The most popular magazine covers of the year so far

by Steve Watson in July 2014
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We’re slightly over the halfway point of 2014, so it’s a good time to catch up on the most popular magazine covers of the year so far, as voted by followers of the Stack Instagram feed.

As I’ve noted in the past, this top 10 is thoroughly unscientific, but it does give a handy overview of some fantastic covers produced over the last few months. I post great-looking magazine covers on Instagram most mornings, so if you’re not already following, get over there and have your say in which covers you think are the best over the second half of the year.

10. Colors
I spoke to editor Patrick Waterhouse about his creative rejuvenation of Colors a couple of months ago, and it’s fair to say the magazine is absolutely flying. This brilliant Panini-inspired cover with its foil shine was my favourite of the World Cup contenders.

09. Labor
Made in Buenos Aires and dedicated to exploring the creative process, Labor’s inscrutable lump makes for a great cover. (It’s actually the mould used to make a plaster cast hand, as explained in the magazine’s first picture story).

08. Holo
Holo was part of the Magazine Publishing Masterclass I ran at the Guardian earlier this year (tickets are on sale for the next one now, from 12-13 July), and now it’s a fantastically ambitious title out in the real world. The cover was created by mapping the location of the letters H, O and L on every page of the magazine and using that data to produce the image, reminiscent of a static burst.

07. The Plant
Mixing artistry with green fingers, The Plant is unlike any other gardening magazine you’ve ever seen.

06. Noble Rot
A magazine that combines wine, food and music, Noble Rot wants to take a more democratic (and more fun) approach to wine writing. This Rolling Stones-inspired cover makes it clear from the start that stuffiness has no place on its pages.

05. Another Escape
A firefighter standing in the midst of a forest fire makes for a suitably other-worldly scene for Another Escape’s most recent cover. The subscriber edition also featured a beautiful piece of photography on its cover.

04. Fin
A small but perfectly formed magazine about Norwegian creativity, Fin can boast some of the most distinctive and alluring cover photography around.

03. Cabinet
You know you’re dealing with a confident magazine when the masthead is rendered practically unreadable. Cabinet has been doing amazing things for the last 14 years, including this beautifully scattered cover.

02. Tusk
A summery embrace from Mancunian magazine Tusk won the hearts of Stack’s Instagram followers, with its blocky colours rendering as a surprisingly tender image.

01. Cereal
But when it comes to love on Instagram one magazine is in a league of its own. This cover by Cereal has nearly 100 more votes than its nearest competitor, demonstrating once again the power of the Bristolian publishing phenomenon.

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