Iconic Magazine Covers: The Inside Stories Told By The...

Item Information
Item#: 9780228101178
Author Birch, Ian
Cover Hardback

Iconic Magazine Covers is an oral history of the stories behind the most innovative and controversial magazine covers as told by the people who created them. Author Ian Birch has worked in the industry since the 1970s in both the USA and the UK and has used a career's worth of contacts to make this unique social document that a wide variety of readers will find fascinating.

There are more than 65 feature covers and selection criteria was diverse. For example, a cover may introduce groundbreaking graphic design (Twen; Fact), it may cover a seminal event (The Sunday Times Magazine; Esquire), a political movement or societal change (The Black Panther; Nova; The Spare Rib; Blue). It could have a specific readership (The Big Issue; Raygun; Wired; The Gentlewoman; Bloomberg Businessweek). Some are launch or relaunch issues (Interview; People Weekly; Harper's Bazaar). The covers might feature an influential photographer, illustrator or model (Raw; Radio Times; The Face) and not to be forgotten is ever-welcome satire (Private Eye; National Lampoon).

Iconic Magazine Covers displays the covers on a full page opposite the history of the design as told by the key figures in its making. Editors, photographers, creative directors, illustrators and others describe their roles in bringing the cover to life, such as Iwan Baan. Called in at the last minute, he had to hang out of a helicopter to capture the image of fractured New York City during the massive post-Hurricane Sandy power failure. The New York Magazine cover was so acclaimed that it was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art and large-scale posters were used in fundraising for the hurricane relief effort.

The most recent covers are two-winning and timely covers, both from Time magazine. The first shows Donald Trump in "Meltdown" shortly after the first debate; the second shows him in "Total Meltdown" after one of the worst of many scandals. Illustrator Edel Rodriguez describes the power of what makes these selections iconic: "A good magazine cover is a great poster and vice versa. It should be able to take a complicated matter and communicate it directly to as many people as possible. Like a pop song."

Every magazine cover featured in Iconic Magazine Covers proves itself worthy of Rodriguez's water test. Reading about the conceptual and practical processes in their creation is a fascinating bonus.

Review Quotes
A feast for the eyes and the mind.

They captured the culture, stirred controversy and even caught an icon in his last hours of life.

There's something about a great magazine cover that captures the zeitgeist like nothing else can. Industry veteran Ian Birch's new book, Iconic Magazine Covers: The Inside Stories Told by the People Who Made Them, offers a first-hand history of the most impactful ones of all time.

The covers are taken from the 1950s to present day. There are almost 100 covers featured. Each page features a cover of note, offering a nostalgic tour of the world of covers. It makes the book as iconic as the covers it covers.

A 250-page compendium of the oral histories behind some of the most groundbreaking and provocative magazine covers of the past 60 years. Birch, an industry veteran and former editorial director of Hearst UK, spent two years conducting over 150 interviews with the art directors, photographers, and editors involved in making the famed covers of \"legacy\" publications like Esquire and TIME, as well as more obscure titles that made an impact on their cultures before they folded... Birch mourns the print industry as societies become increasingly centered on the internet. In this way, the book is an homage to print.

Veteran magazine editor Birch brings together 100 groundbreaking magazine covers from the late 1950s to the present day with commentary from the people who created them. His selections include recognizable covers, such as the wounded Kent State student on the May 15, 1970, cover of Life, Annie Leibowitz's 1981 Rolling Stone cover photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and the black-on-black image of the Twin Towers on the post-9/11 New Yorker. He also includes less familiar but equally revolutionary images, such as a 1958 One magazine cover that proclaims "I am glad I am homosexual," and a 2015 double cover--in German and Arabic--for an issue of Germany's ZEIT magazine about the experience of refugees. While the covers are designed to speak for themselves, the accompanying stories from editors, art directors, illustrators, and photographers provide fascinating glimpses into the decisions--and sometimes accidents--that resulted in what Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider describes in the book's foreword as "a cultural moment distilled to its essence." Recommended for public and academic libraries, especially those supporting journalism and graphic-arts programs.

Perusing newsstands often offers a more insightful look at social and political issues than any textbook. This oral history collects 65-plus memorable magazine covers.

This is the book true magazine geeks will appreciate most this holiday. Starting in the late 1950s, Birch gave us both a patchwork history of the medium's rare power in post-war America and delicious first-hand accounts of how great visual ideas were generated... This is a deft and deep compendium of provocations from titles large and small.

This story behind the initial brief and creative process to reach the final choice of so many arresting covers forms a record of design and cultural trends over the decades.

The book is a tribute to the cover lines that shocked, the images that collared taboos and sparked debate, and the creations that augmented the possibilities of print media. It discusses the cover's capacity to generate an immediate emotional response in a world where success is marked by an ability to attract, seduce and inform prospective readers. (Praise for the UK edition)

The inside stories of one iconic magazine cover after the other since the late 1950s, told by the folks who actually created them, were riveting... The book is not only about stories well told, but more about stories that need to be told.

With its thick glossy paper and color illustrations, Iconic Magazine Covers: The Inside Stories Told by the People Who Made Them is visually impressive. The content, featuring interviews with the photographers, writers, designers, and editors behind these iconic covers, doesn't disappoint either. The visuals and text combine to make Iconic Magazine Covers a powerful book and a reminder that much like good film and literature, a good magazine cover tells its own story and is impactful ten, 20 -- even 60 years later.