From Kim K to Jen Aniston: The Best and Worst Magazine Covers This Year

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The suffering of print magazines is old news, but it’s always a bit surprising to look at the actual numbers and see how badly magazines really are selling.

Some of the biggest in the industry—Vogue, Lucky, Allure—saw huge drops in newsstand sales for the first half of 2012.

And because people are buying less mags, editors have to make sure their covers are tip top, and that they stand out amongst the dozens of other books on the shelves.

There’s even a palette of colors that editors know do well—red and black on a simple background does the best, greens and yellows not so much) The most important part of a cover is the face, though, since everyone knows all of the captions are basically exactly the same and the numbers—452 looks! 96 beauty tips!—are totally made up.

So it’s serious business figuring out which covergirls and boys do the best and the worst for magazines. This year, WWD broke it down to three T’s: twentysomethings, TV, and Twilight.

Kristen Stewart was responsible for three of the best-selling covers so far this year, and TV stars Zooey Deschanel, Lauren Conrad and Ashley Benson proved to be issue movers for Marie Claire, Glamour and Teen Vogue, respectively.

Youngsters like Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively and a young Ali McGraw also did well for Elle, Teen Vogue and Town and Country (in a great show of wisdom that gave me a bit more faith in humanity, people did not embrace Kim Kardashian's Glamour and Allure covers).

This doesn’t mean that the perennial heavy hitters are losing their clout. Jennifer Aniston and Kate Moss, two of the most profitable covergirls of all time, brought InStyle, W and Harper’s Bazaar some of its best selling issues this year.

What’s surprising is that despite this year’s Olympic fervor, Vogue’s Ryan Lochte, Hope Solo and Vanessa Williams cover was its worst seller of the year. Seems like no matter what, it still doesn’t pay for magazines to feature anyone but actresses and musicians on their cover pages.
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