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.
- Artist Matthew F Fisher paints seascapes and wildlife with vivid precision
- Hayley Louisa Brown on travelling to Memphis as part of Ace & Tate's Creative Fund
- Photographer Roe Ethridge’s images blur the lines between commercial and sentimental
- Thomas Prior captures a Mexican festival involving exploding sledgehammers
- The misty-eyed and delicate pencil marks of Lee Kyutae
- Build’s brand identity for product design brand Plæy mirrors its playful and modular designs
- Wes Anderson directs H&M Christmas advert starring Adrien Brody
- The New Look: Looking back at Roundel’s 1980s identity design for British Rail’s Railfreight
- Discussing cinema with Laura Marling on her directorial debut, Soothing
- London’s first crisp restaurant, Hipchips, launches with branding by Ragged Edge
- Richard Sandler’s street photography conveys the intricacies of city life
- A "stress opus" from cartoonist Nadine Redlich