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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: New York Magazine (detail)

Work / Graphic Design

The best recent magazine covers around? Two new shortlists unveiled

Call me a massive magazine nerd if you must but I really enjoy the conversation about what makes a great cover. Is there a science to it as Tyler Brûlé maintains? Does it have to be meticulously planned or can it be the simple execution of gut instinct? Where is that fine line between bold and daring on the one hand, and obtuse and gimmicky on the other? Anyway yesterday two “best cover” shortlists were unveiled which gives us a glimpse into what two leading industry bodies think (The Society of Publication Designers and The Professional Publishers Association).

The SPD list includes two well-deserved nods for Gail Bichler and her team at The New York Times Magazine alongside offerings from Variety, Wired, New York Magazine and Volkskrant. The PPA list is much more mainstream but both the Time Out and Shortlist covers deserve a mention. I’ll admit that for a couple of these I can’t see what differentiates them from countless others, but presumably the judges saw something which I’m oblivious to.

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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: New York Magazine

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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: The New York Tmes Magazine

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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: The New York Tmes Magazine

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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: Variety

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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: Volkskrant

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SPD Cover of the Year Medal Finalist: Wired

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Time Out

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: The Big Issue

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Country Life

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Crumbs

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Norwegian

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Shortlist

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Elle

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: GQ

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Radio Times

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PPA Awards Cover Of The Year: Red