The 1970s was a decade of change—politically, socially, and economically. Many of the magazine covers from the '70s captured these cultural tensions with sexually-charged, pop art-inspired images, bold colors, and strong typography. Arguably, the magazine covers of the '70s were the best, in terms of art direction and film photography, than they've ever been.

The covers on our list aren't the dull, mundane head shots of models or the uninspired, bland designs of many of today's publications; they are the covers that pushed the envelope and achieved sophistication and meaning through simplicity. Unfortunately, many covers that can be found online today do not credit the art directors, photographers, or illustrators who did them, but we have included these attributions when available. Take a trip back in time with our list of The 70 Best Magazine Covers of the '70s, and see just how far art direction has come (or regressed), and if anything, the exciting places it's been.

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