American Society of Magazine Editors

Magazine Editors Choose the Cover of the Year

May 3, 2012

New York Magazine’s cover featuring a pregnant woman over 50 wins ASME’s 2012 Best Cover Contest, powered by

NEW YORK, NY (May 3, 2012)—The cover of the October 3, 2011, issue of New York Magazine was chosen by magazine editors as "Cover of the Year" in the 2012 Best Cover Contest, hosted by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), and powered by The contest was open to all consumer magazines published in calendar year 2011. This is the third year that ASME has partnered with to make the contest available to the online retailer's customers, and the sixth year that ASME has presented the awards. The announcement was made today by Lucy Danziger, ASME President, and Editor-in-Chief of SELF, at the ASME Annual Meeting in New York City.

New York, Oct 3, 2011: "Is She Just Too Old for This?"
(Photographs by Danny Kim, Photo-Illustration by Darrow)

The editors deliberately chose a model representing the story at its most extreme and photographed her in the pose made iconic by Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair. Her belly was plumped with a prosthetic pillow, then carefully retouched to look real. The over-the-top poster-like cover was meant to stop consumers in their tracks—and it did."





Thirty magazine cover finalists in 10 categories were in competition for the ASME "Cover of the Year" honor. The covers were selected by consumers voting on In addition, a "Readers’ Choice Award" cover was named after a second round of customer voting from the 10 top category vote-getters. The "Readers’ Choice Award" went to National Geographic, for the May 2011 "Above Yosemite" cover, which was the winner in the "Sports and Adventure" category.


Winner: Business & Technology

Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct 10-16, 2011 "Steve Jobs 1955-2011" 
(Credit: Getty Images)

The editors’ description of the cover: "Official word of Steve Jobs' death reached Bloomberg Businessweek as the staff of over 40 was finishing a regular issue. They scrapped it and spent all night finalizing this special issue. In choosing a cover, editor Josh Tyrangiel said, ‘what we wanted to find was something that you hadn't seen before, something original, and yet something that had a little bit of tension in it.’ Tyrangiel concludes, ‘I think what we found and the way we cropped it really gets at the complicated, sometimes abrasive genius behind all the products that the world admires.’"


Finalists: Business & Technology

The New Yorker, Oct 17, 2011: "The Book of Life"
(Illustrator: Barry Blitt)
 Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct 31-Nov 6, 2011: "Who's Behind the Mask?"
(Illustrator: Jamie Chung)


Winner: Celebrity & Entertainment

People, May 16, 2011: "William & Catherine: Love Reigns!"
The editors’ description of the cover: It was the event of the year—the long-awaited wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton—and People delivered 72 pages of coverage in a special issue that went to press the next day. Featuring a shot of the newlyweds taken by a pool photographer on the steps of Westminster Abbey, this bold, impactful People cover captured the joy, excitement and romance of the day—making it a collector's item to be saved and savored by royal fans for the ages."



Finalists: Celebrity & Entertainment

PEOPLE, April 11, 2011: "Elizabeth Taylor: Farewell to a Legend"
(Photograph by Philippe Halsman)
 Sports Illustrated, Winter 2011: "Swimsuit 2011"
(Photograph by Bjorn Iooss)



Winner: Health & Fitness

Real Simple, May 2011: "Energize Your Life" 
(Photograph by Stephen Lewis)

The editors’ description of the cover: "Wake in a fog at 7 A.M.? Cranky at 3 P.M.? Toss and turn all night? Real Simple's May cover story presents an eye-opening timeline that helps readers get from dawn to dark (and through the valleys in-between) with more pep in their step, and more fuel in their tanks. For the cover, Stephen Lewis photographed an eye-popping bright yellow poppy, brimming with life, sprayed with water bubbles."



Finalists: Health & Fitness

ESPN The Magazine, Oct 17, 2011: "The Body Issue: Hope Solo"
(Photograph by Luis Sanchis)
 New York, Oct 3, 2011: "Is She Just Too Old for This?"
(Photographs by Danny Kim, Photo-Illustration by Darrow)



Winner: Lifestyle

Martha Stewart Living, Dec 2011: "Make It a Magical Holiday" 
(Photograph by Dana Gallagher)

The editors’ description of the cover: "Shot on location in Vermont by Dana Gallagher, these hand-crafted stars on a tree were originally inspired by an Arabian star that had been given to craft editor Blake Ramsey when she was a child. The idea was to create our very own "Starry Night," to bring the idea of a celestial midnight sky a little closer to earth. The editors layered different- sized lights to give the starscape a bit of depth, making good on the issue's promise of delivering magic to the holiday season."

Finalists: Lifestyle

National Geographic, July 2011: "Cleopatra"
(Artist: Sam Weber)
 Time Out Chicago, June 23-29, 2011:"Pride"
(Art Director: Stephanie Gladney; Photographer: Drew Reynolds)



Winner: Men's Interest

GQ, Aug 2011: "Mila Kunis" 
(Photograph by Terry Richardson)

The editors’ description of the cover: "Just open the August 2011 issue and you'll find Mila Kunis looking sultry and super-sexy. But for the cover, we kept coming back to an off-the-cuff moment caught by Terry Richardson: her sipping an iced coffee, giant grin on her face, a bit of midriff exposed, eyes flashing. On the newsstands, surrounded by the usual array of too-perfect, too-posed beauties, her GQ cover is a total surprise; it has this immediacy, it feels new. That's because Mila looks exactly like herself here: authentic, exuberant, teasing, bold, utterly at ease and absurdly, mind-meltingly gorgeous. Iced coffee never looked so hot."

