American Society of Magazine Editors

Best Cover Contest 2009 Winners & Finalists


Cover of the Year|Most Delicious|Entertainment & Celebrity|Fashion & Beauty
House & Home|Lifestyle|News & Business|Best Obama Cover|Sexiest
Science, Technology & Nature|Sports & Fitness

Cover of the Year

Winner
Rolling Stone, July 10-24, 2008

The smile says it all. Photographer Peter Yang caught up with Barack Obama in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few days after he had finally nailed down the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Obama was exhausted, excited, relaxed, gracious, open--yet still somehow elusive. Hundreds of photographers have shot Obama over the past couple of years, but no one has quite caught his quiet charisma as Peter Yang did last June.
 

 

Most Delicious

Winner
Bon Appétit, August 2008

Photographer Kenji Toma brought his unique sense of creativity and energy to a relatively straightforward approach to this mouthwatering ice cream recipe. In this case, the visual hook is the impossible drip, which brings a dynamic playfulness to the image. In a sense, this cover is an excellent symbol of the editorial philosophy at Bon Appétit—classics with a twist.

 

 

Finalist
Bon Appétit, July 2008

The goal with this cover was to bring a fresh perspective to an American icon, the hamburger. Photographer Nigel Cox was hired specifically for his ability to create images that are both architectural and incredibly sensual. In order to heighten the monumental feel of this hamburger, we enhanced its verticality by shooting from a low angle. In addition to being dramatic, this specific lighting was chosen to give the feeling of the warmth and sunshine of a July afternoon.

 

 

Finalist
Fine Cooking, February/March 2009

The February/March cover of Fine Cooking launched the magazine’s redesign, with its new logo and tagline. Like that new tagline—“We bring out the cook in you”—the cover image was intended to inspire the cook, giving them no choice but to pick up the magazine, head for the kitchen, and get cooking. The dish itself was inspired by a classic (coq au vin), made fresh and new and irresistible with seasonal ingredients and savvy techniques.

 

 

Finalist
Gourmet, May 2009

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in the case of French fries nothing could be further from the truth. Flecked with big, luscious flakes of salt and nestled in the folds of a paper cone, these iconic fries evoke a classic Belgian frites shop. That’s why they made the perfect cover image for Gourmet’s May 2009 Travel Issue, dedicated to people who travel on their stomachs and take recipes home to enjoy the flavors of their journeys again and again.

 

 

Finalist
The New York Times Upfront, October 2008

For a story and photo essay from the book "Hungry Planet" (by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio)--a portrait of the everyday food of everyday people everywhere--an intriguing photo of a boy from Greenland chomping on a raw fish was chosen as the cover image. In addition to the emotional reaction we knew high school readers would have—eeewww!—the details in the close-up help them understand his environment: the thickness and dryness of his skin due to the cold, and the salt on his hands from the ocean.

 

Finalist
Saveur, April 2009

The inviting composition on the cover of Saveur’s first-ever Dining in America issue—a slice of luscious chocolate-caramel tart, its tip cut away so that a line of type would fit into the gap left on the plate—was born a dilemma. The editors were committed to the cover line "12 Restaurants That Matter": those four words summed up the criteria for choosing the dozen exceptional restaurants profiled in our special feature section. They were also committed to photographer Andre Baranowski's gorgeous shot of that tart, which was hand-delivered from Brooklyn's Marlowe & Sons, one of the 12 featured establishments. But art director Dave Weaver just couldn’t figure out how to keep the word "Restaurants" from crashing into the vertical plane of the tart slice. Then it struck him: why not cut away a tantalizing, mouthful-size bite of the beautiful dessert and let the type roll across the page? One last-minute, cross-borough dessert delivery later, we had our cover shot and, soon afterward, what may prove to be the best-selling April issue in the magazine's history.

Entertainment & Celebrity

Winner
Vanity Fair, January 2009

Tina Fey became America’s sassiest sweetheart, overnight, with her dead-on impersonation of the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Fey had always been regarded as a major comedic talent, but her evisceration of Palin on Saturday Night Live gained her a whole new fan base. For Vanity Fair’s first 2009 cover, Annie Leibovitz photographed the 30 Rock actress—Fey writes and executive produces the show, too—in a celebratory inaugural outfit designed specifically for this session by Tommy Hilfiger.


