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Magazine Covers of the Year Named by American Society of Magazine Editors

New York Magazine, ASME Cover of the YearChoosing the best magazine covers—even among those published in one year—can be daunting. But the American Society of Magazine Editors has done it. Do you agree with its picks?

Magazine covers can live on well past their traditional shelf life, either cherished for posterity or etched into memory for their infamy. In the American Society of Magazine Editors latest batch of cover of the year winners, there’s a little of both.

The magazine industry’s principal organization for journalists whittled down a host of covers published in 2012 to the following winners across several categories.

Cover of the Year

New York Magazine, November 12, 2013: “The City and the Storm”: The post-Sandy cover image that captured the city in half-darkness and half-light took top honors.

In FishBowlNY’s first Magazine Cover of the Year contest, this haunting image finished as a runner-up to The Atlantic magazine cover featuring New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In the ASME competition, it edged out Time’s controversial “Are You Mom Enough?” cover.

So popular has this image become, it’s available as a poster from New York Magazine and the Museum of Modern Art with the proceeds being donated to ongoing local hurricane relief efforts.

In addition, ASME recognized these covers as the best of the year in their respective categories:

ASME Magazine Cover of the Year WinnersBusiness and Technology

Bloomberg Businessweek, February 6-12, 2012 “Let’s Get It On”: The business weekly went with this suggestive title—and image—to portray the merger of United and Continental airlines.

News and Politics

New York, November 12, 2012 “The City and the Storm”: The Big Apple’s magazine bested another category to take more top honors for its post-Sandy cover.

Entertainment and Celebrity

The New York Times Magazine, December 23, 2012 “Jerry Seinfeld Is 58, Rich Beyond Imagination and Still Working”: Apparently the title character of the popular TV comedy of the same name has still got it. He beat out a cover of Lady Gaga.


The Rotarian, March 2012 “The Future of Water”: The official magazine of the civic club sheds some light on sustainability issues as they relate to water.

Fashion and Beauty

Harper’s Bazaar, March 2012 “Gwyneth Revealed”:  The Most Beautiful Woman (according to People magazine) can add another accolade to her list. Her cover in a daring black dress not only won in this category, but it was also in the running for Cover of the Year.

Sports and Adventure

The New York Times Magazine, August 26, 2012 “Deuce”: Another win for the Big Apple newspaper’s magazine, this time featuring tennis stars—and sisters—Venus and Serena Williams. The controversial Sports Illustrated “We Were Penn State” cover was a finalist in this category.


New York, August 6-13, 2012 “Sex”: Make it three ASME cover awards for this title, including a second over Time’s probably more talked about “Are You Mom Enough?”, which was a finalist in the category.


Bloomberg Businessweek, May 28-June 3, 2012 “Bang Head Here”: The second of the business weekly’s award-winning covers succinctly sums up the Euro crisis. (It even comes with directions.)

Most Delicious

Garden & Gun, October/November 2012 “Perfect Southern Food”: The South is synonymous with good food, so it’s no surprise this cover is being lauded for celebrating one of the region’s signature delicacies.

Best Obama Cover

Bloomberg Businessweek, November 12-18, 2012 “The Next Four Years”: The third of the business weekly’s ASME award winners depicts its projection of how the President will age over his next four years in office.