The Very First Covers of 10 Momentous Magazines

The Very First Covers of 10 Momentous Magazines

Magazines had their own formula: a photographic portrait of an attractive or famous people with bold text that’s designed to pop right out at you.

The covers changed like the culture they influenced did. Karen X. Cheng and Jerry Gabra looked to explore the subject. “I compiled the past 100 years of magazine covers for a bunch of top magazines,” Cheng said in an interview. “Magazine covers have to compete with each other to stand out on the news rack, and it’s really interesting what 100 years of evolution has lead to.”

“Together, these magazine covers reveal a peek into our history. Sure, we’ve gotten more sexualized. More superficial. We read less. We have shorter attention spans,” she says. “But we’ve also gotten more open-minded. At each step along the way, society has pushed the limits of what’s considered acceptable.”


Playboy, 1953


People, 1974



Rolling Stone, 1967


Wired, 1993


National Geographic, 1888



Tiger Beat, 1965

Newsweek, 1933


Spin, 1985

Vanity Fair, 1983


Mental Floss, 2001


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