TENNIS Magazine Covers the Open

TENNIS Magazine Covers the Open

Tennis Design Director Gary Stewart helps us get amped for this year's US Open with more great work...
I'm sure that those amazing New York Times videos have already inspired everyone to hop the 7 train to Queens, but first let's pause for some historical perspective, shall we? Here's a quick look back at five decades of U.S. Open TENNIS covers.

02_TENNIS.png(left) October 1965, (right) October 1969
Amateur tennis players first competed for the U.S. National Championship in 1881. The modern U.S. Open, for professionals, began in 1968. TENNIS magazine debuted in 1965, and although the editors didn't run tournament preview articles back then, they analyzed the results in the October issue. I'm really hoping to see that 1965 cover on 'Mad Men' next season, perhaps on Roger Sterling's coffee table.

03_TENNIS.png(left) September 1974, (right) September 1976
The popularity of the game (and the magazine) soared in the '70s. I love looking back at this decade's covers, with their rich color, dramatic action photography, and groovy rounded typography. The magazine introduced the distinctive serpentine logo in 1972 and stuck with it for 23 years.
04_TENNIS.png(left) September 1986, (right) September 1989
During the '80s, the geometric shapes and neon colors seen on the players' outfits also made their way into the magazine's design.

05_TENNIS.png(left) September 1996, (right) September 1999
The '90s saw a wide variety of approaches to the logo and the overall direction of the design.
06_TENNIS.png(left) September 2005, (right) September 2009
During my tenure, the magazine has again emphasized action photography. When designing the September cover, I envision it as a poster for the Open; I like to let the image breathe by moving the cover lines above the logo. Our recent redesign with Pentagram was directly inspired by the cool visuals of the '70s and our new curvaceous font and logo are a direct reference to that era.
01_2010.jpg(above) September 2010
One last note about this year's cover, illustrated by Gluekit: Two weeks after we closed the issue, Serena Williams dropped out of the tournament. (The same thing happened when we put her on the cover in 2003.) When we're all designing for the iPad we'll be able to make changes on the fly, right?

  • jay s. kaplan

    I am looking for a copy of the april 1976 issue of Tennis Magazine

  • Kirsten Navin

    Gary, thanks for the stroll down memory lane. Nice to see the evolution. The long lead time is unfortunate, been tripped up by that too, but it's still a good cover even without Serena playing.

  • Nancy Stamatopoulos

    FANTASTIC historical review of the Tennis magazine evolution. Can't help myself but vote for the Oct. 1965 cover... so blatantly sexist and bad that its GOOD. (It makes me cringe and laugh all at the same time.)

  • Robert Newman

    Great post and thanks for collecting all those covers. The newest issue is really super, but I have a soft spot for that 1965 one. You should bring back that tagline, too, Magazine of the Raquet Sports.

  • Jason Sfetko

    Thanks for sharing Gary. I like the September 09 cover, but I'm partial!

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