A cover is not a condiment (except when it is)

The cover of a magazine is incredibly important. It sets the tone for the entire issue, advertises what’s inside and entices readers to buy it, grab it off a rack and read it with rapt attention. It’s far more than an attractive facade for the content within—a cover isn’t a condiment, its a whole meal by itself. And as much as it might pain a writer/editor like me to admit it, the cover is, in fact, the most important page in the whole damn book. Which is why I’ve started paying a lot of attention to them since becoming the editor of the Weekly last August. Also, when they’re well done, they’re pretty freaking awesome.

Our art director, Ryan Olbrysh, knocks out killer covers week after week that are often featured by the blogs that track the coolest examples in the industry give them a little extra love. Check out some of the best of the best on Nas Capas and Cover Junkie, which breaks its honorees down into categories like typographic, sexiest, controversial and, of course, Kate Moss.

One of my recent favorites might be better described as messy. The August 7 issue of the New York Times magazine featured a portrait of New York restaurateur Danny Meyer done in, well, condiments. And that’s exactly what a good cover is all about: a surprising, tempting statement that makes you want to read what’s inside … or at least know how they managed all that mustard.

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