The art of magazine covers: 20 incredible examples from 2012

The art of print design and magazine covers is more important than ever. With cutbacks, iPads, and the internet, it's imperative that art directors, editors, and photographers get their magazine covers right.

Thankfully, celebrations such as the D&AD awards continue to support the art of magazine covers. And rightly so; just take a look at our pick of 20 of the best magazine covers of the year and you could be surprised at the array of talent on offer.

Don't forget to check out:

Bloomberg Businessweek: September

Magazine covers: Bloomsberg Businessweek

Magazine covers: Richard Turley leads the team to yet another stunning cover

Bloomberg Businessweek have always made an impact in the print industry, with a string of D&AD awards for previous issues and endless critical acclaim. This design for their early September issue was created by Creative Director Richard Turley, with photography by Charlie Engman. Another stunning cover to add to their collection.

TransWorld Surf: The Travel Issue

Magazine Covers: TransWorld

Magazine Covers: Showing off their ability of incredible action photography

TransWorld SURF is a magazine which strives to promote the sport of surfing with youthful eyes on the future. Each issue features contests from around the world, profiles up-and-coming surfers, interviews seasoned pros, shares tricks and tips and spotlights amazing action photos. Art director Sam Allen and photo editor Aaron Checkwood created this stunning cover for their travel issue.

Collect: May

Magazine Covers: Collect

Magazine Covers: Old-fashioned goodness from Collect magazine

Collect magazine describe themselves as 'old fashioned goodness,' It shining a spotlight on things done well and explores ways that we might be able to do things better. It's published bi-monthly and is only available in a handful of stores. Creative director Adam Johnson has done an amazing job with this one.

Little White Lies: Lawless

Magazine Covers: Little White Lies

Magazine Covers: The cover was hand-carved from Japanese plywood

Little White Lies are arguably one of the most creative magazines out there. Every issue is lovingly created by a team of designers and illustrators, headed by creative director Paul Willoughby. This issue was particularly special, as the entire issue's design, from the cover to the introduction pages, was hand-carved from Japanese plywood.

The Ride: Issue 6

Magazine Covers: The Ride

Magazine Covers: The Ride donate all their profits to charities

Started in 2008, The Ride is the journal for any bike lover. Filled with personal stories, beautiful imagery and illustration, The Ride set out to get under the skin and expose the passion that flows through riders veins. Wanting to give something back to the world of cycling, they donate all the profits from each issue to a variety of charities.

Elle: July

Magazine Covers: Elle

Magazine Covers: David Beckham was the first male to feature on the cover of ELLE

David Beckham was the first male to ever grace the magazine cover of UK fashion magazine Elle. This issue featured three covers, which could be collected by avid fashion and Beckham fans. We love the typography on this one and of course, the stunning portrait photography. The feature itself also packed a punch with a series of beautiful shots.

New York Magazine: July 14th

Magazine Covers: New York

Magazine Covers: Just look at the array on colours on offer!

New York Magazine has been going since 1968 and covers, analyzes, comments on, and defines the news, culture, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, and personalities that drive New York City. This stunning magazine cover was the work of design director Thomas Alberty and photography director Jody Quon. Just look at those colours!

Fiasco: Issue 21

Magazine Covers: Fiasco

Magazine Covers: Illustrator Hattie Stewart is responsible for the doodles

Fiasco is a monthly print and digital unisex fashion, arts, and lifestyle magazine that has quickly grown in popularity since its first issue. They are always on the lookout for up-and-coming talent and this magazine cover is a perfect example of that. With photography by Phillip Meech, Fiasco commissioned illustrator Hattie Stewart to doodle all over it. Stylist and art director Hope Von Joel is responsible for the impeccable design.

Wallpaper*: April

Magazine Covers: Wallpaper

Magazine Covers: Look closely... this cover isn't just simple illustration

Wallpaper* have always been known to impress with their magazine covers and this collaboration with illustrator Noma Bar is no exception. This cover is not a simple illustration but room sets painted in a three-dimensional studio and enhanced with actual products from each of the territories featured in this Global Design issue. Stunning work!

Interview: May

Magazine Covers: Interview

Magazine Covers: The contrast of monochrome and neon is striking

This stunning magazine cover of Keira Knightley was shot by the acclaimed black and white lens of Mert & Marcus. Styled by fashion editor Karl Templer, the contrast of monochrome and neon is a stunning feat for cover design. This cover differed to the April US edition of Interview by going with another photo from the shoot.

Next: Stunning portrait photography...

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