The Fine Art of the Red Border

At many points in its almost 91-year history, TIME has offered up its iconic red border as a canvas, and asked renowned artists to illustrate the top stories of the day. From the striking Roy Lichtenstein pop art that accompanied a June 21, 1968 cover story on “The Gun in America” (see below) to Marc Chagall’s self-portrait that began our July 30, 1965 issue, readers have become accustomed to seeing cover images that have been painted, sculpted, collaged and transformed by some of the world’s most visionary talents.


December 14, 1936: Surrealist Salvador Dali

Artist: Man Ray


April 12, 1937: Virginia Woolf

Artist: Man Ray


May 7, 1945: Adolf Hitler

Artist: Boris Artzybasheff


April 6, 1962: Sophia Loren

Artist: René Bouché


January 10, 1964: R. Buckminster Fuller

Artist: Boris Artzybasheff


January 29, 1965, Today’s Teenagers

Artist: Andy Warhol


March 5, 1965: Jeanne Moreau

Artist: Rufino Tamayo


March 19, 1965: Martin Luther King

Artist: Ben Shahn


April 16, 1965: Rudolf Nureyev

Artist: Sidney Nolan


July 30, 1965: Marc Chagall

Artist: Marc Chagall


March 3, 1967: Playboy’s Hugh Hefner

Artist: Marisol


September 22, 1967: The Beatles

Artist: Gerald Scarfe


December 8, 1967: Bonnie and Clyde

Artist: Robert Rauschenberg


May 24, 1968:  Robert F. Kennedy

Artist: Roy Lichtenstein


June 21, 1968:  The Gun in America

Artist: Roy Lichtenstein


July 11, 1969: The Sex Explosion

Artist: Dennis Wheeler


November 28, 1969: Raquel Welch

Artist: Frank Gallo


February 16, 1970: Jane, Henry and Peter: The Flying Fondas

Artist: Andy Warhol


November 29, 1976: Rauschenberg by Rauschenberg

Artist: Robert Rauschenberg


March 19, 1984: Michael Jackson

Artist: Andy Warhol


>March 30, 1987: America’s Agenda

Artist: Robert Rauschenberg


March 16, 1992: Jay Leno

Artist: Al Hirschfeld


Source: TIME Turns 90: The Fine Art of the Red Border, from Warhol to Lichtenstein

By: Amy Lombard


Get a Grip and Draw the Line on a Milk Cow

Get a Grip (1993). Art direction: Michael Golob. Cover design: Hugh Syme. Photography: Edward Colver, William Hames. An animal rights group objected to the cover of a cow’s pierced udder, but it was confirmed by Aerosmith to have been computer-generated.


Alternative design cover


Get a Grip is the 11th studio album by American rock band Aerosmith. It was the band’s last studio album to be released by Geffen before they returned to Columbia Records. Get a Grip became Aerosmith’s best-selling studio album worldwide, achieving sales of over 20 million copies, and is tied with Pump for their second best-selling album in the United States, selling over 7 million copies as of 1995. This also made it their third consecutive album with US sales of at least five million. Two songs from the album won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, in 1993 and 1994. The album was voted Album of the Year by Metal Edge readers in the magazine’s 1993 Readers’ Choice Awards, while Livin’ on the Edge was voted Best Video.

Get a Grip featured guests including Don Henley (a founding member of The Eagles), who sang backup on Amazing, and Lenny Kravitz, who offered backup vocals and collaboration to Line Up.

Mark Coleman, for his Rolling Stone magazine review of Get a Grip, said he liked the title track and he compared the album’s introduction, titled Intro, to Steven Tyler and Joe Perry‘s collaboration with Run–D.M.C. on Walk This Way, but feels that most of the album lacks “adventure” and is too “somber”. In his interview he compared Livin’ on the Edge to a Bon Jovi song and feels that a problem with the album comes from the outside songwriters/collaborators.

Regarding songs that reflect on the band’s history with drug abuse such as Get a Grip and Amazing, Steven Tyler declared: “We were saying you can point it back to some of those old beliefs about the crossroads and signing up with the devil, that you can look at the drugs as that: It can be fun in the beginning but then it comes time to pay your debt, and if you’re not sharp enough to see that it’s taking you down, then it really will get you.”


Image from Rush’s Counterparts (1993) album design, also by Hugh Syme


Seeing is believe. Another computer-generated ilustration by Hugh Syme for an ad campaign, made almost fifteen years after Get a Grip was released.  



Milk Cow Blues is a blues song written and originally recorded by Kokomo Arnold. Elvis Presley, accompanied by Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Black on bass, recorded a rockabilly version retitled Milk Cow Blues Boogie at Sun Records in November or December 1954.

Come Together

The Beatles crossing Abbey Road from another angle


Fragment of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. Although Let it Be was released afterwards, Abbey Road was actually the last album recorded by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.



The Fab Four taking a break. The album opener Come Together was a Lennon contribution. The chorus was inspired by a song Lennon originally wrote for Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California titled Let’s Get It Together.


English tailor Tommy Nutter designed the suits worn by John, Ringo and Paul.


In one of the firsts outtakes they were walking in the opposite side of the street


That August 8th 1969 only six shots were taken for the cover of the album


The front cover design, a photograph of the group traversing a zebra crossing, was based on sketched ideas by McCartney and taken outside EMI Studios on Abbey Road. At around 11:30 that morning, photographer Iain Macmillan was given only ten minutes to take the photo whilst he stood on a step-ladder and a policeman held up the traffic


McMillan revisited the scene for the front cover of Paul is Live (1993)




Still from Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)


Drawing by Al Hirshfeld


The Simpsons


Antwerp Six. From left: Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck y Dirk Bikkembergs.


Halston with his collaborators. New York, August 22, 1968. From left: Halston,Frances Stein, Joel Schumacher and Joanne Creveling. Photo: Sal Traina.


Still from Imagine Dragons’ On Top of the World music video (Matt Eastin and Corey Fox, 2013).