Finalists: Men's Interest

Parade, July 3, 2011: "Grill, Baby, Grill"
(Photograph by Stephanie Rausser)
 GQ, January 2011: "Ryan Gosling"
(Photograph by Mario Testino)


Winner: Most Delicious

Everyday Food, Summer 2011: "Summer Made Easy" 
(Photograph by Con Poulos)

The editors’ description of the cover: "The luminous fruit pop on the cover of Everyday Food's ‘Summer Made Easy’ special edition makes a bold statement and sets the tone for an issue full of fresh, fun content. The graphic, colorful image speaks clearly to the mission of the magazine: Everyday Food is the handbook for home cooks, and in every issue we present familiar ingredients—fruit, in this case—in enticing new ways. The cover was photographed by Con Poulos on a light box, without shadow or embellishment, for an image as cool as the taste of an ice pop on a hot summer day."



Finalists: Most Delicious

Saveur, Apr 2011: "The Sandwich Issue"
(Photograph by Michael Kraus)
 Texas Monthly, December 2011: "Breakfast!"
(Photograph by Randal Ford)



Winner: News & Politics

American Photo, Sept/Oct 2011: "09.11.01" 
(Photograph by Yoni Brook)

The editors’ description of the cover: "American Photo has devoted the heart of its September/October issue to an 18-page oral history of 9/11/01 based on the recollections of the photographers who risked their lives to cover the story. Though there was no shortage of iconic images we could have used, in this case, we felt less was more. The somber black and white image (shot by NYU student Yoni Brook) projected a reflective calm and quiet emblematic of the story we were telling. After much internal discussion, we opted to remove all cover lines apart from the minimalist one you see here."



Finalists: News & Politics

PEOPLE, Sept 12, 2011: "The Children of 9/11"
(Photograph by Nigel Parry)
 Vanity Fair, July 2011: "Prince William and Kate"
(Photograph by Mario Testino)



Winner: Science & Nature

OnEarth, Mar 2011: "Arctic Fever"
(Photo Illustration by Tia Magallon)

The editors’ description of the cover: "This provocative photo illustration by Tia Magallon for our ‘Arctic Fever’ cover story addresses the environmental disruptions caused by climate change. One such consequence: melting sea ice is dissolving the natural barrier between two bear species, the polar and the grizzly, for the first time in 10,000 years. Indeed, there has been evidence of their interbreeding. So ‘fever’ refers both to rising Arctic temperatures--a symptom of an unhealthy environment—as well as a droll nod to these bears' amorous fever."



Finalists: Science & Nature

National Geographic, Mar 2011: "Designing the Perfect Pet"
(Photograph by Greg Schneider)
 Parade, July 31, 2011: "Cats vs. Dogs"
(Photograph by Brooke Jacobs)



Winner: Sports & Adventure

National Geographic, May 2011: "Above Yosemite" 
(Photograph by Jimmy Chin)

The editors’ description of the cover : "Doing what they do may seem extreme enough, but to photograph Yosemite climbers, including Alex Honnold edging face-out along the Thank God Ledge on Half Dome (because ‘it's cooler that way’), is another whole ball of equipment. Photographer Jimmy Chin, who makes a living creating images of climbers all over the world, said: ‘At the end of the day, if I got one photo that I felt truly captured Yosemite climbing, that would make me happy.’ He got one—and it landed on the cover of National Geographic in May 2011."



Finalists: Sports & Adventure

Garden & Gun, Dec 2011/Jan 2012:"Best of the Sporting South"
(Photograph by Andy Anderson)
 Sports Illustrated, July 25, 2011:"Hope Solo"
(Credit: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)



Winner: Women's Interest

Real Simple, Jan 2011: "Be Happier This Year" 
(Photograph by Christopher Griffith)

The editors’ description of the cover: "What is happiness? Am I actually happy? Real Simple's January cover story presents an up-close look at this elusive emotion—the history, science and art of happiness, and the secrets to feeling more of it. The sunflower on the cover, photographed by Christopher Griffith against a soft blue sky, instantly boosts your endorphins before you even read the story."



Finalists: Women's Interest

Departures, Sept 2011: "Wild and Wonderful Things"
(Photography by Rodney Smith)
 W, Sept 2011: "The Fashion Issue"
(Photograph by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott)


About American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME)

The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for magazine journalists in the United States. ASME members include the editorial leaders of most major consumer and business magazines published in print and online. Founded in 1963, ASME works to defend the First Amendment, protect editorial independence and support the development of journalism. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.

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American Society of Magazine Editors

Sid Hot, 212-872-3723

Howard Polskin, 212-872-3732