Image for post
Image for post

The Evolution of Magazine Covers

A look at how we’ve changed in the past 100 years

Karen X. Cheng
Aug 25, 2015 · 7 min read

Cosmopolitan

Woah.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Viewing this on your phone? Pinch to zoom in

Seventeen

No bikini-clad teens here. It’s still pretty wholesome.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Vogue

These are our new role models.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Viewing this on your phone? Pinch to zoom in
Image for post
Image for post
Robots Reading Vogue is a joint project by Lindsay King (Haas Arts Library) and Peter Leonard (Digital Humanities Lab)

Time

A walk down history, as seen through Time covers:

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Left to right: Charlie Chaplin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Grace Kelly, Martin Luther King, John Travolta, Michael Jackson, Ellen Degeneres, Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg

National Geographic

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Viewing this on your phone? Pinch to zoom in

GQ

“Hey, we can sell more magazines with women in bikinis instead!”

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

The New Yorker

Remarkably, The New Yorker hasn’t changed one bit.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Viewing this on your phone? Pinch to zoom in.

Vanity Fair

What 100 years of progress looks like:

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Vanity Fair was out of print from 1936–1983
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post


If you liked this article, please hit ♥ so others can enjoy it too

Notice any trends we missed? Add your analysis in the comments.


Created By

Image for post
Image for post

Karen X. Cheng

Karen makes viral videos and explainer videos for startups. Follow her on Medium, Facebook or Instagram.

Jerry Gabra

Jerry is product design consultant in San Francisco. Check out his portfolio.


Media Requests

Feel free to quote and embed the pictures on your publication. Please credit and link back: Karen X. Cheng and Jerry Gabra. Magazine covers are copyright by their respective publications. Comparison images created by Karen X. Cheng and Jerry Gabra. If you have questions, email karenxcheng (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks

Thanks to Orion Hombrebueno for research help. Thanks to Adam Lee, Oliver Emberton, Ketan Anjaria, Sam Brewczynski, Lynn Tao, Brooks Hassig and Rachman Blake for helpful feedback on drafts of this article.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store