“A small twist with a big impact”: New ZeitMagazin International cover reflects topsy-turvy Europe

28 March 2019

The new SS19 issue of ZeitMagazin International, the German weekly’s English-language sister publication, is all about Europe in a time of confusion and uncertainty. Mirko Borsche, the creative director of the biannual glossy magazine, has created a limited-edition cover for 1,000 copies showing the map of Europe turned upside-down.

“It’s a small twist with a big impact,” Mirko tells It’s Nice That. “It’s interesting, because the European map looks totally strange, even though fundamentally I haven’t changed anything, apart from turning the country labels 180 degrees.” He says the decision was mainly motivated by the team in Berlin’s feelings about Brexit. “Personally, I’m sad about it,” he says. “But like the cover itself, I think it will change everything without changing very much.”

For him, it was important that the cover isn’t taken as a criticism of the UK, its politics or electorate. “We don’t want people to think we’re judging,” he says. “It’s not a ‘judging’ cover. We’re trying to be informative and show how we feel.”

Christoph Amend, editor of ZeitMagazin, discusses this a bit more in his opening remarks: “The year 2019 is one of historic decisions for Europe. Wherever you look in Europe these days, there are big question marks.” He also writes that the team has changed the tagline for the limited-edition cover, from “Berlin State of Mindgui” to “European State of Mind”. And this issue also includes a new column called “My Europe” – this time written by one of ZeitMagazin’s editors, Khuê Pham, a born Berliner who was once stationed in London as Die Zeit’s UK correspondent.

The International issue, which hits newsstands today, is a compendium of the best content from the German weekly magazine over the past three months. It’s available in most major Western markets and in train stations and airports across the continent, as well as key international cities, such as New York, Shanghai, and Mumbai. But if you want a copy of the limited-edition cover, you’ll have to drop an email to international@zeit.de.

Lovers of German print will also be delighted to know that the German weekly version of ZeitMagazin is going to be revealing a new design refresh in the next couple of weeks, according to Mirko. So keep an eye out for that.


ZeitMagazin International: Limited-edition cover


ZeitMagazin International: Limited-edition cover

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Matt Alagiah

Matt joined It’s Nice That as editor in October 2018 and became editor-in-chief in September 2020. He was previously executive editor at Monocle magazine. Drop him a line with ideas and suggestions, or simply to say hello.


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