I guess ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) can’t wait for 2009 to end because they’ve got the Best Magazine Cover of the Year award going already and this year the voting is open to the public on Amazon (here).

This is going to be a cool experiment to see what kind of cover the amazon buying public likes. There are quite a few covers missing the coverlines which I presume are the subscriber copies and just looking at those makes you realize how coverlines ruin a good cover. Then there are the illustrated covers which I’d be willing to bet will lose out to the photographs in any category where there’s a strong picture. The best part is that they have all the photographers properly credited so you can click on a cover and see who shot it. That brings up an interesting cover competition in the food category:

Picture 1

Nigel Cox vs. Kenji Toma vs. Roland Bello

Also in the Obama Cover section it’s Peter Yang vs. Nadav vs. Chessum vs. Joe Raedle/Getty

Picture 2

I thought this Stephen Wilkes cover in the Science, Technology and Nature Category was cool:

Picture 3

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  1. One of my magazine clients sent me a note about this a couple of days ago. I checked out the Amazon site and voted for my favorites.

    I liked the Peter Yang portrait of President Obama for Rolling Stone, The Andrew Zuckerman image for Audubon and the Annie cover of Tina Fey for Vanity Fair.

  2. I’d like Peter Yang (cover: Rolling Stone) to share with all of us just how he obtained such a wonderful laugh and moment on Obama’s face – truly historic and wonderful. One of the best images of Obama that I have seen; absolutely beautiful.

    As side note, and as an observer of our industry, I’d like to see one more category for most revolutionary cover this year; and nominate Time Magazine’s “The New Frugality” issue cover; iStockphoto of a Jar of Coins. This cover, and the ensuing discussion, spoke volumes about image licensing in 2009. As unassuming as it was, the image spoke just as much to image creators as it did to the editorial story that it was intended for.


  3. The Obama Rolling Stone cover was my fave. Great image and great display choice by the mag for not including any other text. Really let’s the shot breathe on its own.

  4. Here’s to illustrations, wow — they caught my attention far quicker than the photographs in many cases. And, I’m a full-time editorial photographer.

  5. Sorry if I sound like I’m hating on Nadav because I’m not. I just REALLY don’t like that Obama image. Nothing really against the photographer because I understand the situation. You’re give a few minutes with the president while he meets with, (whoever). You have to make the best possible image you can in that time. I just really, really, really hate it when an image is given far too many post actions in an attempt to make something out of nothing.

  6. “Cool” ? Is your audience made up of 15 year olds?

  7. Re: Select the Most Delicious Cover

    I can appreciate the desire to forge a new path in the genre of food photography, but what the art direction at Bon Appetit has led to in the past year has been a consistent roundup of the most unAppetizing, unappealing, poorly-lit photographs ever featured on the cover of a food magazine.

    The above two covers are certainly not the most abhorrent of the bunch, but for anyone who happened to receive the October issue on their doorstep this week…it looks like a photo of a mold/bacterial growth on food left out for the past month, rather than something fit (much less desirable) for consumption.

    Gourmet cover wins. Hands down.

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