore as the lead word, with orange type in a fluorescent yellow bed. The typographic treatment serves as a metaphor for these emerging trends."

Most Controversial

Best Cover Winner

The New Yorker
"Blowhard," August 28, 2017

David Plunkert, Illustrator

“'President Trump’s weak pushback to hate groups—as if he was trying not to alienate them as voters—compelled me to take up my pen,' said David Plunkert, the artist behind the cover of the August 28, 2017, issue. Plunkert seldom takes on political subject matter, but felt moved to do so in light of Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville. 'A picture does a better job showing my thoughts than words do; it can have a light touch on a subject that’s extremely scary.'”

Readers' Choice Winner

GQ
“Citizen of the Year [Colin Kaepernick],” December 2017

Fred Woodward, Design Director
Martin Schoeller, Photographer

"Colin Kaepernick hadn’t played football in nearly a year. And yet, he's become more important and more provocative than ever. So much so, that when he appeared on the December issue of GQ, in a starkly captivating image created by Martin Schoeller, the cover touched touched off a fierce national conversation—about police brutality, yes, but also about the voices of black athletes, about nature of courage, and about the nurturing of contempt. Like few covers can, it sparked a debate even about who 'should' appear on magazines, and it offered, ultimately, a bold reminder of the form's singular power."

Finalist

Newsweek
“Pop Go the Weasels,” November 17, 2017

Michael Goesele, Designer
Justin Metz, Illustrator

"For a story that dominated headlines throughout the fall and could be the most important social issue of our generation, the editors wanted a provocative image as strong as the provocative story tracing the outrage over sexual harassment back to the Trump White House. Pop Go the Weasels was banned in Egypt, which must mean we did something right. It was praised and condemned on social media, which also means we did something right, and was still provoking arguments a month later. Just one regret: we didn’t make the balloon shorter."

Finalist

TIME
“White House-Red Square,” May 29, 2017

D.W. Pine, Creative Director
Brobel Design, Illustrator

"Four months into Donald Trump’s presidency it had become clear that the Trump-Russia story, as the President calls it, was not going to fade. By mid-May, Trump had shared classified intelligence with the Russian Foreign Minister in the Oval Office and Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel. Brobel Design’s illustration of Moscow institutions—Red Square and the spires of St. Basil’s Cathedral—metastasizing and infecting the White House perfectly captured the depth and scope of the growing scandal. For the first time in a decade, TIME ran an image on its cover without any words—because they were unnecessary."

Finalist

TIME
“Hate in America” August 28, 2017

D.W. Pine, Creative Director
Edel Rodriguez, Illustrator

"Artist Edel Rodriguez, whose 'Meltdown' cover was named Cover of the Year in 2016, created this illustration to distill the nation’s mood following the Charlottesville tragedy. With his bold, graphic approach, Rodriguez depicts a protester giving a Nazi salute while draped in an American flag. 'They are taking advantage of what the flag guarantees them—freedom of speech—to further an agenda of hatred,' says Rodriguez, who was commissioned by creative director D.W. Pine. MarketWatch called the cover 'devastating.' CNN called it 'bold.' And TIME’s cover defined the aftermath of this shocking event."

 

Readers' Choice Awards

Winner

Entertainment Weekly
“Let’s Hear It for the Red, White and Ru," June 23, 2017

Keir Novesky, Designer
Tony Kelly, Photographer

"With the LGBTQ community at the center of our nation’s political zeitgeist, RuPaul was the clear choice to anchor our issue leading into the Fourth of July. Our photographer and photo team worked with RuPaul herself to imagine her take on America, starting with the first lady of drag at the presidential podium. As we worked on the cover there was one line from her hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race we kept in mind: 'Good luck, and don’t f**k it up!' Thankfully the shoot was poppy, electric, and unlike anything else. (All things that also happen to describe RuPaul)."

Finalist

Billboard
“Woman of the Year 2017 [Selena Gomez],” December 9, 2017

Nicole Tereza, Designer
Ruven Afanador, Photographer
Jen Laski and Jenny Sargent, Photo Directors

"Billboard’s annual Women in Music issue was led by a stunning figure of poise, strength and beauty: Selena Gomez, who had spent the year blossoming into a progressive pop artist, covers the issue as the Woman of the Year. Photographed at the Paramour Mansion in Los Angeles by Ruven Afanador, Gomez’s delivers a look that pierces through the adult opulence surrounding her; she’s come a long way since her Disney days, and her regal pose signifies her newfound power. Showcasing one of Gomez's most personal interviews to date, the cover underlines the unbreakable spirit at the heart of the story."

Finalist

Concealed Carry
“Comfort & Style,” May/June 2017

Ken Wangler and Dusty Reid, Designers and Photographers

"Carrying a handgun comfortably while dressing with style is no easy task. For our 2017 'Comfort & Style' issue, we featured a classic American icon — the cowboy. We met real-life cowboy Keith Janke at his stable on a cool morning. Decked out in his own threads and tending to horses with his Springfield Range Officer on his hip, the relaxed and confident rancher exudes comfort. His distinctive cowboy hat and rugged jacket epitomize natural style. Meanwhile, the barn’s muted tones give the shot an authentically rustic feel while the sunlight peeking through old boards provides an additional eye-catching element."

Finalist

Living Bird
“Winter Issue,” gatefold cover

Joanne Uy Avila, Designer
Brenda Lyons, Illustrator

"Our Winter 2017 issue celebrated the citizen-science discoveries that have come from people watching their backyard bird feeders. And adult coloring books are best-sellers from the Cornell Lab Book Publishing Group. So we decided to give Living Bird readers something fun to do while sitting inside in winter, watching their feeders. Artist Brenda Lyons created a vibrant backyard birds scene to span our continent, with a classic snowy eastern scene on the front and a winter-in-California scene on the back. The whole cover was wrapped by a black-and-white coloring page so readers could recreate Lyon's artwork, or make their own."

Finalist

National Geographic
“Gender Revolution,” January 2017

Emmet Smith, Designer
Robin Hammond, Photographer

"In January, we published a special issue on gender. To examine how the conversation about gender is rapidly shifting, we spoke to 80 nine-year-old children from around the world. One of them was Avery Jackson. She has lived as an openly transgender girl since age five. We loved this photo of Avery—strong and proud. In a glance, she sums up the concept of 'Gender Revolution.' Says photographer Robin Hammond, 'It is my hope that Avery’s pride and confidence can act as a message of hope for a community who have, for far too long, been misunderstood and marginalized.'”

 

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