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.
- Ivana Bobic on exploring tactility in film, and how to make slow-mo jelly boobs
- The history of the hotel Venets: a 22-storey metaphor for Soviet utopia
- The Papier Machine collection of DIY electronic paper toys reinvents the activity book
- Brie Moreno's back with more felt tip-filled, curvy illustrations
- Meet Monkey Type, an international collective bananas about fonts
- Arielle Bobb-Willis’ colour-packed portfolio is the photographic equivalent of a SAD lamp
- Pee on this Ikea print ad, and if you’re pregnant, you get a crib half price
- Coca-Cola reveals custom typeface, TCCC Unity, inspired by its modernist heritage
- Muji to open “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap” hotels in China and Japan
- The rebrand for Russia’s tourist board uses Suprematist geometry laid out as a map
- The Guardian unveils redesign across print and online
- A first look at Uber and NASA's new flying vehicle