National Geographic magazine reaches 49 million print and digital readers in 33 languages worldwide.
The much-anticipated November 2019 "Womens Issue" is the first ever issue written and photographed exclusively by women. This single-topic issue celebrates women and their accomplishments with readers around the world.
The English edition featured a cover story in which National Geographic’s director of photography explores the images in the archive and considers how they can tell the stories of women’s lives from around the world over the past 120+ years.
This issue had localization of both content and covers from local language editions. While most of the international-language editions adopted the flagship grid design for the cover, they often localized with image swaps for one or two women of local significance from their own country, or an alternate figure from the issue’s Q&A interviews, or from an archival portrait in the issue.
The Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Georgian, Italian, Kazakh, Polish, Serbian, Taiwanese, Thai, and Turkish editions incorporated local women in their cover grid. The Turkish edition created an entirely local grid out of black-and-white portraits of "forgotten" female Turkish historical figures.
We saw some great examples of localization, with the Turkish edition having a particularly robust content plan, creating a story of female firsts (some of whom are in the cover grid) as well as an essay on 200 years of Turkish feminism to replace an Americentric essay on the women’s movement. The Turkish edition also localized the Q&A interstitials with Turkish portraits and created a graphic charting sexual violence against women over the last decade.
Several editions chose to highlight individual women. The German edition featured astronaut Jessica Meir, and the Slovenian edition featured painter Ivana Kobilca, both of whom were the subjects of an article in their respective issues. The Netherlands edition used a compelling image from Military Women showing American Corporal Gabrielle Green as she trains by carrying a fellow Marine on her shoulders. The Portuguese and Spanish editions chose to capture the power of women past and present with a split cover pairing an archival portrait with a contemporary one.
While the Russian edition incorporated some of the women’s content in their magazine, their cover highlighted and capitalized on an unrelated, but timely topic: the 100th anniversary of the most famous masterpiece of a renowned Russian engineer.
See below for a round-up of our covers from across the globe.