The List: Editor Andy Downing's favorite Alive print covers

Andy Downing

Alive will continue as an online-only publication following this issue, which means we’ll no longer be producing print cover images. With that in mind, here are eight covers from my tenure as editor, presented in chronological order, where some combination of the storytelling and design elements has continued to resonate.

The White Nationalist from Worthington (Feb. 9, 2017)

We wrote a number of news-oriented covers prior to this, but, for me, this was the one that most made people start to pay attention to Alive again. Also, I still prefer Matt Bailey’s design to the treatment Andrew Anglin was later given on the cover of The Atlantic, which came across like iconography. (The feature inside the national magazine, however, was killer.)

What happened to Joey LaBute? (Feb. 23, 2017)

Another Matt Bailey cover, the image has the feel of a movie poster, which is matched by writer Joel Oliphint’s vivid prose.

Last Wordz (Nov. 16, 2017)

This photo of the late Sheron “Nes Wordz” Colbert, discovered amid outtakes from a previous Alive shoot, still gives me chills. With his arms outstretched, the rapper almost appears to be ascending.

Black Moms Matter (April 12, 2018)

The combination of photo and storytelling (courtesy of Erica Thompson) is a total gut punch.

Who was Donna Dalton? (Nov. 15, 2018)

This was one where the words carried more weight, with Joel Oliphint painting a moving portrait from within a part of the city that too often gets overlooked.

“I’m not the first, but I needed to speak up to make sure I’m the last.” (Feb. 7, 2019)

Arguably the most impactful cover feature we’ve produced in my years here, and Craig Rusnak nailed the design work, taking a quote from one of Fred Lee’s alleged victims and turning the words into an illustrative line in the sand.

This is the top-rated tourist attraction in Columbus, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2019)

This image is one of my favorite things we’ve run, giving the postcard treatment to a generic brick building that happens to be among the most hidden of gems.

Remembering Amber Evans (April 11, 2019)

The cover image, taken from a memorial held in the wake of the activist’s death, is both shattering and empowering.