 

Finalist
Entertainment Weekly, October 3, 2008

When you have America’s top political humorists Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart in your magazine dissecting the most all-consuming presidential election in decades, you’d better have a cover worthy of their incisive, biting wit. And Entertainment Weekly did, by having the comedians outrageously recreate The New Yorker’s controversial cartoon cover depicting Barack Obama as an al Qaeda terrorist and his wife Michelle as a militant Black Panther. The result: a pitch-perfect joke that satirized the satire and reaffirmed the Comedy Central hosts’ status as the ultimate (and funniest) voices of reason in a turbulent national debate.
 

Finalist
Esquire, May 2009

For the May 2009, "How To Be A Man" issue, Esquire used the power of celebrity and a little origami to create an interactive cover that expressed the issue’s theme. Design director David Curcurito and photographer Martin Schoeller came up with the idea to use three photos from Schoeller’s well-known series of up-close portraits to allow readers to mix and match 27 different visions of the modern man. By perforating back-to-back-to-back covers featuring George Clooney, Barack Obama and Justin Timberlake, Esquire encouraged readers to interact with a magazine cover in a way that had never been done before.

Finalist
Harper's Bazaar, March 2009 (Subscriber Version)

Sarah Jessica Parker and New York City: one of the greatest love stories of all time. For Bazaar’s March 2009 cover, Peter Lindbergh photographed Sarah Jessica (wearing a glorious organza Chanel gown) jubilantly running across the Brooklyn Bridge. The image captured the spirit of Sarah Jessica in the city, the kind of Brooklyn Bridge story anybody would want to buy.

 

 

Finalist
The New York Times Magazine, February 8, 2009

This amazing documentary portrait of Kate Winslet in her hotel room getting ready for her appearance at the Golden Globes where she is nominated—and wins—two Golden Globes, gives the reader an exclusive peak inside the private inner life of a major American actor. The documentary photographer, Paolo Pellegrin, who is known for his powerful pictures of International conflicts approached this assignment with soul, beauty and grace. In the end, he shows us a glimpse inside an actors life that are rarely, if ever, seen.

 

Finalist
The New York Times Magazine, May 24, 2009

This spirited cover of Conan O’Brien cannon-balling into an infinity pool is a dynamic execution of celebrity portraiture. As O’Brien begins his new life in Los Angeles in his role as the host of “The Late Show”, the photographer Dewey Nicks captures him high above the city of Los Angeles, just about to plunge into a perfectly peaceful infinity pool. Through Dewey Nick’s dramatic lighting, his ability to freeze Conan O’Brien in mid air while directing a straight-faced expression gives this cover wit, humor and grace.

 

Fashion & Beauty

Winner
Harper's Bazaar, March 2009 (Subscriber Version)

Sarah Jessica Parker and New York City: one of the greatest love stories of all time. For Bazaar’s March 2009 cover, Peter Lindbergh photographed Sarah Jessica (wearing a glorious organza Chanel gown) jubilantly running across the Brooklyn Bridge. The image captured the spirit of Sarah Jessica in the city, the kind of Brooklyn Bridge story anybody would want to buy.

 


 

Finalist
ELLE, May 2009

This image was inspired by ELLE’s Blue theme and also by a vintage Lillian Bassman photograph that creative director Joe Zee discovered depicting a model in head-to-toe-couture submerged in water. In this image Drew Barrymore wears a Dolce & Gabbana silk dress with pink floral appliqués; the result is an arresting and amazingly crisp image that reflects both the actress’ quirkiness and fashion’s fairytale aspects--while reminding us of the beauty and poetry of water.

 

 

Finalist
New York Look, March 2009 (Subscriber Version)

Christopher Anderson’s photograph of models backstage at a fashion show for the fall 2008 cover of the semi-annual New York Look is documentary photography at its finest, using an arresting composition and bold color to create an image of abstract beauty that perfectly conveys the sensibility of the magazine. Look is less about the clothes themselves than about the fashion shows as phenomena. The image, candid and captured in-camera, yet looking like a piece of constructed art, was both a stunning photograph and a strikingly effective magazine cover.

 

Finalist
New York, February 8, 2009

New York managed to show Kate Moss as she’s never been seen before on its "Spring Fashion" cover. The completely unretouched photo by Bert Stern strips away the glamour and artifice of the typical fashion magazine cover to reveal an almost shockingly real—yet no less beautiful—Kate Moss. For those accustomed to seeing celebrities airbrushed almost beyond recognition, with no freckles, wrinkles, or body fat, this photo was bracing, original, captivating.

