Special Issues » 21st Birthday

Rogues gallery

A ragtag lineup of covers representing each of our 21 years


When it comes to the storytelling business, reporting is only half the battle; the other half is hooking eyeballs. And the main tool we use to interest readers — besides our super-exclusive Here's Three Bucks and a High-Five program — is the cover image. However, as you already know from changing the birdcage liner, not all covers are created equal.

Thus, a highly qualified team of Indy art and editorial professionals (read: a few of us who had some free time) combed through 21 years of images to select those that either offered a strong visual message or communicated something noteworthy about the time.

It wasn't hard to do, for a couple reasons.

First, past covers were displayed all over the newspaper's walls until recently, and every meeting held in our conference rooms was overseen by stories and faces gone by. I could probably tell you half the cover stories ever written just from having walked to the bathroom.

Second, as mentioned before, some covers are better than others. I mean, there are plenty of pretty passable options: the 2000 one where a guy is trying to inject himself with a cordless phone, or the 2009 one where it's just a random woman smoking a hookah, or the one from 2005 that shows an open-mouthed Jon Heder on the cover of our Student Survival Guide. (OK, that one's awesome.) But some stand out, for one reason or another.

No matter what, we hope we've created a good slice of what's been leading the Indy since 1993, and really hope you even remember a few of the selections yourself. Thanks for checking them out. — Bryce Crawford

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