The New Yorker is one of the few magazines that featured illustrated cover art since its first issue in 1925. 47 issues are released yearly, and each cover is composed of the magazine’s iconic nameplate, a full bleed illustration, and a narrow vertical strip of color on the left. The design, type, and style of the magazine from 1925 until today depicts The New Yorker’s social and cultural awareness, thanks to one man. The signature typeface is Irvin named after its creator, Rea Irvin, who also served as the magazine’s first art director and also created the Eustace Tilley portrait that graced the cover of the first issue.
Tilley appears yearly on the cover of the issue closest to February 21, the magazine’s anniversary, except in 1994. He is a dandy wearing a morning coat and a top hat. On the initial cover and succeeding anniversary issues, he’s seen peering keenly at a butterfly with his monocle.
What we like most about the covers of The New Yorker is how its current Art Director, Françoise Mouly, asks the artists she works with to not hold anything back in their sketches. The results are often covers that inspire discussion, sometimes even earning the ire of the easily-offended.
Issues of The New Yorker have become collectibles because aside from chronicling political and cultural developments, they also make great posters and wallpaper art. Here are magazine cover art samples from different illustrators whose work have graced the magazine.
All images used are from The New Yorker Archives
See more samples of covers of different magazines, books, and comics by browsing through our archives. You can also tell us about the covers that caught your attention through our Facebook or Twitter accounts!