 

 

Finalist
The New Yorker, September 1, 2009

The fantastical image of a feathered shoe graces the cover of the September 1, 2008, Fall Style issue of The New Yorker. Ana Juan’s "Object of Desire" depicts an extreme example of haute couture, kept in a cage for its worth--and to protect it from a hungry cat.

 

 

 

Finalist
W, October 2008

Though her head is piled high with braids and her eyes are heavily made up, Anne Hathaway appears on the October 2008 cover of W with her soul bared. The photo shoot coincided with the implosion of Hathaway’s personal life--her longtime boyfriend had been revealed as a con man--and it’s impossible not to connect that event to the raw vulnerability of her expression. Hathaway displays a strain of beauty light-years away from her usual confident, scarlet-lipped, wise-beyond-her-age red-carpet persona. But this image is no less powerful: Here she is fragility incarnate, both gorgeous and heartbreaking.
 

House & Home

Winner
Veranda, October 2008

This cover of a rustic Belgian farmhouse built in 1945 in a small village outside of Antwerp merits an award because it is simple and contemporary with a warm and inviting feeling. Like Veranda it represents a sense of purity, eclecticism and timelessness. The well-known French photographer Jacques Dirand captured the spirit of the house--simple and contemporary with a warm and inviting feeling. His particular angle and choice of lens draws the reader into the image.

 

Finalist
Architectural Record, April 2009

Noted architectural photographer Iwan Baan, who works regularly with Architectural Record, photographed the cover image for the April 2009 issue. Although the image of the N house in Oita, Japan, by architect Sou Fujimoto, has many surreal qualities and even appears artificial, it is a real photograph of a real place. This image embodies the issue’s theme: houses that blur the boundaries between inside and outside living.
 

 

Finalist
Garden Design, March 2009

The shot of this stylish Malibu party was photographed by Jack Coyier and designed by Scott Shrader. It shows excellence in the exterior design of outdoor entertaining.

 

 

 

 

Finalist
HOME Miami, April/May 2009

This cover expresses everything that HOME Miami stands for: it speaks of timeless and great modern architecture, of living well within the landscape. It is a small, important house built in the 1960s by an important Colombian-born Miami architect and renovated lovingly by the current homeowners who have cherished it for its artistry. The magazine’s editors, the photographer and the homeowners climbed into the thick peripheral vegetation, up on rocks, and even partway up a wall to find a vantage point that would show the house (including a glimpse inside), the landscape and the incredible tiled pool.

Finalist
Real Simple, April 2009

For the April 2009 issue (Real Simple's perennial Cleaning cover), photographer and stylist Jen Gotch took a single, stunning photo of a cut lemon. This graphic image instantly illustrated the point of the cover story, which detailed the myriad everyday items readers could use to clean their homes. Amidst the chaos and clutter of the world, this back-to-basics image conveyed a sense of beauty and calm.

 

 

Finalist
Real Simple, May 2008

Photographed by Lucas Allen, this cover features a graphic image that is colorful, bold, whimsical and practical. It sets a fun, irreverent tone (practical pushpins and playful butterfly clips occupy niches in the desk organizer shown) while conveying the essential point of the cover story (Easy Organizing). Allen notes that he had to work quickly during the shoot to take full advantage of the natural light; he says, "I also had to stay very focused so I wouldn’t fall off the ladder I was standing on."

 

Lifestyle

Winner
Condé Nast Traveler, August 2008

A solitary pool of one’s own with an infinity-edge view of the rugged Amalfi Coast and endless seas is a traveler’s fantasy made reality. Julien Capmeil’s photograph is deeply relatable—the model stands for every reader of the magazine; the water, for the attainable fantasy.

 

 

 

Finalist
Departures, October 2008

For their special issue on India, the editors of Departures did extensive research on the visual history of India, and created an inspiration wall that consisted of old posters, fonts, colors, graphics, and illustrations. Finally, they came upon a font that was bold, authentic, and full of energy. The font mirrored how they felt about the new and exciting India they wanted to portray. They designed a collage of type, with words that came from the different stories inside the issue. And for the final touch, a colorful pattern illustration was placed inside the letters.

