Decades-Worth of Design Magazine Covers

EXTENDED DEADLINE: The deadline for the 2017 Regional Design Awards is May 1. Enter now!


When PRINT turned 75 in 2015, it gave us a great excuse to blissfully disappear into the bowels of the archives with a scanner for days on end.

The covers for the annual RDA—which is now nearly 40 years old—serve as an evolutionary chart for the field’s aesthetics and trends over the years.

Here is an updated list of all the RDA covers from the past four decades, from the bold to the brilliant to the bizarre.

 

1981

Design: Andrew P. Kner. Photos: Harold Whitely.

 

1982

Bill Purdom

 

1983

David Wilcox

 

1984

Rafal Oblinski

 

1985

Design: Andrew P. Kner. Model: Suzanne Couture. Photo: Karen Leeds.

 

1986

Bill Nelson

 

1987

Design: Rick Eiber, Andrew P. Kner. Photo: Ben Kerns.

 

1988

Design: Andrew P. Kner. Illustration: Shelley Daniels. Photo: Galante / Marzelli.

 

1989

Design: Andrew P. Kner. Photo: Nick Rosza.

 

1990

Design: Scott Menchin. Photo: William Duke.

 

1991

McRay Magleby

 

1992

Design: Peter Good. Photo: Jim Coon.

 

1993

Kit Hinrichs

 

1994

Carin Goldberg

 

1995

Charles Waller

 

1996

Sam Kuo

 

1997

Chris Ware

 

1998

Michael Ian Kaye

 

2000

Design and illustration: Steven Brower

 

2001

Design: Steven Brower

 

2002

Art Direction and design: Steven Brower. Photography: Richie Fahey. Hair/makeup: Maria Cristina. Models: CJ Lashuk, Greg Jackson.

 

2003

Design by Steven Brower

 

2004

Design by Stephanie Skirvin

 

2005

Abbott Miller/Pentagram

 

2006

Photography: Michael Schmelling.

 

2007

Nicholas Blechman

 

2008

Gluekit

 

2009

Photography: Henry Hargreaves.

 

2010

 

2011

Photography: Brenden Beecy.

 

2012

Jason Polan

 

2013

Debbie Millman

 

2014

Sean Adams

 

Marian Bantjes

Marian Bantjes

Go behind the scenes.

 

Kelli Anderson

Kelli Anderson

Go behind the scenes.

 

 


The 2017 PRINT RDA: Enter Now!

Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen LuptonEddie OparaPaula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.

Draplin image: Leah Nash. Hische: Helena Price. Lupton: Michelle Qureshi. Scher: Ian Roberts.

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