Globe Magazine

Globe Magazine’s favorite covers of 2016

The magazine’s art director offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the year’s standout photos and illustrations.

The Globe Magazine’s art director, Greg Klee, remembers some of the year’s cover highlights.

Photograph by Jay Brooks for the Boston Globe

Rob Delaney is a Boston native with a massive Twitter following and pretty popular show on BBC (and Amazon in the US) called Catastrophe. The tricky part of this cover for me was, one, that he lives in London and, two, that he’s the star of a pretty popular show called Catastrophe. That meant a million e-mails between his PR person, me, and the photographer. In the end it all went off without a hitch and the photographer, Jay Brooks, got some great shots in a short amount of time including this one of a “surprised” Delaney.


Read: How ‘funniest person on Twitter’ Rob Delaney revived the TV romcom (March 27) by Chris Wright

Photo-illustration by C.J. Burton for The Boston Globe

Designer Dan Zedek turned to ace photo-illustrator C.J. Burton to solve this cover for us. C.J. came up with this arresting image and another equally stunning solution for the inside of the magazine (see below) showing a student in a maze of standardized test answer sheets. With C.J. we generally give him an idea of what we’re trying to convey and let him work out the solution. Honestly, it feels like cheating sometimes because he’s so good.

Read:If the MCAS is so good, why are we ditching it?(June 12) by Sarah Butrymowicz / The Hechinger Report

Another great solution by C.J. Burton.
Another great solution by C.J. Burton.
Photo-illustration by Ryan Huddle/Globe staff

For our baby boomers issue, designer Ryan Huddle created this wonderful cover by using the iconic 1960s Troll doll to represent an era and to say something about the size of the generation. We love creating covers out of found objects. They’re inexpensive and it gives the designer a chance to own the cover from start to finish. I’m sure plenty of people missed that Ryan included a “cheeky” Easter Egg on this cover: one of the trolls is facing backward.


Read:In praise of those annoying baby boomers(June 26) by Charles P. Pierce

Photograph from Shutterstock

Keith O’Brien’s fascinating piece about the trend in suburbia to build ever larger homes at the expense of lawns gave us a lot of good imagery to work with. At first, we played around with the image of a small patch of grass on a white background, and that worked fine, but we felt like we’d seen that cover before. After a dozen other ideas, including the solution on the opener of the story, we settled on this rather straightforward solution: a life-size field of grass with the headline tucked in the corner.

Read:The incredible shrinking American yard(July 10) by Keith O’Brien

Again it was designer Ryan Huddle who created this subtle and powerful cover. I was around the office when he started playing with concepts, and there were a LOT of them (see below). But I was on vacation when it was finalized. That meant I saw the finished cover for the first time in my July 31 paper. At first I was surprised we had played it so straight: just the word “failure” in white on a red background — and then I saw it! FALIURE not FAILURE. Ironically, we got a few letters from readers letting us know that we had a major typo on the cover.


Read:Four centuries of Boston flops, blubs, and failures(July 31) by Michael Andor Brodeur

A sampling of the cover options Ryan Huddle worked up for the failure story.
A sampling of the cover options Ryan Huddle worked up for the failure story.
Photograph by Roger Kisby for The Boston Globe

Photographer Roger Kisby shot this beautiful picture of transgender model and actress Hari Nef for our Fall Fashion issue. This cover is a good example of the design philosophy that when you have a great image the type should get out of the way. As with the Rob Delaney cover, there was a tremendous amount of back and forth between Nef’s agent, the photographer, and our designer, Ryan Huddle. Several times it felt like the shoot, taking place during the lunacy of New York Fashion Week, was never going to happen and that we’d be scrambling at the last minute to fill our cover. Even on the day of the shoot there were last-minute frustrations, but all’s well that ends well I suppose.

Read: These models from Boston are more than just a pretty face(September 25) by Alyssa Giacobbe

Illustration by Mark Cabuena for the Boston Globe

I wanted to create a type cover using the look of a graffiti doodle you might see on a high-schooler’s notebook. I contacted the illustrator Mark Cabuena for the job, who got it immediately, and came up with this totally “cool” solution. The only scary thing for me is the possibility that the editors will change their mind about the headline after the artwork is created. Luckily, they didn’t.

Read: A field guide to suburban cool kids (October 16) by Alyssa Giacobbe


Photo-illustration by Ryan Huddle/Globe staff

Hats off to Ryan Huddle for this approach to a story about the marijuana legalization campaign in Massachusetts. Coming out on the eve of the vote on Question 4, it combines the slang shorthand for marijuana (420) with the idea of time ticking forward (4:19). Pretty brilliant in my opinion. It’s also very simple, something we aim for with all of our covers (except when we don’t!)

Read:Meet the unlikely champions of legalized weed in Mass.(October 23) by Joel Warner

Photo-illustration by Bruce Peterson for the Boston Globe

Covers for recurring issues are sometimes the hardest. This is our annual Top Places to Work cover for 2016 and as always we were looking for a fresh way to say “work” but have some fun with it. The Lego figure seemed like an ideal way to do both. Local photographer Bruce Peterson shot this fellow and a bunch of others that I used throughout the inside layout, bringing continuity and a bit of lightheartedness to the issue.

Read: the 2016 “Top Places to Work(November 20) special issue

Photography by the Associated Press

I love it when we end up with an eye-catching cover using a stock photo. For the Health and Wellness issue, I was looking for an image that typified a food that had become vilified in our quest to cut fat out of our diets, only to be replaced with low-fat versions that were no better. I was combing through images when I saw this mayonnaise jar. Just add type!

Read:True or false? Fat is bad for you(December 4) by Barbara Moran


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