News Design

J4500/7500 Advanced Editing and News Design – Spring 2012

Andrea Piamonte’s critiques

by apiamonte

Bon Appetit has always been one of my favorite magazines. They have a very atypical look about them, especially for a food magazine. They use zoomed in pictures and interesting crops on their covers to demonstrate their features. This month, they had a feature focused in Paris. Here it is:

 

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Paris… people usually think of loaves of bread and they featured just that. The cover typically also has the starburst badge to show tips or what issue it is. Their sell lines are always clean and they try not to interrupt the cover photograph. Their choices in typography are very modern (usually bold sans serifs) that give the whole magazine a clean and classy look. They tended to combine the bold sans serifs with a thinner, cleaner san serif.  In addition, their logo is in a slab serif font (one of my favorites) and gives the magazine a unique personality. I recently visited Bon Appetit on my trip to New York and let me tell you, their offices were absolutely amazing. I got the opportunity to visit their testing kitchen, photo shoot area and their design offices. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

With the design offices, they showed me the different techniques they used to make sure their design was clean, quirky and classy across the platforms. They placed an extreme emphasis on their photographs of food and made sure that they were absolutely perfect for the cover. If you haven’t checked out the magazine, you definitely should because they have one of the best designs I have ever seen (especially for a food magazine!). 

Andrea Piamonte’s critiques

by apiamonte

This month, I decided to talk about Good Magazine and their unique covers. Here are a few so you can get a gist of how they are designed.

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The magazine uses a brightly colored background and then focuses on a person in the center of the cover. Good Magazine prides themselves on not using the rule of thirds and using a close up photograph of a celebrity. The magazine typically has the bright colored background and then adapts different objects to illustrate the feature story. For example, on the red cover, they feature a woman in her natural surroundings (slightly cluttered) to demonstrate the prescription story. They use a more abstract way to portray their stories. The way that this woman is postured shows that she is tense and uncertain. The fact that they show her in her natural surroundings show that she is your “neighbor” and you can relate to her easier, which ties to the central idea behind the story.

Overall, the clean look of the magazine makes the message of the photograph clear. 

Diario de Morelos: March 21

by apiamonte

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This newspaper design is incredible, but I do have some issues with it. The designer chose to move the flag down and have a large tease on top of it. I like that they did this, but then it creates a lack of hierarchical focus for the reader. The reader is drawn to so many stories, there is not one center focus.

I do however love the type faces used in this newspaper. They consistently used a wider san-serif typeface as their headlines and a less bolder serif font to label the secondary story.

The color palette is too bright for my taste and not content-driven at all. The neon colors appear for the front page to have a happier tone. Plus, there are too many colors on this page that makes it appear too busy.

The vertical dash marks as keylines could’ve also been more subtle by being smaller.

Overall, the page is composed well and has plenty of gimmicks. I just think for the newspaper design to be more efficient and clean, they needed to utilize LESS gimmicks.

Esquire Magazine: March 2012

by apiamonte

Esquire magazine has one of my favorite magazine cover designs. They are extremely creative and unique in their designs. Not to mention, they use innovative methods to display this content. For example, in this month’s issue, Esquire featured TWO covers. They did this by making their cover have an open flap that split through the middle. The cover you first see is a photo of Jon Hamm dressed in a chic plaid jacket. Once you lift this flap, there is another cover under the original cover featuring a half-nude Kate Upton with the same chic plaid jacket adorned over her left shoulder. The left portion of the shoulder is the connecting design element between the two covers. The designer also manipulated the headline to fit both covers.

Check it out here:

Check it out here:

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Not only is this design effective and well-executed, it’s completely different from any of the other covers on the market. Esquire has been known to push the limits and start trends with their innovative covers. The fact that the designer chose to conceal Kate Upton and originally highlight Jon Hamm, shows how provocative Esquire can be. Because it’s a men magazine, it’s like when you lift the flap, you get the pleasant surprise of finding the half-nude Kate.

The bold, san-serif typography choice for the headline is perfect for the cover because it works well with both covers. It’s a plain typeface that could be manipulated in weight, size and width to fit the flap.

The cover also features limited sell lines to focus mainly on the Jon Hamm and Kate Upton flap gimmick. Too many sell lines would’ve complicated the cover and made it look too busy.

This design is an inspiration to not only come up with creative designs, but also to be creative with the paper and format.