 

Finalist
Garden & Gun, December 2008/January 2009

Like all great covers, this image of a green turtle shot by Andy Anderson is totally surprising, and it captures perfectly the concept behind the issue--The Hidden Bahamas. It also represents the strong conservation message behind Garden & Gun. Not surprisingly, it was by far the best selling cover of the year.

 

 

 

Finalist
New York, August 11, 2008

To illustrate a story on a specific new trend in plastic surgery and cosmetic dermatology (which can now be widely recognized by anyone looking for it), New York coined the phrase “the New New Face” and communicated it graphically by deconstructing its elements on one such New New face—Madonna’s. The annotations mimic the way a plastic surgeon might mark a face, pointing out the main features of the new phenomenon: its heart shape, baby cheeks, and angular jaw. The cover is glamorous, technical, and funny, which is exactly what the story was as well.

 

Finalist
The New York Times Magazine, December 28, 2008

Each year we do an issue dedicated to people, both famous and infamous who passed away that year. Instead of doing a typical collage of old photos or the like we always aspire to do an homage to the people that grace the interior. This year we did a very ornate type cover to celebrate these peoples lives.

 

 

 

Finalist
Texas Monthly, March 2009

Texas Style is defined very broadly, as a product of the freedom of life on the frontier, as a mix of the Old World and the New World, as a blending of cultural traditions, and as a certain swagger. But for the cover, a single image was needed that would capture all of this. The beautiful image of a white felt Resistol captures both the high and low permutations of Texas Style. You can imagine an oil tycoon wearing it to lunch at the Petroleum Club or a cowboy wearing it out to a honky-tonk on Saturday night. The stark, white-on-white minimalism of the image also gives it a hypnotic gravitational pull, like the Beatles White Album.
 

News & Business

Winner
New York, March 2, 2009

Bernie Madoff’s historic swindle was one of the biggest stories in New York—and the country—this year. In its March 2, 2009, cover treatment, New York magazine eschewed familiar business-magazine conventions for a bold, daring, and somewhat gruesome depiction of Madoff as the Joker. The artist, Darrow, takes a banal-but-emotional news photo of Madoff and turns its subject into “the grinning, bloodshot-eyed Joker, the diabolical supervillain who delights in terrorizing Batman’s Gotham City,” as the Associate Press described the cover in a story on the economy’s new villains. The sheer audacity of Madoff’s pathological stunt, plus his inscrutable smile and physical resemblance to the comic-book villain, made the Joker an ideal embodiment of the notorious schemer.

Finalist
The Advocate, May 2009

A photograph of a “surprised” blow-up doll seemed like a perfect cover illustration for the cover story “Porn Panic,” which examined how the recession was hurting the porn industry. The only trouble was that most blow-up dolls (and nearly all of them with their mouths open) are female—and the story focused primarily on gay porn. Photographer Michael Elins worked with the magazine’s art team to come up with a great solution—an amalgam of several different dolls brought together through post-production. This doll is playful and provocative without being too sexual and, together with the main cover line, tells readers exactly what they can expect inside.

Finalist
GQ, November 2008

Jimmy Kimmel was photographed by Mark Seliger as President Richard Nixon and President John F. Kennedy for the November 2008 cover of GQ. On one version of the November issue—the cover line declares “Jimmy Kimmel Says Vote Republican So This Damn Thing Can Finally Be Over.” The other version declares: “Jimmy Kimmel Says Vote Democrat So This Damn Thing Can Finally Be Over.” It’s an entire issue dedicated to politics and the culmination of the very, very long and engaging 2008 presidential campaign. Seliger captured Kimmel doing his best presidential impersonations in a determined act of bipartisanship.
 

Finalist
National Geographic, July 2008

Brent Stirton, the recipient of awards from the Overseas Press Club, American Photography, the London Association of Photographers, and ASME (for this cover story), among numerous other organizations, captures an unforgettably tragic image in the blank, saddened stare of an animal whose species is gradually disappearing. The same empathy that earned him awards from the United Nations for his work on the environment and in the field of HIV is evident in the way he frames the gorilla’s face, finding within its glassy eyes a quiet desolation that speaks to the tragedy of its potential extinction. The photo is both intimate and distancing, simple and profound, and reveals the paradoxical beauty and horror that haunts Africa’s oldest park.

