Dec 20, 2017

My Favorite Magazine Cover of 2017

[I was asked to be part of a group of magazine art directors who selected their favorite cover of the year for’s annual cover roundup. Here’s my favorite cover and commentary.]

This GQ cover of civil rights activist and professional athlete Colin Kaepernick was easily my magazine cover of the year. It’s a perfect fusion of art and politics, a brilliant and inspiring graphic statement, but done in a very understated—and because it’s GQ—very stylish way. Everything about this cover is just perfect: the quiet, powerful portrait by photographer Martin Schoeller, the brilliant Black Panther-influenced styling (I love the leather jacket and black turtleneck!), and of course, the hair. And design director Fred Woodward’s restrained and refined typography adds both style and gravitas.

The cover’s timing couldn’t have been better, appearing at the height of the controversy, sparked by Donald Trump, over professional athletes and political activism. There were so many great covers this year featuring critical images and commentary about Trump, covers that made me laugh and made me mad. But this GQ cover, celebrating the power and ability of one person to enact change, is the one that inspired me the most.

Five expert magazine designers weigh in on their favorite covers of the year.