American Society of Magazine Editors

Best Cover Contest 2006 Winners & Finalists


Cover of the Year|Best News Cover|Best Celebrity Cover|Best Concept Cover
Best Fashion Cover|Best Service Cover|Best Cover Line
 


Cover of the Year

Winner
The New Yorker (September 19, 2005) - Flood in the Oval Office

The ineptness of the response by FEMA and the U.S. government after Hurricane Katrina was an outrage to everyone who watched it unfold. The images of bodies floating unclaimed in murky waters were clear signs of the lack of care and empathy by those at the top of the government. In his cover, "Deluged," Barry Blitt turns the tables on the situation. As the Oval Office is slowly submerged, the reader gets a release that goes beyond the first laugh and unleashes the floodgates of the nation's collective anger.


 

Second Place
Rolling Stone (May 18-June 1, 2006) - 1,000th issue 3-D cover


No magazine cover of the past year received more attention-or stretched the form as far-as Rolling Stone's remarkable 3-D celebration of the past four decades of American pop culture. The playful and engaging use of the holographic image served as more than a mere visual stunt-it created the ultimate rock fantasy, a lasting and indelible celebration of a milestone in American magazine history.

 

 

Third Place
The Economist (July 8-14, 2006) - "Rocket man" Kim Jong-il of North Korea

This cover appeared in the week following North Korea's decision to launch a Taepodong rocket (which fizzled) and half a dozen others (which worked). The launch, noted The Economist, was calculated to blast a hole in the diplomatic effort by America, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia to get Kim Jong-il's regime to give up its nuclear bomb-building. The Economist worried that Kim Jong-il's pyrotechnics would incinerate wider efforts to stabilize a region full of dangerous rivalries. The cover captured the moment by picturing the elusive North Korean leader as dangerous Rocket man. Though considered a serious magazine, the cover demonstrates The Economist's often irreverent take on the world's events.

 

Best News Cover

Winner
The New Yorker (February 27, 2006) Illustrated Watch Your Back Mountain featuring George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

Nowadays, news is covered instantly on the Internet and on the talk and news shows, and expanded upon in newspapers and newsweeklies, making it increasingly difficult for anyone to say anything original. Yet thats what Mark Ulriksen managed in this Watch Your Back Mountain cover. Published when the movie Brokeback Mountain was about to be released, Ulriksen's image evokes both the smugness of a vice president implicated in catastrophe and the cluelessness of a president incapable of stopping him. The image shows a couple of hapless chaps, prisoners of their fate and unable to alter the course of events they have set in motion.
 

Second Place
Newsweek (September 19, 2005) - Child victim of Hurricane Katrina crying

Chosen from hundreds of images from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the face of a one-year-old storm victim's single tear running down her facenot only pulled in readers emotionally but brought home the deeper issues of race and social justice addressed by Jon Alter in his cover essay. Designed by Cover Director Bruce Ramsay with a photo by Sipa Press Charley Varley, the cover provided an introduction to the entire special report, from Evan Thomas definitive account of bureaucratic bumbling to Barbara Kantrowitz and Karen Breslaus harrowing takes of children displaced by the storm.

 

Third Place
Rolling Stone (May 4, 2006) Illustration of George W. Bush sitting on a stool wearing a dunce cap

At a defining moment in American history, this cover posed the provocative and unspoken question on the minds of many: Is Bush the worst president in history? The blend of humor and edginessto accompany a sobering and dispassionate assessment by Sean Wilentz, one of the nations leading historianstouched off a furious political debate and made this one of the most memorable and influential covers in the magazines history.


 

Best Celebrity Cover

Winner (2-Way Tie)
Harper's Bazaar (January 2006) Julianne Moore in green dress

Like so many great moments in fashion, this Julianne Moore cover photographed by Peter Lindbergh is iconic because it breaks all the rules. Traditionally, Moore is not a guaranteed grand slam on the newsstand. In this case, her face is partially obscured by her hair, and her smile isnt broad. Furthermore, both her dress and the type are greena color not normally reflected in high newsstand sales. Here, however, green struck gold. Newsstand sales for this issue increased by more than 10% compared to the January 2005 issue of Bazaar. If Harper's Bazaar had done cover research, this cover would never have been producedwhich just goes to show that the first rule of a successful cover is that there are no rules.
 

Winner (2-Way Tie)
VIBE (June 2006) Busta Rhymes with duct tape over his mouth

Not many celebrities are willing to poke fun at their controversies. When rapper Busta Rhymes was attacked for allegedly withholding information in the murder of his bodyguard, he accepted VIBE's invitation to address it.

