Behind The Scenes

ESPN The Mag: The Perfect Issue

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick featured on the cover of The Perfect Issue.
Colin Kaepernick is featured on the cover of The Perfect Issue.

The current issue of ESPN The Magazine features San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the cover — and it’s “Perfect.”

Senior editor Ryan Hockensmith explains the concept behind “The Perfect Issue” this way: “In the past, some of our most interesting stories and interviews have come from a very simple question that we’ve posed to athletes: How do you do what you do on the field?

“So that was our general marching order with ‘The Perfect Issue,’ to try to capture every nuance to how athletes perform their jobs. Part of that is perfection, and how it is achieved. And part of it is the relentless pursuit of perfection, and recovering from imperfection.”

The Mag’s senior designer Jason Lancaster said of the concept: “I think we explained it pretty nicely in our intro [page 39]: Imperfection is perfection.”

Breaking news on the weekend of closing this issue added some challenges, Lancaster said.

“The less-than-perfect scenario would be late-breaking, unforseen stories [involving] Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o breaking late in the close cycle and having to come up with a story and illustration in about five hours,” he said. “[That was] very much less than perfect.”

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