Photography: Peter Hapak
Photography: Peter Hapak

Roger Federer may have crashed out of the US Open, but this classic collaboration between designer and photographer makes for a timeless cover

Roger Federer, a man whose charisma, suave and effortless grace belong to the age of the gentleman amateur. He really doesn’t break sweat – it’s not part of his code. As the US Open heats up, Roger Federer stays be-bop-rat-pack-Don-Draper cool. See this New York Times magazine cover? Will someone, anybody, Roger even, flick that hair for god sake – the quiff is so finger-clicking cool

This masterful cover is the result of the collaboration of photographer and designer. Roger’s face presses up against the edge and surface of the cover, his chin resting on the bottom of the page. The hero’s eye breaking up the coverline, everything ranged left including the focus of his eyes, balanced on the middle of the page.

Then the graphic texture of the shirt, feeding off the bottom of the page, the contrast with the cream background against the contour of Roger’s face and hair, turning the cover into a psychological map.

The certainty of Roger’s close-up on the left versus the uncertain emptiness of the background on the right. Underlined by the question at the end of the coverline. Roger has his game face on “but has tennis left him behind?¬†Great photography, great design.

Great Tennis is like great image-making – you need great shots and you need to know when to play them.


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