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place (4-Way Tie)
LIFE (December 3, 2005) Scarlett Johannson Let It Snow cover

There will be other charming, lovely, playful, sexy or perfectly-suited-to-the-season covers submitted in this category, but there will be precious few that are all of those things. Here, LIFE captures the gorgeous Scarlett Johannson—her allure, her playfulness, her sexiness, her coy intelligence—without the gimmickry or high-concept conceits. LIFE's art directors accent the portrait with snowflakes and elegant, lively type treatment, playing off the wintry theme but never intruding. In the end, LIFE has created a poster for both the star and the season.

 

Second Place (4-Way Tie)
New York (July 3-10, 2006) Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen on the beach

Using a kitschy beach backdrop, New York playfully depicts the most iconic characteristics of Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson on the cover of the annual Summer Issue. Seductive Scarlett dons a 50's couture swimsuit, channeling the era from which she often appears to have just arrived. And Woody, old-fashioned in an entirely different way, looks classically curmudgeonly while refusing to wear anything but cords and a tweed jacket for a day at the beach.

 

 

Second Place (4-Way Tie)
Premiere (July/August 2006) Steve Carell with hook in mouth

Premiere's cover does everything a great magazine cover is supposed to do: It features an appropriate subject (the hilarious Steve Carell), clear and colorful coverlines, and the originality to pop on the newsstand. This is Premiere's first-ever comedy issue and Carell, with a fish hook stuck in his mouth, is a perfect catch. The cover presents an actor who has a huge fan base and one who has not been written about ad nauseam. The photograph is inventive and funny, a great choice for a comedy issue. The coverlines are bright, seasonally appropriate, and easy to read.
 

Second Place (4-Way Tie)
Rolling Stone (November 3, 2005) U2's Bono close up

This could well be the most stripped-down celebrity cover everan honest and unglamorous portrait of a musician at the height of his influence. Platon's stark and unadorned photo offers the definitive portraitto accompany the definitive interviewof one of the most important personalities of our generation.


 

 


Best Concept Cover

Winner
TIME (July 17, 2006) The End of Cowboy Diplomacy oversized cowboy hat embellished with U.S. Presidential logo and boots

TIME's cover, The End of Cowboy Diplomacy, opened a national dialogue on President Bush's foreign policy.  The image of an oversized cowboy hat that seems to engulf the wearer is stamped with the presidential seal and cast alone against a stark white background.  The image powerfully illustrates how the muscular, idealistic and unilateralist vision of American power that the Bush administration has adopted for so long, has been ultimately ineffective and abandoned by the President. 

The day the cover image was released it immediately became a fixture throughout the blogosphere as well as in print, television and radio broadcasts nationwide.  At the White House briefing on the Monday the issue hit newsstands, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked by a reporter about TIME's cover and if the Bush doctrine was indeed over. TIME's The End of Cowboy Diplomacy cover exemplifies the power of magazines to impact the national agenda.

Second Place
I.D. Magazine (March/April 2006) Design and Religion issue, featuring iPod-like device turned into a crucifix necklace

Designers, who have fashioned ceremonial objects and buildings for as long as people have worshiped, are often called upon to reshape religious practices to align with the modern world. How do they engage in such transformations? That was the theme of this special issue, which reported on contemporary designs for devotion. Designed by I.D.'s art director, Kobi Benezri, the forms are stark and the palette is neutral, with just a hint of red at the top. The eye goes straight to the device that literally illustrates the cover line New Forms for Faith: an iPod Shuffle with a specially designed cap and lanyard marketed under the name iBelieve. For the main cover line, Design and Religion, Kobi added a touch of the medieval by tweaking I.D.'s signature typeface Coranto. I.D. covers are often a family affair: The photographer was Mark Weiss, a regular contributor to the magazine, and the model was Senior Associate Editor Monica Khemsurov.

Third Place
The Economist (July 8-14, 2006) Rocket man Kim Jong-il of North Korea

This cover appeared in the week following North Korea's decision to launch a Taepodong rocket (which fizzled) and half a dozen others (which worked). The launch, noted The Economist, was calculated to blast a hole in the diplomatic effort by America, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia to get Kim Jong-il's regime to give up its nuclear bomb-building. The Economist worried that Kim Jong-il's pyrotechnics would incinerate wider efforts to stabilize a region full of dangerous rivalries. The cover captured the moment by picturing the elusive North Korean leader as dangerous Rocket man. Though considered a serious magazine, the cover demonstrates The Economist's often irreverent take on the world's events.

Best Fashion Cover

Winner
Departures (September 2005) Style Issue, featuring woman with red lips veiled in white floral headpiece

The September Style Issue featured all the elements of a Departures fashion shoot—the concept, the photographer, and stylist—coming together in one minimalist moment. In turn, the 12-page fashion portfolio Dark Victory produced one of the strongest cover images in 2005. The Susan van der Linde headpiece thinly veiled the model's features, allowing ruby-red lips to pop off the cover. The image captures the sophistication and glamour of the fall fashion season.


