The Best and Historic Magazine Cover Designs

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A Magazine Cover is the most complete form of graphics. It has idea, design, punch-line, typography, art and expressions.

Magazine covers provide you more inspiration compared to any other kind of articles.

Today, I have collected some of the very best and trend setting magazine covers and titles for you to inspire, aspire and admire.

Please comment and tell us what do you think about this post.

The New Yorker: September 24, 2001: Twin Towers

After the horrific incident of 9/11, The New Yorker paid tribute to the victims through this artistic cover.   Ad Reinhardt’s Black on Black art provided inspiration to Franoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman who drew this sketch.

twin towers magazine cover

Esquire: December 2000: Clint

It was said that this photo was inspired by Lincoln Memorial, but everybody interpreted it with reference to Monica Lewinsky.

bill clinton esquire magazine

Mad: January 1984: Holiday Season

Maddy Christmas! Nukes are being launched and Santa is in the way, get ready for a nuclear holocaust. “Happy Holidays”

xmas title mad magazine

National Geographic: June 1985: Afghan Girl

The ever famous photo by Steve McCurry. He shot a 12 year old Afghan girl near a refugee camp around Pakistan border, in 1985. And then after so many years in an expedition by Nat Geo, the girl is once again found, and this became a classical tale, for more details, kindly click here.

national geographic magazine

TIME: June 21, 1968:

A figure by Roy Lichtenstein, representing a hand with a pistol. This cover was released after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. It demanded a legislation about restricting the arms sales.

historic magazine cover

National Lampoon: January 1973: Funny One

This cover was to some extent considered violent, but generally, the reaction was just laughter. Ronald G. Harris designed this and remember, Photoshop wasn’t invented till then.

funny magazine cover

People: September 15, 1997: Diana’s Death

After Princess Diana’s accidental death in August 1997, Diana’s image appeared a record breaking 52 times on magazine covers.

diana death magazine title

Mad: April, 1969: Uncle Sam

This is a drawing by Norman Mingo. A Typical MAD design, and it was just as controversial as any other MAD title.

uncle sam mad magazine cover

Newsweek: July 30, 1973: Nixon

The famous scandal of “The Nixon Tapes”. The cover indicates about the revelation of that scandal and this scandal created so much hype that President Richard Nixon had to resign from the seat. This is the only case of its kind in US history.

nixon tapes magazine title

Fortune: October 1, 2001: 9/11

The famous photo of people covered with ashes, released after the world changing 9/11 incident.

9/11 magazine cover

Time: April 8, 1966: Is God Dead?

One of the most controversial magazine covers ever made. The cover story was “Death of God Movement” that was gaining popularity in the 1960’s. Without a doubt, this title was disliked by many.

time magazine cover is god dead

Mad: June, 1972

No magazine has ever beaten MAD in craziness, this title is another prove for that remark. MAD deliberately made it look like it was mis-printed, but no, this was just a gag MAD played with its readers. Some liked the idea, some not, but the title became very popular.

hilarious funny magazine cover

The New Yorker, March 29, 1976: Steinberg Map

How the world is seen from 9th avenue. A drawing by Saul Steinberg, and the artist sued Columbia Pictures for their movie posters for “Moscow on the Hudson”, which in his thought was derived from this cover. Steinberg won this case.

famous magazine title

The New Yorker: December 10, 2001: Map of New York

A New York map but in old Middle East style. Quite a controversial cover, and in a way, it corresponds to the previous image.

controversial magazine covers

The New Yorker, July 21, 2008

A dreadfully controversial design by cartoonist Barry Blitt. Even the McCain camp criticized the idea. According to TNY, it was just satire and meant to make people laugh,  but that did not happen.

the new yorker cartoon

Texas Monthly: January 2007: The Dick Cheney Cover

After the famous lampoon cover (the sixth from the top in this list) the same idea was remade here, with a few modifications, of course. This cover also became a huge success and won the Best Cover Line of the Year award from Magazine Publishers of America in 2007.

dick cheney funny cover

National Geographic: October 1978:

This photo in the cover shows the gorilla Koko, who took a photograph of her own reflection image in a mirror. Psychologist Francine Patterson has taught this gorilla sign language in a span of 6 years and this is considered to be a breakthrough success.

funny national geographic magazine cover

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Published on: January 6, 2011,

This post is in: Designs, Inspiration

Author

Tayyab

Tayyab is the Editor at Designzzz. He also teaches design, and he is learning to become a documentary director. When he's not working, he's out doing photojournalism.
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