Finalist
The New Yorker, July 21, 2008

Barry Blitt’s cover of the July 21, 2008, issue of The New Yorker, entitled “The Politics of Fear,” sought to satirize the many rumors that had been circulating about presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. As David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, put it in a statement at the time, “Our cover ‘The Politics of Fear’ combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are. The burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall—all of them echo one attack or another. Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that’s the spirit of this cover.” The cover inspired a fierce debate about the nature and effectiveness of satire, but it is worth noting that the stereotypes depicted in Blitt’s drawing were rarely levied against the Obamas from that point forward, and soon faded from prominence in the national political conversation.

Finalist
Sports Illustrated, December 29, 2008

Sweet Jasmine was one of the 51 pit bulls rescued from the Michael Vick-financed Bad Newz Kennels in April 2007, a story that dominated headlines in 2007 and 2008. Just a year and a half later, photographer Simon Bruty has Jasmine posed in a way that brings to mind William Wegman and his famous Weimaraners—a stunning contrast to Jasmine’s pugnacious past. Her innocent bearing, combined with the photo’s holiday-themed colors (red background and green leash), strike at the heart of Jim Gorant’s cover story and provide an uplifting end to 2008: in spite of the abuse they suffered at Bad Newz, even the most traumatized of the rescued pit bulls can have a happy new year.

Best Obama Cover

Winner
Rolling Stone, July 10-24, 2008

The smile says it all. Photographer Peter Yang caught up with Barack Obama in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few days after he had finally nailed down the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Obama was exhausted, excited, relaxed, gracious, open--yet still somehow elusive. Hundreds of photographers have shot Obama over the past couple of years, but no one has quite caught his quiet charisma as Peter Yang did last June.

 

 

Finalist
Entertainment Weekly, October 3, 2008

When you have America’s top political humorists Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart in your magazine dissecting the most all-consuming presidential election in decades, you’d better have a cover worthy of their incisive, biting wit. And Entertainment Weekly did, by having the comedians outrageously recreate The New Yorker’s controversial cartoon cover depicting Barack Obama as an al Qaeda terrorist and his wife Michelle as a militant Black Panther. The result: a pitch-perfect joke that satirized the satire and reaffirmed the Comedy Central hosts’ status as the ultimate (and funniest) voices of reason in a turbulent national debate.

Finalist
The Economist, November 1, 2008

"It's Time" was designed to be a singularly powerful and iconic image of Obama, and was based on Obama’s compelling and detailed portrait of a brighter future for America. His lonely figure epitomizes the tough, possibly unpopular, decisions ahead, but suggests the potential effectiveness of an Obama presidency. The title also suggests that racial differences are in the past and a president can be selected without prejudice. It invites readers to personally connect with the magazine cover, giving them the opportunity to fill in what "It’s Time" means to them. The issue was carried to campaign rallies and splashed on Facebook pages around the globe.

Finalist
The New York Times Magazine, May 3, 2009

This amazing portrait of President Obama is striking because it captures a deeply thoughtful and real expression. It is not a posed portrait done in the studio, but rather a very real and vivid portrait made during an actual exclusive interview in the Oval Office. Normally that would be considered the least appealing of situations to shoot a cover portrait, but in the incredibly skilled hands of Nadav Kander, it became an opportunity to reinvent and stretch what a cover portrait can be. It is both beautifully lit and well-crafted, as well as a documentation of an actual candid and revealing moment.

Finalist
The New Yorker, November 17, 2008

For its first magazine cover after the historic 2008 presidential election, The New Yorker chose to illustrate the occasion with a contemplative and hope-filled image created by Bob Staake. Of his cover, "Reflection," Staake says, "I’ve been fortunate enough to do a number of New Yorker covers, but being chosen to create the cover that commemorates Barack Obama’s historic election as the first African-American President of the United States is not only flattering, it’s beyond humbling."

 

Finalist
The New Yorker, December 8, 2008

Once Barack Obama announced in his acceptance speech after winning the 2008 Presidential election that his daughters could finally get the puppy they’d been wanting, the nation was seized by a frenzy of speculation: what kind of dog would the Obamas choose? Barry Blitt’s “Vetting,” the cover of the December 1, 2008 issue, shows Obama and his advisers Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod interviewing candidates for First Dog in the Oval Office, much as they had interviewed potential Cabinet members in the previous weeks.
 

