As with the rest of the creative industries, the world of mags has been hit hard by the coronavirus over the past few months. Concretely, the pandemic has effectively killed the editorial, set-scale photo shoot that was once so synonymous with the Vogue fashion bible. But on a deeper level, it has led editors and art directors to rethink the type of content that is on their pages and to think carefully about the message they want to send to readers with one of the most powerful tools available to them: the magazine cover.

The current crop of magazine covers is unlike anything we are used to seeing in normal times. Amid one of Europe’s worst outbreaks, Italian Vogue decided to start from scratch with its April issue, shelving previous plans to collaborate with men’s magazine L’Uomo Vogue for a cover story. white blank – a symbol of rebirth and, as Emanuele Farneti wrote in his editor’s letter, “the title page of a new story that is about to begin”.

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♠️ newest @vogueitalia ♠️ . . “White is above all respect. White is rebirth, light after dark, the sum of all colors. White is the color of the uniforms worn by those who put their own lives on the line to save ours. It represents space and time to think, as well as to keep silent. White is for those who fill that empty time and space with ideas, thoughts, stories, verse, music, and concern for others. White remembers when, after the crisis of 1929, this immaculate color was adopted for clothing as an expression of purity in the present and hope in the future. . . . “Above all: the blank is not a surrender, but a blank sheet waiting to be written, the title page of a new story that is about to begin.” #EmanueleFarneti @EFarneti #imagine #FarAwaySoClose #WhiteCanvas – Read the full letter from the editor via the link in bio. Full Credits: Editor-in-Chief @Efarneti Creative Director @FerdinandoVerderi. . #covertastic #coverlove #beatcorona #coverjunkie #voguecover #vogue #printisthefutureofonline #covermagazine via ace @heyhgc

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In the UK, which has also been blindsided by the pandemic, Grazia recently swapped her usual cover stars for four special edition covers featuring powerful portraits of NHS workers. And across the Atlantic, Chris Ware’s thoughtful illustrations of New York scenes have been replaced by his powerful visual of the new normal for The New Yorker – a doctor saying goodnight to their children virtually from the line of forehead.

At Telegraph Magazine, the current crisis has given rise to a series of interesting creative experiments, led by editor Marianne Jones and creative director Kuchar Swara. “Right now you have a lot of still life photographers and any photographer with a semi-improvised studio that comes up to you and says ‘hey, I can still do X and Y’, which then plays perfectly into the hands of, how do you take an idea but not be totally literal with it,” says Swara. “We can get away with it being more creative to some degree because there’s less micro-management. has a lot more confidence by the minute.