Jun 9, 2014

Robert Best Creates Powerful Imagery on the Covers of The Nation

One of the happiest developments in magazine design over the past year has been the addition of Robert Best as creative director of The Nation. As the magazine’s first creative director (previous designers primarily worked on the covers, including most recently Milton Glaser) Best has been updating the magazine’s interior layouts and giving a sparkling touch to the cover designs. With a weekly publication schedule and a limited budget, Best has drawn on a talented pool of illustrators (including Steve Brodner, Victor Juhasz, and Doug Chayka) as well as creating many of the cover images himself. The result is a set of powerful, bright, engaging covers that are perfectly suited for The Nation‘s progressive political content. Best describes the entire cover process as “fun, sort of like being back in school!” I love the scrappiness and immediacy of these covers, very reminiscent of some of the gonzo art direction and imagery on the covers of altweekly newspapers. Of course Best has a long, distinguished history of brilliant art direction at Conde Nast Traveler, New York, Premiere, and other magazines, so there’s a solid sense of editorial savvy and reader engagement that comes along with the memorable (and delightful) imagery. Political magazines have often treated design and imagery as secondary imperatives, but over the past few years, driven by talented art directors like Dirk Barnett at The New Republic, Darhil Crooks at The Atlantic, and Ivylise Simones at Mother Jones, and now Robert Best at The Nation, there has been an explosion of great visuals in this area. With great creative intelligence, impact, and wit, Best has brought a sense of graphic excitement and visual joy to the covers of The Nation. And he’s just getting started!

See a collection of Robert Best’s work as design director of New York, Conde Nast Traveler, Premiere, and more here.

A complete collection of covers of The Nation art directed by Robert Best are collected on Flickr.

(Above): February 3, 2014. Illustration by Steve Brodner.

02 The Nation. Media Malpractice. March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

03 The Nation. The Hidden History of New York City's Central Library Plan. September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

03 The Nation.POWER TO THE CITY.April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

04 The Nation. The Shadow Lobbying Complex. March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

05 The Nation. For Democracy, Against War. September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

06 The Nation.Pesticides and the young brain.March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

07 The Nation. Two Views on Israel. Victor Juhasz November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013. Illustration by Victor Juhasz.

08 The Nation. The Return of the Debtors Prison. Aprin 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

09 The Nation. Time for a Populist Revival. March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Doug Chayka

June 2, 2014. Illustration by Doug Chayka.

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May 5, 2014