American Society of Magazine Editors

ASME Unveils 2006 Winners of First-Ever Best Cover Competition

October 24, 2006

The New Yorkers Flood in the Oval Office Named ASME's Best Cover of the Year.

PHOENIX, AZ (October 24, 2006)The best magazine covers of the year were unveiled today at the American Magazine Conference in Phoenix, by Cynthia Leive, President of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) and Editor-in-Chief of Glamour, and Marlene Kahan, ASMEs Executive Director. The conference, a premier industry event attended by executive-level magazine publishers and editors, as well as the press, is hosted by Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) and ASME. Eligible cover dates of entries ranged from August 1, 2005, to July 31, 2006.

View the full list of the winners and download high-resolution images of the winning covers at

Cover of the Year Flood in the Oval Office, The New Yorker

Best Celebrity Covers (tie) Julianne Moore in Harpers Bazaar;  Busta Rhymes in VIBE

Best News Cover Watch Your Back Mountain, The New Yorker

Best Concept Cover The End of Cowboy Diplomacy, TIME

Best Fashion Cover 2005 Style Issue, Departures

Best Service Cover 2006 Fitness Issue, Time Out New York

Best Cover Line Rocket Man, The Economist

The range and innovation in the submissions we received demonstrated the continued creativity and vitality of our industry, said Kahan. The winning covers highlight the momentous events of the last year, and provide a vibrant snapshot of not just American culture and celebrity, but global politics and preoccupations, and national tragedies.

"A great cover is iconic: a single visual statement that has the potential to live on for decades and become an indelible part of our culture, said Leive.   These winners rise to that standard and their ability to capture a whole worldview on one page makes them instant classics."


Cover of the Year

The New Yorkers September 19, 2005, cover titled Flood in the Oval Office was named Cover of the Year, while Rolling Stones 1000th issue 3-D cover celebrating the past four decades of American pop culture ranked as the # 2 cover. The # 3 cover was The Economists July 8-14 issue, which depicted North Koreas leader Kim Jong-Il as Rocket Man.

Best News Cover

Additional winners include The New Yorkers illustrated February 27, 2006, Watch Your Back Mountain cover by Mark Ulriksen for Best News Cover.  The illustration features George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as entwined and hapless cowboys, and was published on the eve of the release of the film, Brokeback Mountain. Newsweeks September 19, 2005, cover featuring a child victim of Hurricane Katrina won second place in this category. Third place went to Rolling Stone for its May 4, 2006, cover illustration of George W. Bush sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap, beneath the coverline Is Bush the Worst President in History?

Best Celebrity Cover

In a two-way tie, Harpers Bazaar and VIBE won best celebrity cover, Harpers Bazaar for their January 2006 cover featuring Julianne Moore in a green dress, photographed by Peter Lindbergh. VIBEs winning cover featured Busta Rhymes with duct tape over his mouth, referring to the controversy over his allegedly withholding information in the murder of his bodyguard. There was a four-way tie for second place: Life for its December 3, 2005, Let it Snow cover featuring Scarlett Johansson; NewYorks July 3-10 cover also featuring Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen on the beach; Premieres July/August 2006 cover featuring Steve Carell with a hook in his mouth, and Rolling Stones November 3, 2005, cover featuring a stripped-down Bono of U2.

Best Concept Cover

The Best Concept Cover of 2006, for entries that showcased a specially produced photograph or illustration that expresses an idea or concept, went to Time for its July 17, 2006, cover called The End of Cowboy Diplomacy, which carried a striking image of an oversized cowboy hat embellished with the U.S. Presidential logo and cowboy boots. Second place went to I.D. Magazine, for their March/April 2006 Design and Religion issue, which featured an iPod-like device transmogrified into a crucifix necklace. Third place went to The Economists July 8-14 issue which depicted North Koreas leader Kim Jong-il as Rocket Man, a cover that also won Third Place in Cover of the Year, and also won Best Coverline.

Best Fashion Cover

Best Fashion Cover went to Departures for its September, 2005 Style Issue, featuring a woman with red lips veiled in an ethereal white floral headpiece. Second place was a two-way tie between The New Yorkers March 20, 2006, issue, whose cover featured an illustration of a thin model on a runway being watched by an audience of full-figured women, and Ws November, 200, issue which featured Kate Moss in a white top.

Best Service Cover

The Best Service Cover of 2006, chosen from magazine entries focusing on personal service or leisure interests, went to Time Out New Yorks January 5-11, 2006, cover showing an empty dinner plate. This Fitness issues coverline was Need a Gym? Second place went to New Yorks May 1, 2006, issue on Brooklyn Style which was a montage of interior spreads featuring the boroughs dynamic home, furniture and design scene.  There was a three-way tie for third place between BusinessWeeks July 24, 2006, retirement issue, featuring a beach scene in which an executive on a couch talks to an analyst about when to retire;National Geographics November, 2005, cover showing an elder Okinawan man doing a headstand on the sand (the issue featured The Secrets of Living Longer); and The Out Travelers Spring, 2006 cover with a towel-draped man in an Istanbulhammam.

Best Coverline

The Economists July 8-14 issue which depicted North Koreas leader Kim Jong-il as Rocket Man, also won Best Coverline, in addition to garnering Third Place in both the Cover of the Year and Best Concept Cover categories. There was a two-way tie for Second Place in Best Coverline: National Geographics September 2005 issue for Africa: Whatever you thought, think again, and Slates Can you fear me now? The cell phone goes from annoying to evil.


A total of 164 magazines entered the competition, with 83 entries in the Cover of the Year category, 61 entries in the Celebrity category, 34 entries in the News category, 24 entries in the Fashion category, 73 entries in the Concept category, and 80 entries in the service category. Only members of ASME and MPA were eligible to enter the competition, which was judged by a panel composed of magazine editors, design directors, art directors and photo editors.