Cover story: Wired, then and now

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Happy 25th birthday Wired! As Ian Birch’s book ‘Uncovered’ arrives in shops, here’s his latest cover post.

Current editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson asked original creative directors John Plunkett and Barbara Kuhr to design this anniversary cover of the US edition (below) . The pair were even more happy to do it when Thompson said that he wanted to bring back their original logo.

Plunkett explains: ‘The digital spines seemed an obvious way to go,’ – the magazine was known for its multicoloured, striped spines — ‘but as the editors kept adding more text to each iteration, it became a challenge to combine text and  image. Our editorial contributions are the ‘Fast Forward’ line, and a reach back to Wired’s early years, when we put a translation of ‘Get Wired’ into each cover – in this case ‘Branchez!’”

The ‘premiere’ cover they created for the culture-defining magazine (March/April 1993, top) opened with editor-in-chief/publisher Louis Rossetto’s now celebrated manifesto which began : ‘Why Wired? Because the Digital Revolution is whipping through our lives like a Bengali typhoon – while the mainstream media is still groping for the snooze button’. Neil Selkirk took the picture of Bruce Sterling, whose work helped shape cyberpunk literature. 

wired.com

Ian Birch is the former editorial director of Hearst magazines. Follow him on Instagram for more cover stories, and look out for his new book ‘Uncovered—Revolutionary Magazine Covers’ (ISBN-13: 9781844039043) which is published today, 4 October.

Ian will be joined by Penny Martin (The Gentlewoman), Paul McNamee (The Big Issue) and Robin Derrick (British Vogue) for a talk about front covers at The British Library on 16 October.

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