The Worst Magazine Covers of 2010

Everyone knows that covers sell magazines–which is why you’ve got to wonder what some editors were thinking when you take a look at our Worst Magazine Covers of 2010 list. From awkward celebs to unappetizing food, we run down the top 10 covers that didn’t work this year:

10. Sunday, June 27, 2010: Poor Kristen Stewart. The “Twilight”
star was photographed so much this year that it’s not really her fault
that one of the images captured turned out really, really bad. The
question is: Why did UK’s Sunday magazine decide to run the unflattering
shot on its cover? Hunched over, mouth agape and downright
uncomfortable looking, Stewart looks like she hasn’t washed her hair in
days. And even worse than the photo is the caption that accompanies it:
“Young, Rich and Famous: We Ask Twilight’s Kristen Stewart Why the Long


9. Men’s Journal, November 2010: I’m
sure the article about Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood’s unlikely
friendship is a great read. But the Men’s Journal cover that features
the two Hollywood superstars is a bit awkward. Maybe it’s the placement,
or that Damon is sort of looking off the page. We’re not sure. We just
don’t really like it.


8. The Family Handyman, November 2010: I’m
sure this a case of the wrong target audience. As a female in my 30s,
I’m not the reader whom The Family Handyman magazine is trying to reach. But really,
does anyone like the cover of the dude wielding a circular saw in one hand and a reciprocating saw in the other? It might not
be so bad if he weren’t so angry looking. To me, it’s much more “Texas Chainsaw
Massacre” than it is weekend do-it-yourselfer.


7. Runner’s World: It’s
not one specific Runner’s World cover that bothered us as much as a
series of them this year that featured blond, blithe runners wearing
nothing but teeny shorts and a sports bra. As anyone who’s been to a
local park’s running trail can attest, runners come in all shapes and
sizes. We’d like to see Runner’s World go for more variety in 2011.


6. Elle, October 2010: Seems
everyone had an opinion when actress Gabby Sidibe was featured on the
cover of Elle’s 25th anniversary issue. The plus-size actress was
closely cropped, unlike the full-length
photos of the slimmer actresses featured on the three other specialty covers that month. But the positioning wasn’t the
biggest concern of most critics. There were accusations that Elle
lightened the African-American’s skin tone and airbrushed her figure.
Magazine editors insisted “nothing out of the ordinary” was done.


5. Men’s Health, November 2010: Ryan Kwanten of the HBO TV drama “True Blood” is a very good-looking guy–no doubt. So why did Men’s Health feel the need to put him in a wet T-shirt for its November 2010 cover? Shirt on, shirt off–fine. But wet, clingy shirt? Gross.


4. Deer and Deer Hunting, March 2010: Full disclosure: I’m not a hunter.
In fact, I sort of hate hunting. But that’s really not why Deer and
Deer Hunting magazine showed up on our list. The cover line of its March
2010 issue is what’s so strange. “Secret Hideouts! 7 Overlooked Buck Bedding Areas” makes it sound as if the deer are getting together and
chatting about hiding places to avoid hunters, rather than just acting
like the wild animals that they are.

3. House Beautiful, July/August 2010: Much
like food magazines, we look to home decor publications for
inspiration. But we weren’t feeling it with one cover from House
Beautiful this summer. The color scheme of the purple-and-red breakfast
room was harsh and overdone and didn’t look like a place where I’d want
to sip my coffee each morning.


2. Family Circle, August 2010: If
you’re going to use a simple recipe on the cover of your food magazine,
it should at least look appetizing. On its August 2010 cover, Family
Circle magazine didn’t deliver. The cover features a fruit cocktail of
sorts with some whipped cream and what resembles like a Pepperidge Farm
cookie stuck on top. It looked more like a dish on a cruise ship buffet than something fun I’d like to try at home.


1. Cosmopolitan, August 2010: Whether
you’re a fan of Britney or not, you have to admire her comeback. But
when the pop-star sensation graced the cover of Cosmo this summer, she
didn’t look cool and confident. She looked awkward and
ultra-Photoshopped. The Internet buzzed about the bad design job that
makes it look like editors pieced together half of her body from one
shot with another half from a different shot. The overall effect? Weird.


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Shannon McRae

About Shannon McRae

Shannon McRae is a work-at-home mom of three young children whose days are spent wiping mouths, playing Candyland, planning dinners and stealing time in between at the computer for her freelance writing. She's a stickler for healthy eating, with a slight exception for Oreos. She lives in Alabama with her precious children, loving husband and 13-year-old Australian Shepherd named Ricky Martin.

  • http://www.tablazines.com Tablazines

    Great article. Definitely lets me know what to avoid when putting our covers together.

  • http://twitter.com/SummerH Summer Huggins

    You’re right, Shannon. That Family Circle cover with the front fruit cocktail cut in half is just bad. Seems a super-close shot of just ONE fruit cocktail would have been a better choice. Up close and appetizing…

  • Dan

    Dear Shannon,

    Thanks for showcasing our issue! It may have made your “worst” list, but — from a sales perspective — it was one of the best we’ve done in our 33-year history. The sell-through on national newsstands was nearly 40% … not too shabby in this environment.


    Daniel E. Schmidt
    Editor in Chief
    Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine