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Time magazine replaces logo on cover for first time in nearly 100 years

By Bailey Aldridge, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in News & Features

The cover of Time magazine's double issue that hits newsstands Friday will bear an important message in lieu of its famed logo — marking its first absence from the cover in nearly 100 years.

The giant letters at the top of the cover instead read: "VOTE."

Edward Felsenthal, Time's editor in chief and chief executive, wrote a piece published Thursday explaining the decision behind making the historic change, writing that "few events will shape the world to come" more than the upcoming election.

"To mark this historic moment, arguably as consequential a decision as any of us has ever made at the ballot box, we have for the first time in our nearly 100-year history replaced our logo on the cover of our U.S. edition with the imperative for all of us to exercise the right to vote," Felsenthal wrote in the Time piece.

As Nov. 3 draws closer, the push to drive voters to the polls has escalated — with numerous organizations and groups urging Americans to register and cast their ballots.

Many, including President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, have billed the election as "the most important" in a lifetime.

"There's just one month left before the most important election of our lifetime — one that will shape the future of our nation for decades to come," Biden tweeted Oct. 3.

At the Republican National Convention in August, Trump deemed the election "the most important" in the country's history, BBC reports.

The image on the cover was created by artist Shepard Fairey, who also created Barack Obama's iconic "HOPE" poster during the 2008 election.

Fairey's work has been featured on Time covers twice in the past, Felsenthal wrote.

The image is of a person drawn in hues of red and blue wearing a face covering with the word "vote" underneath a ballot box.


"Even though the subject in the portrait knows there are additional challenges to democracy during a pandemic" the person is determined to use their "voice and power by voting," Fairey said of the image, Felsenthal wrote in the piece.

The Time edition will also include a guide on how to vote safely.

Choosing the next president of the United States has looked different during the coronavirus pandemic.

A record number of Americans are expected to cast absentee ballots as the virus makes the safety of in-person voting questionable for many. But mail-in voting has become a contentious topic.

As states have sought to expand access, Trump and other Republican lawmakers have — without evidence — attempted to cast an increase in mail-in voting as a recipe for fraud that will hurt his reelection chances.

Legal battles have erupted in some states — including North Carolina and Pennsylvania — over rules surrounding mail-in ballots, including how long they can be accepted after Nov. 3.

Americans, however, are voting early at a record pace.

More than 47 million had already cast their ballots as of Thursday afternoon, according to the U.S. Elections Project, which tracks early voting data. Around this time in 2016, about 5.9 million had voted.

"This has been a year of so much pain, hardship, chaos and loss. And yet as nations around the world begin to rebuild from the pandemic, it is clear that we also have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change our tune," Felsenthal wrote in Time.

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