“Paris Match” Covers

Location : Pulperie de Chicoutimi / Musée régional

The “Paris Match” cover ! A legend in its own right and a weekly challenge. Whatever is on it – whether a star, an anonymous crowd or an exceptional event – it enters History. Those who create it spend frantic hours deciding which story to pick. The Paris Match cover is unique. A full-page picture, usually no other. The cover’s big issue lies here: electing, among all the world’s great beats of the pulse, the one that will resonate most in the following week. Match is a news magazine that zooms in on all the fields of life. During a little more than sixty years, its covers have swept across the world.

The cover is the magazine’s signature, its world-view. Roger Thérond’s eye, the legendary boss of the 1976 to 1999 years, accompanied the birth of each cover. These days, under the watchful gaze of the editor, Olivier Royant, it is a whole team’s delivery, a climax. Beyond the main story the appropriate photo also has to be carefully picked. At times there are precious few to choose from. This is when the picture department’s hunters come into play with their sixth sense and talent for negotiation. At other times taking one’s pick will be daunting. On September 11th 2001 “Paris Match” was offered 3 500 pictures within a few hours. Making the right choice under such pressure requires nerves of steel. The text comes next. Paris Match being a news magazine, short and sharp headlines are part of the covers’ saga : “War”, “Crash”, “Hell In Bali”, “Code 881”, “Diana, “A Destin”, “The Heart’s Battle”, “The Moon”… All compose the soundtrack of contemporary History. The art director and graphic designers edit the picture, sometimes reframing it for more focus and emotional impact. They also choose the fonts, and their colours and sizes. They are the cover’s magicians, guardians of the Paris Match touch.

Paris Match cover’s power stems from its capacity to embody History.

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