Cover Design: The New Yorker vs Text

26 Aug

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 8.24.57 AM

The online periodical, Medium, takes a clear look at Magazine covers over the decades. In most cases these have morphed from simple illustrations to glaringly sexualized images crowded with eye-grabbing text.

One standout: The New Yorker

It’s true, The New Yorker’s covers have changed little since its introduction in 1925 with dandy Eustace Tilly examining a butterfly through his monocle.

1925 Cover Illustration: "Original New Yorker cover" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -

1925 Cover Illustration

As a long-time subscriber, I’m particularly fond of The New Yorker.  My son has taken to examining their beautifully witty cover illustrations to try to extract all the meaning from each – a great exercise in art, current events, and history.

Inside,  its longer articles actually do go ‘beyond the headlines‘ – not just claim to. On the pages, surrounded by the wrapping text of the articles are the cartoons and incidental illustrations that may or may not have any bearing on the stories themselves.

Not to steal any of the impact from Karen Cheng and Jerry Gabra’s Medium article, I present three New Yorker covers highlighting clever takes on the news from the past several years:

The death of Steve Jobs

The death of Steve Jobs

Anthony's Weiner

Anthony’s Weiner

Debating an Empty Chair

Debating an Empty Chair


  1. The Evolution of Magazine Covers:
  2. New Yorker Cover Illustration: “Original New Yorker cover” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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