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Image / Living / Culture

These post-pandemic ‘New Yorker’ covers by illustration students have gone viral for a lovely reason


by Sarah Finnan
26th Apr 2021

@tropical_toxic on Twitter

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Tasking his third-year illustration students with designing a post-pandemic cover of The New Yorker, artist Tomer Hanuka didn’t realise that his assignment would strike a chord with so many people all around the world.

A lecturer at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, artist Tomer Hanuka set his third-year illustration students quite the challenge last week, asking them to pitch their very own New Yorker cover designs. 

Assigning his class the mammoth task of not only coming up with a workable concept but actually making the design in keeping with the magazine’s signature style too, each student got to work on their own unique pitch… and it’s safe to say that the resulting images certainly delivered. 

So impressed with the work he received, Hanuka subsequently shared the assignment online. Explaining that each of the images was part of an assignment he set his students earlier this year, many of the covers are so professional looking that they duped onlookers into thinking that they were actually legitimate New Yorker covers. 

Quickly going viral, the Twitter thread has since grabbed the attention of people in all corners of the globe with the general consensus being that they are a pretty accurate representation of what a Covid-free world might look like. Describing them as “so poignant and beautiful”, another Twitter user wrote that every single one was “exquisite”. You can see the full thread below. 

Drawing ever closer to what we hope is the end of the pandemic once and for all, the rapid rollout of the vaccine has provided hope for thousands of people that normality – or at least some semblance of it – is on the horizon. Encouraging people to dare to dream of a post-pandemic society, the assignment brings many questions to mind… one of the most pertinent being, what changes has the past year (and a bit) brought along with it?

While the thoughts of returning to life as we once knew it is exciting, it’s also nerve-wracking. The effects that the past twelve months have had on the world have yet to fully be explored and it will only be in getting back to “normal” that we’ll really be able to see what’s different. Each one beautiful in its own right, the works not only convey a wide range of emotions – highlighting how grief, loneliness and fear have laid claim on our lives – but also how everything will have changed, changed utterly.