if you like to see how magazine covers have evolved over the last 70 years, Esquire magazine has an online gallery of covers all the way back to 1933. the first 20 years vary from creepy to interesting. sometime in the 1970s, photographs took over and the covers start looking bland. The 1980s covers look so much like the ones you can get in tourist country with your picture on them. The covers from 2007 are more interesting and feel more consistent than previous years.
as publications are more cookie-cutter and consistent each month, it’s rare to find a major magazine willing to stray from the formula in favour of interesting design. it’s nice to get in the wayback machine to a time when there was more experimentation. maybe it wasn’t always successful, but i appreciate the attempts.