Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with a presence in nearly every medium. Playboy is one of the world's best known brands. In addition to the flagship magazine in the United States, special nation-specific versions of Playboy are published worldwide.
Designed by Art Paul, the magazine's first art director, the rabbit head has appeared on the cover of every issue of the magazine since the second. Hugh Hefner, the creator of the 'playboy' magazine, once explained:
I selected a rabbit as the symbol for the magazine because of the humorous sexual connotation, and because he offered an image that was frisky and playful. I put him in a tuxedo to add the idea of sophistication. there was another editorial consideration, too. Since both 'the new yorker' and 'esquire' use men as their symbols, I felt the rabbit would be distinctive; and the notion of a rabbit dressed up in formal evening attire struck me as charming, amusing and right.
Added Art Paul, 'if I had any idea how important that little rabbit was going to be, I probably would have redrawn him a dozen times to make certain I was doing him justice, and I suppose none of those versions would have turned out as well as the original. as it was, I did one drawing and that was it. I probably spent all of half an hour on it.'