 

Sexiest

Winner
ELLE, December 2008

ELLE’s December ’08 cover girl, Carrie Underwood, is someone whom the public knows as an American Idol winner and pop-country superstar with a reputation for being squeaky-clean. Inspired by 1970’s images of sexy pinups, ELLE’s creative director Joe Zee and his team gave Underwood dark eyes, wet, tousled hair, and dressed her in a simple white cashmere tank top. Photographer Alexei Hay’s graphic black and white image of the star in a moment of apparent ecstasy yields a surprisingly cooler, giddier, sexier vibe in someone whose image up to then had been nothing but wholesome—a testament to the ability of fashion photography to stir wells of desire in both subject and viewer.

Finalist
The Advocate, March 2009

Because The Advocate is a news magazine, the editors don’t often have the opportunity to show a lot of skin on the cover. But when openly gay Australian Matthew Mitcham won the Olympic gold medal in diving, we saw an opportunity and ran with it. Still, we wanted to be tantalizing, not tawdry. The cover image, by photographer Adam Pretty, shows that it’s possible to be sexy and still stay sophisticated.

 

 

Finalist
Complex, October 2008

Aubrey O’Day, of the pop group Danity Kane, posed for Japanese sensation Miko Lim. The photographs were so sexy that the editors were forced to cover the more sensitive aspects for the newsstand. As you can see, we found a way to do it that resonates with the magazine’s young savvy readership. The resulting success (coupled with Aubrey’s outgoing nature) was in fact a contributing factor to Aubrey being asked to leave Danity Kane mere weeks after the issue debuted.
 

 

Finalist
New York, August 25, 2008

A portrait is either sexy or it’s not, and New York’s “Fall Fashion” cover with tennis champion Rafael Nadal (one of the most sought-after figures in sports) is a smash. The image by photographer Nigel Parry honors both Nadal’s athleticism and his European good looks, with a whiff of suggestiveness. The fact of Nadal’s sitting for New York was a coup in itself; Coming off his thrilling Wimbledon victory against Roger Federer and an Olympic gold medal.

 

 

Finalist
Vanity Fair, July 2008

Incomparable fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier rendered Angelina Jolie at the pinnacle of her celebrity for the July cover of Vanity Fair. The image shows the usually private actress, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, and then mother-to-be (of twins), exuding a smoldering sexiness and pregnant glow. Demarchelier said Angelina’s “lack of inhibition made the photo session extremely relaxed.” In recent online polls for Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar, women voted overwhelmingly for Jolie as not only the sexiest woman alive, but the one they’d most like to emulate.

 

Finalist
Vanity Fair, December 2008

At the pinnacle of Kate Winslet’s career, photographer Steven Meisel captured her ethereal physical assets for Vanity Fair’s December 2008 cover. The life and look of another great actress—Catherine Deneuve—was the inspiration for this session, in which Winslet (often depicted on screen in the altogether) channels Deneuve’s character from the 1967 film Belle de Jour in a sophisticated white trench coat by Yves Saint Laurent. “Kate and Steven immediately fell into a director-and-actor dialogue with each other,” Jessica Dichl, Vanity Fair’s senior style editor, recalled of the shoot. “Both were excited by the other’s dedication, curiosity, and confidence. One truly couldn’t ask for better chemistry on a shoot.” On the eve of winning a much-deserved Academy Award for her role in The Reader, the actress’s frustration is revealed in a coverline that reads, “Do I want an Oscar? You bet your @#*%ing ass I do!”

Science, Technology & Nature

Winner
Audubon, August 2008

Using high-speed photography and a pure white background, Andrew Zuckerman’s portrait of a blue-and-yellow macaw, flying from behind, fully captures and celebrates the magnificent color and design of this iconic parrot’s plumage.

 

 

 

 

Finalist
Cincinnati, August 2008

The trick the editors had to pull off on the cover of Cincinnati magazine’s August 2008 issue was this: How to communicate that the environmentally-inclined civic service feature inside was not simply a "green issue" but something a little more fun, accessible, and at the same time had some gravitas? Playing off the subhead ("35 ideas for a cleaner, greener city"), the editors came up with the idea of visually mimicking the classic packaging for Tide—a widely recognizable brand made by Procter & Gamble (based in Cincinnati) that also says “clean.” Art director Grace Saunders worked with typographer Michael Doret to create the art for the cover.

