Three staff at student magazine Critic, used to working on a magazine which reaches about 19,000, got a shock when they were asked to produce the cover for one of the United States' most popular magazines Newsweek, with a readership of 14 million.

An image produced by the trio at the Otago University Student Association's Critic has been chosen as the cover for the July 16 issue of Newsweek - barring any major world event - and was published online this week as a preview.

Critic editor Joe Stockman, who worked on the project with designers Sam Stuchbury and Sam Clark, said it was a dream come true.

"To get to reach so many millions of readers with one of your images is incredible," he said.


Newsweek staff contacted Critic after seeing a picture of its June 4 issue on the Dutch blog coverjunkie, which profiles magazine covers from around the world.

After recreating the image from the Critic issue, including taking photos of a Dunedin model, the trio got the thumbs-up from Newsweek last Friday.

"I got an email from their creative director saying he thought it was a really powerful image and thanking us for putting in the work."

Mr Stockman said having the cover used by such a large magazine was recognition for the work that the Critic team put into its own publication.

He said he was not at liberty to say how much they were paid.

"We weren't working for free, but it's not going to change our lifestyles or anything like that," he said.

Newsweek has a circulation of 1.5 million and claims a readership of 14 million readers.

Critic prints about 5000 copies each week and has a readership of about 19,000.


Mr Stockman said the image sought to "invoke the weight of societal pressure on the individual, and its fracturing effect on the psyche".

- Otago Daily Times