TIME Magazine Presidential Election"Standby" Covers

This is one of three different TIME standby covers for the 1968 Presidential Election. This version was to be used in the event there was a tie between Richard M. Nixon, Hubert H. Humphrey, and George Wallace. In that case, the House of Representatives would have selected  a President and the U.S. Senate would have picked a Vice-President. This clever three-dimensional cover was created by the renowned artist, Dennis Wheeler. The "spinning arrow" suggests the inconclusive outcome of the election. This mocked-up cover would have then been photographed for production. 

The image below is the Barry Goldwater Standby Cover which would have been used had Senator Goldwater won the 1964 Presidential Election. This cover was designed by the famous TIME cover designer, Boris Chaliapin.Only about 200 copies were printed at the request of the President of Time Inc. who sent them out as gifts to Fortune 200 CEOs.


The 1964 Hubert Humphrey Standby Presidential Election Cover

Only one copy of this incredibly rare cover was printed by Time Inc. as a pre-print test with wrap-around advertisements. I sent this copy to Senator Humphrey and asked him to sign it after the election. Apparently he had never seen it before. The portrait of the Senator on the cover would have been improved on had he won the election.

The planned advertisement to go on the back of the Hubert Humphrey advance cover


My friend and colleague Dennis Wheeler designed the three-candidate cover at the top of this website. Dennis held several positions with Time Incorporated and created the company's Corporate Creative Services Division where he produced designs for covers of Time, Fortune, and Life magazines.  13 of Wheeler’s 40 covers for Time are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.  Five of his posters for Life magazine are in the permanent collection of Design and Architecture, Museum of Modern Art, New York.