Magazine Covers of the Year: Winners Announced

GQ and Sports Illustrated were the big winners in the American Society of Magazine Editors Best Cover contest--they secured two victories apiece. When the nominees were announced last month in 12 categories (everything from Sexiest to Best Vampire Cover), we reviewed the best, worst, and most puzzling inclusions and snubs. The winners were chosen by an online vote on; here's a quick take on the best and worst winner, as well as a rundown of the rest of the victors (including The Atlantic's "Fat Nation" in the News & Business category).

The Best:


Sports Illustrated

Not only does the Sports Illustrated December issue feature the best cover in the category, but one of the coolest sports photographs of the year. A cropped image Wisconsin running back John Clay peering out his helmet not only reveals the player's intense game face, but the visor reflects the football game as he sees it from the line of scrimmage. Especially given the eye-rolling fellow nominees (Shaun White draped in a flag, a dog), it's a worthy winner.

The Worst:

Despite six deserved nominations and a banner year of provoking, stimulating, visually exciting covers, New York magazine only won one category (Most Controversial, for its September cover "HATE," which turned President's Obama's "HOPE" poster to reflect a more dismal political climate). But its loss in the Lifestyle category is especially confusing. Its beautifully artistic, minimalist "Reasons to Love New York" cover, a hand-painted image of a woman walking through a snowy Central Park, perfectly encapsulated the issue's theme and was far more fresh and visually interesting than its fellow nominees. This includes the winner, a GQ cover featuring a stock photo of Johnny Depp. The image was not even a new photo shoot, rewarding laziness (albeit creative budget-slashing) over cleverness.


New York/GQ

You can view all the winners at, and vote for which of the 12 should win the all-encompassing Magazine Cover of the Year prize. Here's a list of the winners:

The Atlantic, May 2010: "Fat Nation"

GQ, December 2009: "Clint Eastwood"


The New Yorker, March 29, 2010: "Homage"

GQ, February 2010: "The 25 Most Stylish Men in the World 2010"

National Geographic, April 2010: "Water: Our Thirsty World"

Sports Illustrated, December 11, 2009: "Pictures of the Year"

Coastal Living, April 2010: "Weekend Paradise"

Playboy, November 2009: "Marge Simpson"

New York, September 28, 2009: "HATE"


Texas Monthly, August 2009: "The 50 Best Burgers"

Sports Illustrated, February 12, 2010: "Swimsuit 2010"

Harper's Bazaar, December 2009: "Twilight"

Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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