First published in London in 1990, Eye was founded by Rick Poynor, a prolific writer on graphic design and visual communication. Poynor edited the first twenty-four issues (1990-1997). Max Bruinsma was the second editor, editing issues 25–32 (1997–1999), before its current editor John L. Walters took over in 1999. Stephen Coates was art director for issues 1-26, Nick Bell was art director from issues 27-57, and Simon Esterson has been art director since issue 58.
Frequent contributors include Phil Baines, Steven Heller, Steve Hare, Richard Hollis, Robin Kinross, Jan Middendorp, J. Abbott Miller, John O’Reilly, Rick Poynor, Alice Twemlow, Kerry William Purcell, Steve Rigley, Adrian Shaughnessy, David Thompson, Christopher Wilson and many others.
Other contributors have included Nick Bell (creative director from issues 27-57), Gavin Bryars, Anne Burdick, Brendan Dawes, Simon Esterson (art director since issue 58), Malcolm Garrett, Anna Gerber, Jonathan Jones, Emily King, Ellen Lupton, Russell Mills, Quentin Newark, Tom Phillips, Robin Rimbaud, Stefan Sagmeister, Sue Steward, Erik Spiekermann, Teal Triggs, Val Williams and Judith Williamson.
The magazine has had five publishers: Wordsearch, Emap, Quantum Publishing, Haymarket Brand Media and Eye Magazine Ltd., formed in April 2008 after a management buyout.