ASME Cover Design of the Year

This year’s candidates for the American Society of Magazine Editors Cover Design of the Year are being hosted here, for your review. I wish I could say it’s a cavalcade of awesomeness, but it’s a shabby parade at best. The general interest/feature magazines are interchangeable, lazily designed and garish. Especially slack are the mainstream design magazines, mostly smothered by a bland, Pottery Barn-ish aesthetic.

Still, some really strong entries amidst the gruel: For my money New York Magazine is a marvel – smart, sharp and elegant week after week. Chris Ware’s cover for the Halloween issue of the New Yorker is a wonderfully nuanced vignette, essentially warmhearted but clinically sharp in it’s social commentary. Real Simple remains a reliable model of great taste and clean execution. The New York Times Magazine is easily the most vigorously conceptual, with the main feature driving a unique visual solution for every issue. So to them, bravo. To the rest, anywhere from meh to feh.