Like a lot of mass-market design, magazine covers straddle an interesting line in terms of how they are perceived by design purists and how much they appeal to the average shelf-browser. The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) has just unveiled the nominations for its respected awards scheme and it’s interesting to see which 15 front pages the judges chose for the shortlist.
The panel were looking for a high standard of imaginative design, photography and/or illustration, how the cover fits with the overall brand positioning, cover lines that brilliantly sell the content and how the cover appeals to both new and core readers, but even given the mainstream nature of the awards, the traditionalism of much of the work is noteworthy.
There are some interesting efforts though – for my money the Paul Gascoigne cover of Sport stands out with a stark portrait of the troubled star, it’s good to see David Shrigley’s anti-cover for Shortlist there while the caramel-covered Nigella Lawson cover for Stylist is undeniably eye-catching.
There’s some interesting entries from Wallpaper* and Wired and the Peter Griffin twist on the usual Men’s Health torso packs a playful punch. Elsewhere the terrific competence in copy and layout has to be admired among big beasts like GQ, Tatler and Elle.
Interestingly this week Shortlist have just revealed that their next cover is being designed by the legendary George Lois. The man responsible for Esquire’s iconic covers in the 1960s and 70s said the project reminded him of how designing should work.
“Get the idea, and bada-bing-bada-boom! Fresh, memorable, exciting. No group grope. No analysis paralysis. That’s the epitome of the creative process."
The winners will be announced on Wednesday June 20 with the front cover award selected by a public vote.
- Anna Haas’ structured yet anarchic approach to graphic design
- “Made for designers, not 3D experts”: Adobe Stock demystifies 3D renders
- Tanawat Sakdawisarak’s crisp illustrations reference pop music and video games
- Photographer Jay Wolke remembers gambling spots in the US during the 80s and 90s
- Chaz Bundick talks us through the new digitally personable Company website
- Animator Frances Haszard’s gender neutral breakup story
- Polaroid’s creative director Danny Pemberton introduces new brand Polaroid Originals
- Artist Dominique Pétrin on creating her very own domestic product
- Universal Everything animate emotive wallpapers for new iPhone devices
- Herburg Weiland’s meticulous editorial designs are typographically-driven
- The Visual History of Type author Paul McNeil selects and dissects his six favourite faces
- Breakdown Press’ Joe Kessler picks out his most-treasured books