/ 2 November 2016

How magazine and newspaper covers encapsulate Donald Trump’s US presidential bid

Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton finish their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate.
Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton finish their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate.

The 2016 US presidential race has been unconventional since the beginning – which has resulted in a number of standout magazine and newspaper covers. Here are some of the most memorable thus far:

Philadelphia Daily News, December 8 2015

This newspaper from the City of Brotherly Love was one of the first to predict the ominous rise of Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Using an image of Trump seemingly making a Nazi salute, the cover was emblazoned with the words, “New Furor” making a play on the word führer, the German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler.

The New Yorker, February 1 2016

A February issue of The New Yorker depicts Donald Trump speaking at one of his rallies while some of the most revered and beloved past American presidents, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John F Kennedy look on in horror.

New York Daily News, February 10 2016

This New York Daily News cover came out in response to Trump winning the New Hampshire primary in February and taking 35.3% of the vote.

Trump’s image is edited to show him in clown face and the accompanying headline is “Dawn of the Brain Dead”. The sub-headline reads: “Clown comes back to life with N.H. win as mindless zombies turn out in droves.”

The Economist, February 27 2016

The Economist has tracked the trajectory of Trump’s campaign using a rather light-hearted approach. However, judging from the covers, it became increasingly clear Trump was being taken seriously by a significant proportion of Republican voters. 

New York Daily News, 10 August 2016

No one is laughing now as evidenced by this New York Daily News cover. What was seen as a nightmarish fluke by political analysts the world over, had become a sombre reality.

Time Magazine, August 22 2016

Time magazine’s cover features a melting Trump with a single-word headline: “Meltdown”. The story in the magazine tallied all of the gaffes made in Trump’s campaign in the weeks after the Republican National Convention. 

Time updated that cover with its 24 October issue titled, “Total Meltdown”. Time included some context for the new cover in a note published on its website:

The Oct. 24 issue of TIME may look a little familiar to some readers. In order to capture the latest twists in Donald Trump’s campaign and the rising anger within the Republican party leadership about their standard bearer’s behaviour, we asked artist Edel Rodriguez to reprise his illustration of Donald Trump which appeared on the Aug. 22 issue of TIME — this time with just one small twist. (Read TIME creative director D.W. Pine on the impact of Rodriguez’s original image.) Rodriguez was formerly an international art director for the magazine and has since completed a variety of covers for TIME, including the cover that followed the 2015 attacks on Paris.

Spy Magazine, 11 October 2016

Fans of Spy magazine, a bitingly satirical publication which folded in 1998, rejoiced when the magazine returned from the dead to lampoon the “short-fingered vulgarian” and his “locker-room” comments. The magazine’s reboot or “digital re-imagining” is planned as an online pop-up publication that is expected to exist for the next four weeks, from now until November 8, and then return to its grave. Esquire unveiled the resurrected Spy with a cringe-worthy life-like image of a nearly nude Trump, his vast, bloated belly bursting forth from the confines of a jock strap, under the screaming headline “IT CAME FROM THE LOCKER ROOM!”

This Richard Turley image isn’t Trump’s first foray on Spy‘s cover.

Private Eye, October 14 2016

What a difference eight years makes. Private Eye, a British satirical magazine known for its acerbic and sharp wit remixed the Barack Obama “Hope” poster – an iconic image of Barack Obama created by graphic designer and street artist Shepard Fairey during the 2008 United States to contrast the difference between the 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns.

The Economist, 15 October 2016

This is how the Economist magazine summed up Donald Trump’s rise to the top: Healthy democracies depend on unwritten rules. The Republican nominee has trampled all over them.