Entertainment Weekly. The Covers, Part 1: Michael Grossman

Entertainment Weekly. The Covers, Part 1: Michael Grossman
On September 30 at the SVA Theater in NYC, every design director from Entertainment Weekly's 25 year history will gather for an historic event, For the Love of Enterainment Weekly. The evening is part of SPD's 50th anniversary celebration, as well as an advance notice of EW's 25th anniversary, which is February 16, 2015.

Former EW design directors Michael Grossman, Robert Newman, John Korpics, Geraldine Hessler, Brian Anstey, Kory Kennedy, and Tim Leong will show their work and give an inside look at the magazine's creation. There will also be a special tribute to former DD Amid Capeci.

As a lead up to the event, SPD will be showcasing the cover pages of each design director. Here are the EW covers of the magazine's first design director, Michael Grossman (and, he hastens to add, art director Mark Michaelson) from the years 1990-94. The photography directors for most of these covers were Mary Dunn and Doris Brautigan.

(Cover shown: Arsenio Hall, April 27, 1992)

(Left to right): Debut cover, K.D. Lang, February 16, 1990; Sean Connery, March 3, 1990; Save CBS!, March 9, 1990

Early issues of Entertainment Weekly featured a tilted logo and a strip of secondary headlines and images on the left-hand side. The logo would change a number of times in the next few years.

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(Left to right): Dick Tracy, June 15, 1990; Lucy, July 20, 1990; Rock & Roll, November 9, 1990.

By the middle of EW's first year, the logo righted itself and the side panel disappeared. A drop shadow was added to the logo that remained in some form for many years.

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(Left to right): Madonna, December 14, 1990; Steve Martin, February 22, 1991; Movie IQ, May 10, 1991.

As EW entered its second year it began to feature striking cover graphics and photography.

(Left to right): Julia Roberts, November 22, 1991; Patrick Stewart, March 6, 1992; John Goodman,May 1, 1992.

Under the photo direction of Mary Dunn and Doris Brautigan, EW began to frequently feature black and white photographs of celebrities on the cover.

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(Left to right): Batman, June 19, 1992; Jack Nicholson, January 8, 1993; Seinfeld, April 9, 1993.

By the time the magazine celebrated its third birthday, the first letter of the logo had been upper-cased, and the type had been compressed and made taller. Covers were often black and white with simple, boldly elegant headlines and minimal color.


Doors open at 6:30 pm for seating.  Presentation begins at 7:00pm



SPD Members - $15.00 (log-in to get the member discount)

General Admission - $30.00 (want 50% off tickets, plus more? Join now!)


Don't miss it!  All tickets and seating are first come, first served. When tickets sell out, they're gone!

  • Nancy Stamatopoulos

    I remember the [subtle] change in the logo to initial cap "E" and more condensed overall. The results were not-so-subtle — they were spectacular. A little can go a long way, right?

  • Mike Solita

    Crazy how a typeface can stir up memories ... Bureau Grotesque was my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE in college. Everyone in my dorm would devour EW. It even got name-checked in one of the Scream movies, no?


  • Grant Glas

    John Korpics was a magician for EW back in the day. His spreads were killer. Circa 1996-99


  • Jeremy LaCroix

    Great stuff.

    I think the vertical secondary headline convention is interesting...in the sense that it's interesting the trends that come and go in magazine making.

    I remember that trick was also later used in Business week and we did it over at the Industry Standard back in the day too.

    Did EW start that whole trend? Who was first? Was it People magazine?

    Nowadays it seems that everybody's secondary lines are horizontal across the top in an effort to catch the reader on the stands, makes more sense really and leaves the playing field below the logo much clearer and in the end a nicer rectangular space to work with.

  • Michael Grossman

    Josh: I'm verkempt.

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