The New York Times Magazine’s Trippy Cover Is An Illusion That Won’t Stop Moving



Video screenshot via The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times’ latest cover has aptly arrived at a time when confusions are high about ‘Yanny VS Laurel’ and ‘Brainstorm VS Green Needle’.

A respite from deceptive clips, illustrator Christoph Niemann has created a trippy visual illusion that beckons for your attention, as it “changes” aesthetically the longer you stare at it.

The mind-bending image preludes Michael Pollan’s story on psychedelic drug therapy, and features a likeness of the writer gazing intently ahead, perhaps also mirroring the facial expression of the magazine’s captivated reader.

“We zeroed in on the style of a black-and-white optical illustration,” described design director Gail Bichler. “For those people familiar with what Michael looks like, it definitely looks like him.”

Hallucinatory illustration aside, it was important that the magazine’s masthead still stood out, and it took several steps of layering and tweakings of contrast to get there.

Check out the fascinating cover, as well as its design process, below. As much as you’d like to believe, it is not a GIF.

Are you on drugs right now, or is that just @Michael.Pollan? Our cover story for our #health issue looks at Pollan’s adventures with the researchers and renegades bringing psychedelic drugs into the mental-health mainstream. Here, @gailbichler, the magazine’s #design director, and Jake Silverstein, the magazine’s editor in chief, talk us through the design of this week’s trippy cover by #illustrator Christoph Niemann (@abstractsunday) in our #BehindTheCover series.

A post shared by The New York Times Magazine (@nytmag) on May 16, 2018 at 9:11am PDT

‪Cover for this week‘s New York Times Magazine.‬ ‪Art direction @gailbichler

A post shared by Christoph Niemann (@abstractsunday) on May 17, 2018 at 3:37am PDT

Incredible and mind-boggling cover of @nytimes magazine by @abstractsunday. It won’t stop moving!

A post shared by Bobby Solomon (@thefoxisblack) on May 20, 2018 at 4:40pm PDT

[via The New York Times Magazine]

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