INSP Awards: Announcing the 2019 Best Cover Finalists

From 78 entries, we’re down to the final five – it’s time to reveal the Best Cover Finalists for the 2019 INSP Awards.

The Best Cover Award recognises a cover design that has had a big impact on the street, whilst effectively telling a story. The front page should be striking – grabbing attention from passers-by and drawing them to buy the publication. You can see the Top 10 nominees here, which we announced in April.

Our shortlisting panel have narrowed down the Nominees to give us Finalists, who now go forward to the main judging panel to select the winner.

Winners are revealed during the INSP Awards Ceremony held as part of the Global Street Paper Summit in Hannover, Germany, on Wednesday 19 June.

And look out for a special announcement coming next week, about how YOU can get involved in this year’s INSP Awards…

The Finalists:

1. =Oslo / =Norge, Norway

To lose face

=Oslo / =Norge said: Turi Tingelholm is a cancer survivor, living in Oslo. She was diagnosed with cancer in her jaw in March 2009. After being treated with large doses of radiation, her jaw was seriously damaged, and she went through countless surgeries and transplants to reconstruct it. Turi went through complications and also depression after the ordeal, but has now found a new lust for life at the age of 60. The, blue haired, youthful and outspoken lady talked to us about what it’s like to literally lose face.

2. Faktum, Sweden

The take-away catastrophe

Faktum said: Being a magazine fighting not only for a better world for everyone, but also for a world that will exist for the next generations, Faktum occasionally dig into environmental issues. In this edition we decided not to trust the sushi-shops anymore, saying that they don’t buy and sell red-listed giant shrimps. Since many of us can see what they do, we decided to check on them with a phone call, to find out. Our suspicion was that maybe many of the workers in the Swedish sushi-bars, that barely can speak Swedish, might not know what kind of shrimps they sell and what is correct or not to do. The cover we made on this magazine, illustrated by artist Andreas Pedersen, shows the result in one word: catastrophe. But it also covers the big picture of this, the worldwide big business with these shrimps that are not only giant themselves – but also a giant environmental problem.

3. L’Itinéraire, Canada

Love and sex: a question of taste

L’Itinéraire said: This evocative cover appealed to a wide audience. The theme of the magazine was the many forms of love and sex in our society. The title was “Loving in 2018: a question of taste”. Since we didn’t want to be too explicit and shocking, we chose to be suggestive instead. Isn’t this the sexiest grapefruit you’ve ever seen? The colourful orange cover with the splashes of white and corresponding lettering is “dripping” with sexual overtones, without being tasteless. That got our vendors and customers talking. What is more symbolic of sex? A juicy grapefruit or a picture of an overly made-up young half-dressed girl in a provocative pose? This was just one of the topics of conversation relating to this cover. This December 1st issue sold out completely. Even the Montréal media (radio) commented on it.

4. The Big Issue Korea, South Korea

Korean Language’s Day

The Big Issue Korea said: Korean Language’s Day is for celebrating the historical event of our language being created for the first time in South Korea. We created our own original design made with the typography of Korean words. The key parts of this design are, firstly, we put the Korean words ‘Big Issue’ and ‘Korean Language’s Day’ like a crossword, and secondly, we put the neon colour on the typography, so people on the street could see the magazine more easily. Thanks to the promotion from K-pop idol Exo, this edition was sold over 35,000 copies in two weeks. It was one of our bestselling editions so far.

5. The Big Issue, UK

Trump – Flake News

The Big Issue (UK) said: Our cover is key – an advert to tempt passing trade, people on the street who may not even want to look at a vendor and give an immediate flavour of what is inside. Our vendors depend on this to make their living, there is huge responsibility to get it right. We frequently tread a line between politics and popular culture, always have to say something with the cover and really need, if possible, to make it bright and funny. In a period of lethargic sales, this connected and flew. It says who we are, what we think and raises an immediate smile. We were in the grip of a heatwave; the hottest summer for years and the week that Donald Trump was visiting the UK. We wanted to show our readers we understood their issues with Trump, and that we were going to address his Fake News narrative inside. We settled on the image and the coverline presented itself. The cover appeared as placards on anti-Trump protests from London to Glasgow, and a tea-towel version became a best-selling item in The Big Issue Shop, feeding back in to our core mission.


Take a look at the nominees in the Editorial categories for the INSP Awards 2019, and look out for the rest of the Finalists being revealed in June. Use the hashtag #INSPAwards on social media to congratulate our Finalists!