THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Magazine Covers

1. Vogue, May, Kate Moss

Moss returned to the cover of Vogue with a Bowie-influenced photo shoot by Nick Knight. Marissa Bourke's art team went to town on the design of the cover - complete with Bowie face-flash superimposed on Moss. The most iconic cover of the year.

2. Empire, June, The Matrix

Empire created a stunning multi-cover issue to coincide with the launch of The Matrix Reloaded. Each of the four different covers boasts an image of a Matrix star, but the stunning production, featuring a green-and-silver metallic "hologram" effect, provides the real stand-out.

3. NME, 21 June, Eminem, 50 Cent and Dr Dre

NME's redesign, complete with glossy covers, has given it a welcome shot in the arm and circulation increase. This image, shot by Sacha Wildman at Idols, provided its best cover of the year. The imposingly dark cover creates the right air of menace and intrigue.

4. Pop, spring/summer, Kylie

Emap's Face spin-off title, published twice yearly, creates the cleanest cover look around. This startling shot of Kylie, so close up you can see the moles on her chest, shows another side of the Aussie superstar. Shot as part of a Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott collection of female stars.

5. Jack, November, Sex War issue

While Jack has so far failed to scale the circulation heights, its covers still stand out. It has slightly increased in size and for the Sex War-themed issue, its team hit on the novel idea of packaging the magazine like toy plastic soldiers in a toyshop - in a plastic box backed by cardboard. The image itself shows Private Benjamin.

6. GQ, February, Kate Winslet

Infamous for its over-scrupulous airbrushing of the Winslet body, which left her legs looking straight-lined and wafer thin. The cover attracted massive coverage in the national press, first, because nobody could believe how thin Winslet was and, second, because it threw the light on the extent to which celebrity images are edited. Either way a winner for GQ.

7. Vanity Fair, April, The Hollywood Issue

Vanity Fair is the best at producing special themed covers. This drips Hollywood power with every leading man in Tinseltown featuring on the gatefold format. Inevitably photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the Vanity Fair cover managed to get the likes of Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt and Samuel L Jackson together at the same time.

8. Homme Arena +, autumn/winter, Tobey Maguire

Special tenth anniversary supplement of the fashion magazine, featuring the Spider-Man star Maguire in two unusual poses on two special covers. Both shots are by Steven Klein, one featuring Maguire in fragile geek mode with slicked-down hair and startling blue eyes. The other shows him with vivid henna tattoo around his left eye, and a spiky quiff. Clean and elegant and a cool choice of cover star.

9. Radio Times, 23 to 29 August, The Beatles or The Stones?

Radio Times celebrated its 80th anniversary in style this year with some striking covers. This two-cover special, one showing The Beatles and one The Rolling Stones, supported the BBC programme The One and Only Rolling Stones. Using archive photography, featuring a bare-chested Paul McCartney, these covers pulled off the trick of evoking memories while stirring debate about who really was the greatest.

10. Marie Claire, June, four celebrities

A stunning idea, to get four different cover stars to support a charity donation on each issue bought, perfectly executed. Marie Claire got Cat Deeley, Denise van Outen, Billie Piper and Martine McCutcheon to back their idea of contributing to four good causes (NSPCC, Rape Crisis, Unicef and Breakthrough Breast Cancer). Photography was by Wayne Maser.


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