8 of the most controversial magazine covers of all time

Having a controversial magazine cover is a surefire way for a mag to grab attention, and (hopefully) extra sales. Even as print magazines' circulations and influence wane, sex and politics can still provoke social media meltdown, although just exactly what is considered controversial is an ever-shifting boundary. 

Some publishers try too hard – going for the print equivalent of click bait. The cast of Glee cavorting in school uniforms for GQ? Cue weary eye roll. At other times, passionate political engagement can lead to terrible consequences, as was the case with the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. 

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Mark Wynne

Mark Wynne is an art director and designer with more than 20 years' experience in the publishing industry. He's been responsible for art directing and rebranding several popular magazine titles, including Official PlayStation Magazine and cult videogame title EDGE, and he was also Art Editor for Computer Arts magazine. Mark is one of Creative Bloq's go-to experts for all things related to design and branding.