 

Second Place (2-Way Tie)
The New Yorker (March 20, 2006) Illustration of thin model on runway watched by fuller-figured women in the audience

Capturing what's fashionable, and giving form and shape to it, is one of the essential functions of most magazines. The New Yorker may not be the magazine that will tell its readers which shoes to wear, but aims to be the one that will context to an interest in fashion. This cover, The Skinny on Fashion by Seth, does not endorse or promote any fashion house. But it does say that what is shown on the runway was never meant to be anything than a fleeting dream, a flight of fancy, and a wild burst of imagination.

 

 

Second Place (2-Way Tie)
W (November 2005) Kate Moss in white top

In the fall of 2005, front-page tabloid pictures of Kate Moss allegedly snorting cocaine left the fashion industry reeling. Major houses panicked and abruptly ended contracts with the model. W, however, planned a Kate Moss November cover, and the result was a Mario Sorrenti portrait of the luminous icon dressed in elegant Calvin Klein, hot off the spring runway. W's decision was either influential or prescientafter the initial uproar, Moss went on to enjoy what may be her most lucrative year.


 

Best Service Cover

Winner
Time Out New York (January 5-11, 2006) Fitness issue, featuring an empty dinner plate

This cover speaks not only to sin but to virtue as well, gluttony trumped by abstinence and guilt blunted by hope. Over indulging at holiday meals is not only expected but also encouraged, hence it has become a societal ritual that after months of feasting, so many of us indulge thoughts of returning to the gym. This meal is a very specific one, and is iconic in American Holiday culture, so while not shared by all, is understood by all. I think it is an excellent example of service, since it simultaneously pokes fun, while making one feel fat.

 

Second Place
New York (May 1, 2006) Brooklyn Style featuring interior spreads

For its issue on Brooklyn Style, New York created a bold and distinctive metacover that treats its subject (the boroughs) flourishing home, furniture and product design scene. The issues premise was that what unites these design artists was a deconstructionist ideology. So in that spirit, the magazine turned itself inside out, giving readers the magazine's guts up front in an exterior made up of pieces of its interior.

 

 

Third Place (3-Way Tie)
BusinessWeek (July 24, 2006) Retirement issue, featuring executive talking to analyst about retirement on the beach

Executives and managers among BusinessWeek's readers may be years from retirement, but for many, it's not the money they need to worry about. Well, they do, but there's another whole set of issues: What do you do when there is no longer the daily schlep to the office? Who will be the next adrenaline rush? As baby boomers near the end of their careers, many just don't have a clue. The theme of getting psyched to retire lent itself to the humorous painting by Anita Kruz of a manager and his analyst at the beach.

 

Third Place (3-Way Tie)
National Geographic (November 2005) Elder Okinawan man doing a headstand on the sand

The November 2006 cover of National Geographic centers on a story on longevity, which focuses on three areas around the world where people live to ages well into their hundreds while leading very active lives. The cover model, Fumiyasu Yamakawa, 84, was shot by photographer David Mclain. Yamakawa lives in Naha, Okinawa and was practicing his daily yoga routine at an urban beach in Naha in this shot. He is a former office worker who has since retired and taken on the task of teaching the younger generation how to live a longer, healthier life and proving that you can remain very active as you edge closer to the century mark. He was training for the annual decathlon by running, swimming and practicing yoga daily. According to the Okinawan, one of the keys to living longer is ikigai. The word translates roughly to "that which makes one's life worth living." Mclain spent 3 weeks photographing this story and met Yamakawa the night before he left. The cover photo was taken 10 minutes before he wrapped up his assignment and left for the airport.

Third Place (3-Way Tie)
The Out Traveler (Spring 2006) Naked man draped in towel in Istanbul hammam (Turkish bath)

A great travel cover is a glimpse into a moment, transporting a reader to another place and another frame of mind. It provides not only the encouragement to open the next page, but inspires a reader to think one important thought, I wish I were there! This Istanbul cover evokes such a moment. Presenting a mix of quiet escape and sexy solitude, this repose in a classic hammam becomes a perfect passport to the Turkish city, and the compelling motivation to continue the journey inside.

 

 

Best Cover Line

Winner
The Economist (July 8-14, 2006) - "Rocket man" Kim Jong-il of North Korea

This cover appeared in the week following North Korea's decision to launch a Taepodong rocket (which fizzled) and half a dozen others (which worked). The launch, noted The Economist, was calculated to blast a hole in the diplomatic effort by America, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia to get Kim Jong-il's regime to give up its nuclear bomb-building. The Economist worried that Kim Jong-il's pyrotechnics would incinerate wider efforts to stabilize a region full of dangerous rivalries. The cover captured the moment by picturing the elusive North Korean leader as dangerous Rocket man. Though considered a serious magazine, the cover demonstrates The Economist's often irreverent take on the world's events.

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