In 1894 Beardsley was appointed art editor of what he described as a 'new literary and artistic quarterly' aimed at artists and writers who 'cannot get their best stuff accepted in the conventional magazines'. All the cover designs were printed in black on yellow cloth boards, in imitation of French novels. This design for the first number shows a pair of masked carnival-goers who, in keeping with the subversive character of the journal, appear both lewd and sinister. From the start the new magazine provoked an outcry. The Times remarked on the 'repulsiveness and insolence' of the first cover.