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Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers

The D&AD Professional Awards Magazine & Newspaper Design category celebrates the absolute pinnacle in digital magazines, magazine design, supplements, editorial design and magazine layouts. But sometimes it's the simplest of magazine cover designs that win over a jury. Below are several award-winning magazine design front cover examples that revel in their own bravery.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Award: Wood Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine Front Covers / 2012

For Bloomberg, the goal is to design original, surprising covers each week that make people pick up the magazine. They strive for something that looks a little removed from what people traditionally perceive an American business magazine to look like, yet something accessible to anyone passing a newsstand.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek - Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Award: Yellow Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Entire Magazines / 2012

Official word of Steve Jobs’ death reached ‘Bloomberg Businessweek’ as the staff of 40 was finishing a regular issue. The regular issue was scrapped and the staff spent all night finalising the special issue. The special issue provides an in-depth look at the man behind all the products that the world admires.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers Wired | D&AD

Granta 110: Sex

Award: Wood Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine Front Covers / 2011

Granta magazine tackles numerous themes through literature and art. In this issue, they addressed the toughest topic of all – sex – from an array of angles. 110 provides an example of how Granta try to use cover art to initiate dialogue and as the catalyst for branding universal topics. The cover was printed on a tactile, velveteen stock, playing on our sense of touch.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers Elle | D&AD

The New York TImes Magazine Israel vs Iran

Award: Wood Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine & Newspaper Front Covers / 2013
Agency: There Is

For the ‘Israel vs Iran’ cover, a war- torn approach was in order, creating the headline in the smouldering remains of the aftermath of conflict. The challenge was to express drama in a rough yet clean aesthetic using raw and evocative materials. Achieving clear legibility while retaining an organic feel to the type was key to creating a bold typographic piece that resonated strongly with the subject.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers New York Times Magazine | D&AD

Wallpaper* Work Issue

Award: Wood Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine Front Covers / 2009

Four covers were produced for Wallpaper* magazine's first ever work-themed issue, using bold, striking type, with their own slogans: 'Work is Play'; 'Work More Live More'; 'Work Hard and Be Nice to People'; and 'Play and Work and Play'.

Typical of Anthony Burrill’s style, the covers were an apt continuation of his cult 'Work Hard' poster. The four collectable covers also used an experimental matt printing technique to further the tactility and individuality of each issue.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers Wallpaper* | D&AD

Time Magazine

Award: Wood Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine Front Covers / 2009
Agency: Euro RSCG

Time Magazine approached Euro RSCG with an opportunity to create a cover for their special issue, '100 Most Influential People'. They decided to use all 100 influential people in the composite of this one face.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers Time | D&AD

New York Magazine - The City and the Storm

Award: Graphite Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine & Newspaper Front Covers / 2013

New York Magazine sent photographer Iwan Baan up in a helicopter as Hurricane Sandy lifted and produced the image that, for many New Yorkers, told its own story. Because most other air traffic was grounded, the controllers allowed the helicopter a much higher ceiling than usual, giving Baan a far better vantage point than he’d otherwise have. We see laid out before us the familiar silhouette of lower Manhattan, inked out; a visual sinkhole – and then, to the north, slicing across as if with a razor, the dividing line that demarcates a city blazing with light.

7 Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers New York Magazine | D&AD

WIRED September 2014

Award: Graphite Pencil / Magazine & Newspaper Design / Magazine & Newspaper Front Covers / 2015

Photographing infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden for the cover of Wired magazine involved sneaking equipment into Russia in three separate batches, under the guise of a different story. Photographer Platon caught Snowden clutching the American flag. Wired presented the image without cover lines and opened Snowden's profile with nine pages of photography. The result was a wordless introduction that spoke volumes.

WIRED Edward Snowden Seven Simple and Powerful Magazine Covers | D&AD

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.
 

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