Now reading Cover Story: The Chicken Issue

Cover Story: The Chicken Issue

Everything that went into designing the cover for the Chicken Issue.


We started planning this issue’s cover by going online and looking up photos of chickens. After about two months of that we got a little bored and started thinking of ideas we could actually use.

In our research, we found some wild facts about the chicken. Sixty-two billion chickens were slaughtered for meat in 2014. That’s way more than any other animal—“only” 2.9 billion ducks, the next highest, were killed that year. In the same year there were roughly three times as many chickens on earth as humans at any given moment. We also found that these chickens are getting bigger. In 1950 the average American meat chicken weighed three pounds. By 2016 the average bird weighed more than six pounds. There seemed like a lot to include in an issue about such a small bird. So this is how we did it.

Figure 01

We left no stone unturned finding the perfect chicken inflatable. We landed on this one that is actually supposed to be a hat, I guess. Works better as a cover if you ask me but that’s neither here nor there.

Figure 02

We made a container to inflate the chicken in. Then we stuffed it on in there and inflated it just enough so it filled the whole frame. This took a lot longer than expected. I would say we spent about seventy-two hours straight trying to get the perfect fit.

Figure 03

Then we used a camera to take a photo, after that we uploaded those files to the computer and then the real #design starts. We added the Lucky Peach logo and a barcode pretty quickly because at this point there wasn’t much time left until our deadline. In hindsight we shouldn’t have spent so long just looking at photos of chickens, but that’s something to improve on next time. After we add all the fun barcodes (we draw ours by hand) you are left with is what we here at Lucky Peach like to call a “perfect cover.”

Check out the final product! And subscribe today to the Chicken Issue!

Rob Engvall is the Art Director of Lucky Peach.