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News / Publication

Time magazine resurrects iconic type-only cover for latest issue

The latest issue of Time magazine features a type-only cover in two colours that asks “Is Truth Dead?” to illustrate an interview with president Donald Trump. The cover takes inspiration from one of the most iconic covers in the magazine’s history from April 1966, which asked “Is God Dead?” The issue was the first instance that Time appeared without an image on the cover.

Time Inc. Founder Henry Luce wrote to editor Otto Fuerbringer, who had commissioned pop artist Larry Rivers to design the cover, stating: “The only artist who could paint a portrait of God is God”. So a typographic solution was found.

The original cover used a typeface based on Bodoni Poster, designed in 1929 by Chauncey H. Griffith. “In order to produce an exact rendition of the typeface for this week’s cover, graphic artist Lon Tweeten hand drew each letter form with fine precision, as we could find no modern type foundry which has an exact interpretation of the one used on the original cover,” says the magazine.

“It is no less ironic today than it was a half-century ago to use such brashness in a stark Time setting to pose this timely and thought-provoking question,” says typographer Kent Lew, who developed the body copy typeface used in Time. “A fitting homage.”