American Society of Magazine Editors

Barack Obama Gets the Public’s Vote Once Again in Magazine Cover Competition

October 14, 2009

Cover of July 10-24, 2008, Issue of Rolling Stone Featuring Barack Obama Named “Cover of the Year” in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ (ASME) Best Cover Contest.

NEW YORK, NY (October 14, 2009)—The cover of the July 10-24, 2008, issue of Rolling Stone featuring Barack Obama was named “Cover of the Year” in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ (ASME) Best Cover Contest. The announcement was made today by David Willey, ASME President and Editor-in-Chief, Runner’s World, at the Magazine Innovation Summit currently underway in New York City.

This is the first time in the Awards’ four-year history that the “Cover of the Year” was determined by consumers rather than by members of ASME. Ten category winners, chosen by visitors to during the first round of public voting, competed for the “Cover of the Year” honor.  The Rolling Stone cover, which won the “Best Obama” category before it was chosen “Cover of the Year,” depicts Barack Obama in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few days after he nailed down the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

The nine other Best Cover Contest category winners are:

Vanity Fair (January 2008) in “Entertainment & Celebrity.”The cover features “New American Sweetheart” Tina Fey, whose portrayal of Sarah Palin provided much-needed comic relief during an otherwise contentious election season.

Sports Illustrated (December 12, 2008) in “Sports & Fitness.” An underwater camera, firing at eight frames per second, provided the only photographic proof of Michael Phelps’ astounding, come-from-behind triumph over Serbia’s Milorad Cavic in the 100-meter butterfly at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Harper’s Bazaar (March 2009) in “Fashion & Beauty.” The magazine’s Spring Fashion Issue cover features actress Sarah Jessica Parker, whose silvery gray organza Chanel dress picks up the early-morning light on the Brooklyn Bridge, signaling the optimism of the new fashion season.

Veranda (October 2008) in “House & Home.” The rustic farmhouse featured on the cover where Dick Vervoordt lives with his family was strongly influenced and partly designed by his father, the celebrated Belgian designer and antiques dealer Axel Vervoordt.

Condé Nast Traveler (August 2008) in “Lifestyle.” A solitary pool of one’s own with an infinity-edge view of the rugged Amalfi Coast and endless seas is a traveler’s fantasy made reality.

New York (March 2, 2009) in “News & Business.” New York eschewed familiar business-magazine conventions for a bold, daring and somewhat gruesome depiction of Bernie Madoff as the comic-book villain Joker.

Audubon (August 2008) in “Science, Technology & Nature.” Using high-speed photography and a pure white background, this portrait of a blue-and-yellow macaw in flight captures and celebrates the magnificent color and design of this iconic parrot’s plumage.

Bon Appétit (August 2008) in “Most Delicious.” Photographer Kenji Toma brought his unique sense of creativity and energy to a relatively straightforward approach to a mouthwatering ice cream recipe, featuring dripping chocolate as a visual hook.

ELLE (December 2008) in “Sexiest.” The graphic black and white image of country-pop star Carrie Underwood in a moment of apparent ecstasy yields a surprisingly sexier vibe in someone whose image up to then had been nothing but wholesome.

More than 350 magazine covers, from issues published June 1, 2008, through May 30, 2009, were entered in the 2009 Best Cover Contest. Visit the Best Cover Gallery at to view all the entries, finalists, winners and to read the stories behind the covers.