This article is a sample of the exclusive stories written for members of The Masthead, the membership program from The Atlantic (find out more).
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. To honor his legacy, The Atlantic published a special edition of the magazine. Featuring rarely published speeches by King; contemporary voices including Bernice King, John Lewis, and Jesmyn Ward; and excerpts from The Atlantic’s own archives, the issue reflects on the man who defined the civil rights movement and how his message still resonates today. I talked with Bobby Martin, founding partner of The Original Champions of Design, who designed the issue, about the inspiration behind the cover.
How to Put Martin Luther King Jr. on the Cover of The Atlantic
Caroline Kitchener: When you first learned that you’d be creating the cover for the Martin Luther King Jr. special issue of The Atlantic, what went through your head?
Bobby Martin: It was a lot to take in. It's an important year. It's an important time to talk about a lot of the issues that were being discussed 50, 60, 70 years ago. Reading through this issue of The Atlantic, it is clear that, sadly, many of the topics are still being discussed in 2018. When we were designing this magazine, we wanted to make sure that we were not only doing justice to King—making sure we held up his legacy—but also celebrating what he was fighting for. We needed the electricity and vibrancy of the time to come through when people engage with the issue.