1940s—PRINT Magazine Covers Archive

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Howard Trafton (1897–1964) designed the first Print cover, and the reason for that is not entirely clear. But Trafton, who taught at The Art Students League of New York and is best known for the typefaces Trafton Script (1933) and Cartoon (1936), believed that the principles of art and design were the same. It was daring for Print to publish such an abstract cover (even though the thumbprints belonged to the classical book designer Bruce Rogers). In a way, this cover illustrated a footnote to the first editorial, which read, “There has been little agreement so far as to a proper definition of the term ‘graphic arts.’ Print takes the term broadly: to describe all the means by which ideas are reproduces in visual form.”

—Steven Heller, Covering Print: 75 Covers, 75 Years


The cost to subscribe to Print in 1941 was $5.00 for one year and $9.00 for two years. With today’s inflation, that would be just over $80.00 for a year.




The cover illustration here is titled The Zamba by F. Molina Campos. The image was printed separately and then fixed to the cover with adhesive.



William Edwin Rudge established Print to advocate a masterful level of craft and precision. German-born William Metzig (1893–1989) met those expectations with his design of this calligraphic cover, which was produced before Print settled on a fixed nameplate…

—Steven Heller, Covering Print: 75 Covers, 75 Years


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