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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Black’

Redesigns Are For the Weeks


Two weekly mags got makeovers last week: Newsweek, our top pick of the publications you only read at the dentist office, and BusinessWeek, the home of everyone’s favorite design blogger.

First, Newsweek, which we knew was coming because designer Amid Capeci left Rolling Stone last year to consult with King Roger Black. This is all outlined rather nicely in the Editor’s note and Dylan Stableford has more at Folio, but one quote stood out and we’re not sure we believe it:

Other media outlets believe you just want things quick and easy. We think you will make the time to read pieces that repay the effort.


Interesting. On to BusinessWeek, the magazine with the big chunky design innovation section, whose philosophy is pretty much the opposite:

You’re busier than ever as your colleagues and customers pursue you into your evenings and crash your vacations. Therefore, you want us to brief you on the week’s most important business news, information, and ideas as intelligently and efficiently as possible.

Their Editor’s memo explains everything about your busy lives, but doesn’t mention the redesign team at all (we have to head to the NY Times story for that slightly important detail). Turns out it’s Modernista!, the company! that did the spec work! on the INside Innovation pub! Maybe they got paid up front this time. That should make designers especially happy. As writers, we just hope they added spell check to the blogs.

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Time to Hear From Walter Bernard


Still haven’t gotten our grubby little hands on the all-new Time but we have located some additional perspective on where Hayman and Scher were coming from. Roger Black takes us back, back, back to the original 1977 redesign by Walter Bernard (and what an interesting cover choice). And then Black went straight to the source: He interviewed Bernard about it:

R: Is it still Time?

W: Hopefully it’s the appropriate Time for the 21st Century. Graphically the magazine gave up its iconic look almost 15 years ago when it abandoned telling its cover stories through personalities. I miss the inventive portrait (photo or illustration) on the cover. I really knew it was over when Madeline Albright was appointed as the first woman secretary of state and wasn’t on the Time cover.

Black and Hayman


Boy, are we glad Roger Black has a blog–finally someone who can tell it like it is. He’s got a raconteurish edge to his writing, although it’s not so curmudgeonly that we plug our youthful ears in defiance. And he can ask questions of someone like, say, Luke Hayman, that are infinitely better than anything we’d ask because, hey, he’s been there:

Can illustration come back to magazines with the kind of force of the art in the early New York magazine?

I don’t think so. For most stories photography–if you have it–is the best way to go–it’s simply more immediate. We’ve tried, with mixed results, a couple of narrative illustrated features (in the vein of James McMullen etc.), but it’s not a regular thing. The other tool we have and love, is photo-illustration where we get the best of both worlds: the control plus the illusion of reality. That’s fun!

The New Old Journal


The big story floating around, in case you missed it, is the new design of the Wall Street Journal. Most news sites you might have seen covering it gave you about that much information, “The Wall Street Journal has redesigned! Ain’t that crazy?!” But we tracked down a couple that had some more detail. Editor & Publisher had this story, with statements from the staff. And Media Buyer Planner had this story that was largely about the Reader’s Guide the Journal included yesterday to help people navigate through these shiny new waters. This writer’s opinion about the whole thing? Personally, he’s not so crazy about it. But then again, he’s usually pretty slow to warm up to change. Give it a year and maybe he’ll have forgotten. At least they didn’t lose the illustrated heads. Is it every person’s goal to one day appear as such? Everyone we know would love to see their illustrated photo head in the Journal, so we figure it’s pretty universal.

UPDATE: We’re sure you’ve seen or will be seeing tons of commentary about all this, but here’s another particularly good one Roger Black just put up this morning, which we learned about by way of Andy Rutledge.