The Tokyoiter is a Tribute to Both Tokyo and ‘New Yorker’ Covers

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The revolving magazine covers of The New Yorker have become an iconic cultural touchpoint over the magazine’s 96-year run, using the power of illustration to address topical moments related to the release of each issue. The New Yorker covers are so widely heralded that artists in Tokyo have created a faux magazine in homage, called The Tokyoiter.

Launched in 2016 by Japan-based French art director David Robert and UK-born illustrator Andrew Joyce, The Tokyoiter is a project composed of a consortium of self-described “illustration and drawing freaks” who either reside in Tokyo or invested in honoring the city with their art. “We hope that each cover will be a testimony of what makes Tokyo such a fascinating place to live and experience,” they write on their site.

While the heart and soul of The Tokyoiter is the contributing artists’ love for Tokyo, the project also serves as an undeniable tribute to its almost namesake and The Parisianer—another fictitious magazine that uses illustrated hypothetical magazine covers to honor, you guessed it, Paris.

The most recent Tokyoiter cover was released this month by the French watercolor and digital illustrator based in Montreal, Dao Nguyen, which depicts twilight in Tokyo with a childlike wonder and a soft, romantic color palette. “Whenever I’m in Tokyo, I love looking at every little detail of daily routine,” she describes on The Tokoiter site. “I would like to stop time to remember every detail that I see. Especially at nightfall, in this special twilight, which gives this city the mood of a surreal painting.”

Other covers have come from designers and illustrators like Papoulas Douradas, Requiescat, Kenji Lambert, Molly Maine, Yan Liu, Yifei Wang, Tom Gastel, Yuko Rai, Grace Lee, and Japa.

The Tokyoiter has previously run an online shop where fans could purchase prints of their favorite covers. The shop is currently on hold, but the team has plans for re-opening it for the holiday season. Dao Nguyen’s August cover will be one of the designs made available for purchase at that time.