The 10 Greatest Steve Jobs Magazine Covers of All Time

The 10 Greatest Steve Jobs Magazine Covers of All Time


In November 2009, Fortune magazine picked Apple's Steve Jobs as the CEO of the decade, and ran this cool cover (design director: John Korpics; photograph by Albert Watson). Jobs has been the go-to tech dude for business mags and newsweeklies for over 20 years, and it got us thinking about all the covers that he has appeared on. Fortunately, art director Sam Kuo over at Kuo Design has created the Steve Jobs on Magazine Covers page, a compilation of 85 covers from 1981-2010. In collaboration with Sam, we have created this list of The 10 Greatest Steve Jobs Magazine Covers of All Time. Feast your eyes on these beauties, and then head over to Kuo's page for the full, obsessive Steve Jobs experience. 

Inc October 1981.jpg

October 1981. This is the first major business magazine cover to feature Jobs.

Time Feb 15 1982.jpg

February 15, 1982. Art director: Rudolph Hoglund; illustrator: Alan Magee. From the very beginning, Jobs was controlling about his photographic imagery. He usually insisted on posing with his latest product (for one Fortune cover he held up cardboard cutouts of the Spotlight and Dashboard Mac icons). For that reason, many of the best covers of him are illustrations.

MacWorld 1984.jpg

1984. This is the debut issue of Macworld. Apple's "Remarkable New Personal Computer" looks pretty clunky now, especially the mouse.

Wired Feb 1996.jpg

February 1996. Creative director: John Plunkett; design director: Thomas Schneider; photograph: Steve Double

Sam Kuo on his obsession with Jobs: "As a designer, I find his understanding and caring about design, coupled with engineering and functionality, fascinating. As for the rest of it, his life story is compelling: his rise to fame by starting Apple with Steve Wozniak, then being fired from it, leaving him out in the wilderness; and his chance return to Apple about a decade later; then turning Apple, which was a few months away from bankruptcy, into the $127 billion company we all know today."

Fortune Nov. 9, 1998.jpg

November 9, 1998. Art director: Margery Peters. This is Sam Kuo's favorite Steve Jobs cover.

Japanese October 2007.jpg

October 2007. Steve Jobs gets his back massaged by Bill Gates on the cover of this Japanese Mac magazine. What's with the monkey in the hot tub? Let us know if you can translate the cover type for us.

BusinessWeek, Feb. 6, 2006 Risko sn.jpg

FFebruary 6, 2006. Art director: Malcolm Frouman; illustrator: Robert Risko. Jobs sells Pixar to Disney.

New York June 25 2007.jpg

June 25, 2007. Design director: Chris Dixon; illustration: Sean McCabe.

Fast Company Dec. 2007-Jan 2008 sm.jpg

December 2007-January 2008. Design director: Dean Markadakis; illustration: Alex Ostroy.

Esquire Espanola 2008.jpg

Spanish edition of Esquire, 2008.

For a complete look at every Steve Jobs magazine cover published (85 and counting), visit Sam Kuo's Steve Jobs on Magazine Covers website.

Sam Kuo has designed annual reports, corporate magazines, brochures, and newsletters, as well as the Society of Publication Design annuals #22, #23, and #24. He's now working on book covers and many other projects.


September 5, 2011. Design director: Dirk Barnett.

Special thanks to Andrew Horton at BusinessWeek, Linda Rubes at Fortune, and Dean Markadakis at Fast Company for their help in compiling this list.
[Updated: 8.31.11]
  • judas

    this is why the monkey is on the hot thub

  • Muhammad Durmush

    Steve Jobs was a charismatic leader.

  • Muhammad Durmush

    Steve Jobs was a charismatic leader.

  • Josh Klenert

    Today is a sad day. Steve gets my vote to get into the honorary Art Directors HOF. Great AD's don't necessarily take the pictures, draw the drawings or write the words -- but they do harness all of these elements to tell a story and build a product. That's what Steve did with Apple. He was able to create beautiful products by identifying, inspire and evangelizing the best UX, IA, ID and marketing in the world. We've lost a great one.

  • dcallan

    GREAT post! I suspect I am the only human being who has the Oct. 1988 Newsweek magazine with Steven Jobs signature on the front and his added comment "I LOVE manufacturing" that he signed for me at Lotus Development in Cambridge MA. It is my pride and joy. Will be happy to share a scanned version if you're interested in seeing it! just email me Enjoy.

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