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.
March 3, 2014
September 16, 2013
April 21, 2014
March 10, 2014
September 23, 2013
March 31, 2014
November 4, 2013. Illustration by Victor Juhasz.
April 14, 2014
March 24, 2014
June 2, 2014. Illustration by Doug Chayka.
May 5, 2014