Finalist
New York, May 25, 2009

The cover for New York magazine’s feature on the benefits of distraction uses typography to whimsically capture the idea of the story in graphic terms. The main type itself—with the coverline taking up the entire length of the cover as the fonts keep switching, conveys the distraction that the story is about, without being difficult to read. But before you can even get beyond the first word, the cover attempts to further distract you with 15 secondary coverlines beginning with the words “Also in this issue.” The cover is a piece of ingenious graphic design and a clear and entertaining poster that perfectly delivers the feature’s message.

Finalist
Science News, January 31, 2009

Photographer Cary Wolinsky traces Darwin’s Tree of Life with simple birthday candles to mark the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth.

 

 

 

 

 

Finalist
The New York Times Magazine, April 19, 2009

This elegant high-concept cover was conceived to illustrate The New York Times Magazine’s special issue on the green mind. The Momix dance troupe acted out and created the form of the brain. It was an ambitious, highly creative and delightful collaboration between the magazine, photographer Stephen Wilkes and 25 of the Momix dancers. Over a period of several days in the studio, the form of the brain, as well as the other inside images we choreographed and shot. The cover image causes most viewers to do a double-take. First they see what they think is a painting of a profile with a brain in it, and then they realize the brushstrokes are formed by human bodies!

Finalist
The New Yorker, May 11, 2009

To illustrate The New Yorker’s 2009 Innovators issue, Dan Clowes created a cover, “Leading the Way,” that deals with the rapid pace of technology and the fear of obsolescence. How worrisome for the engineer at his computer, who is designing a car, to see an older man fly by with a jet pack! Created at a time when the American auto industry faced imminent financial collapse, the cover can also be read as a satirical look at what used to be one of our country’s bedrock industries.
 

 

Sports & Fitness

Winner
Sports Illustrated, December 12, 2008

Sixteen years of painstaking planning and preparation paid off in a moment that lasted .01 of a second. For SI photographer Heinz Kluetmeier and assistant Jeff Kavanaugh, that was long enough to capture not only the most dramatic and important finish in swimming history, but also the defining moment of Michael Phelp’s historic run to eight gold medals. Their underwater camera, firing at eight frames per second, provided the only photographic proof of Phelp’s astounding, come-from-behind triumph over Serbia’s Milorad Cavic in the 100-meter butterfly. Note how Phelp’s middle finger is bent back as he completes his lunge for the wall, while all of Cavic’s fingers are still fully extended—an image too fleeting to be captured on video, and one which NBC used to verify the result for millions of viewers.

Finalist
Field & Stream, February 2009

Kyle Warren is not a model. Neither are the two German shepherds, Maya and Quax, with him on the cover of the February 2009 Field & Stream. Warren is a hunter, an F&S reader, and a professional K-9 handler and training officer for the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue. When an outdoorsman gets lost, it’s Warren’s job to find him—albeit with help from the highly trained noses of Maya and Quax. Field & Stream took a fresh approach with its annual survival package in 2009. Rather than tell the stories of the survivors, the story focused on the rescuers—explaining how they conduct missions and the survival skills they’ve learned on the job.

Finalist
Golf Digest, November 2008

The November 2008 issue of Golf Digest was the magazine’s “Golf & Music” issue, featuring the second ranking of the top 100 musicians who play golf. Justin Timberlake was the cover subject and the issue also included a candid interview that allowed the pop icon to talk at length about his passion for golf.
 

 

 

Finalist
Golf Digest, April 2009

The April 2009 issue of Golf Digest was the magazine’s first-ever “flip-cover”: the front of the book featured standard content and had Phil Mickelson on the cover; the back of the book (flip side) featured the magazine’s annual “Masters Preview” and had an original illustration of Augusta National on the cover.
 

 

 

Finalist
The New Yorker, February 23, 2009

The revelation this February that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez had indeed used steroids during his baseball career reignited the controversy over the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. In “Off Base,” Barry Blitt envisions the effect that such a role model could have on young baseball fans in America.

 

 

 

Finalist
Time Out New York, January 8-14, 2009

For Time Out New York’s Gyms guide we poked fun at Men’s Health by doing a spoof cover featuring the Flight of the Conchords (whom we also interviewed inside). The musical-comedy duo are not known for the physical fitness—they look like hipsters in flannel—so the disparity of their faces on these bodies proved attention-getting. The covers were picked by numerous entertainment news outlets and were huge traffic-getters online.