The Columbia Journalism Review just happened to catch some similarities between an October 2008 cover for The Economist and a May 2009 edition of The Atlantic. Besides the typeface, the pictures on the covers are almost identical: both show the shadow outline of man peering over the edge of a cliff, you know, to symbolize how much trouble our economy is in.
But it’s a total coincidence, Atlantic art director Jason Treat told CJR:
“I actually hadn’t seen the Economist cover when we designed this, so I wasn’t even aware that they had arrived at the same design solution…I only wish I had seen the Economist cover first…(I) would have revised it to distance it aesthetically.”
We believe Treat when he says it was an honest mistake: this is fundamentally different from the Newsweek/Runner’s World photo rights issue going on right now. If anything, the only thing both The Atlantic and The Economist are guilty of here is using the worn cliché to represent the financial crisis.
Everybody’s On Edge –Columbia Journalism Review