Blog Home Design How to Put Joy in a Photo: Summer Glamour Covers

Summer, a time of blue skies, picnics in the park, and fashion! Get inspired to show your summer stuff with sunny covers from Glamour magazine.

What do we get for slogging through the long, dark months of winter? We get summer! That glorious time of sunshine and blue skies. Summer isn’t just a season, it’s a whole state of being. A little less work, a little more play. A little less formality, a little more frivolity. Summer changes everything. We basically defrost our lives—from the clothes we wear to the food we eat to the way we spend our time.

With longer days colorized in a blaze of orange, yellow, and red, and balmy breezes floating through our cities and towns at night, summer packs lots of good vibes. There’s sandy toes and chlorine-soaked hair, sticky hands from sweet, summer fruits, and sun-kissed skin that’s warm to the touch. Summertime is for picnics in the park, backyard barbecues, softly peddling bikes, and city scenes bustling with energy. How do you convey all this in a picture? With any one of Shutterstock’s vintage summer Glamour covers. 

Wowza Color

July 1955 Glamour Cover
Summer issues bring bright, vibrant colors back to the forefront. Image via Joseph Leombruno/Condé Nast/Shutterstock.

After months spent swathed in a dreary spectrum of black-navy-gray-brown, nothing says summer like a burst of color. Vintage Glamour covers went colorful in a big way. The fashion was dominated by festive, tropical brights, creamy pastels, and the nautical classics of red, white, and blue. Backdrops were equally evocative: A bright blue sky, pounding surf, palm leaves, a field of wild flowers, even the American flag on the 4th of July. Flowers are the colorful accessory of choice, and they’re used in every way imaginable—in the form of floral prints, fresh flower bouquets, or blossoms tucked behind an ear. 

Playful Prints

July 1972 Glamour Cover
Bright colors and gingham checks spell summer! Image via Susan Wood/Condé Nast/Shutterstock.

It’s undeniable the way particular design details can inform the brain with an entire message. Like the way storks and alphabet blocks say baby, or a drippy candle on top of red and white checked tablecloths can only conjure a bowl of pasta and a bottle of Chianti. The viewer only needs a few hints in order to fill in the whole picture. The clever use of visual design cues that universally convey the best of the summer season, are used to full effect—nautical stripes, gingham checks, polka dots, and the classic bandana print.

Au Natural

July 1957 Glamour Cover
Nothing says summer more than a beautiful smile in a field of flowers. Image via Karen Radkai/Condé Nast/Shutterstock.

There’s an undeniable shift in the state of mind once Memorial Day rolls around. Thoughts turn to beach days and balmy nights, a time to be outdoors not cooped up. What looks most like summer? Smiles and sunshine. Whether the images depict sand and surf, meadows and mountains, or front stoops and backyards, the messaging clicks. 

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Cover image via Sante Forlano/Condé Nast/Shutterstock.