Italian design and architecture title Domus has unveiled a radical redesign, based on a flexible content system rather than a set format. What is the most radical graphic design you have come across for a magazine, and why?
I haven’t seen the new Domus so I can’t comment on that yet, but many magazines have boasted of new and radical designs that turn out to be overwhelming graphic treatments without consideration for the content. However, Speak was different – a 1990s US music/ culture title, it had an independent spirit perfectly reflected in Martin Venezky’s art direction. He brought a personal and radical vision to bear on the pages that owed much to David Carson’s Ray Gun, but rather than negating the content, he added to it and improved it.
Jeremy Leslie, Creative director, John Brown Group
I always quite liked the No Words issue of Colors. Not because I have anything against lengthy editorial, but because I found the idea was very original at the time. Of course, many magazines now do something similar, but I can’t think of any that have done it better. The Colors team had a strong selection of pictures, and a good art director and editor who worked together to edit them down. It resulted in a very beautiful publication that still left room for interpretation of the content.
Gary Cook, Founder, Cook Design
The debate on magazine design filled many column inches last year, mainly due to the wave of ‘new ugly’ designs. Most memorable were Scott King’s redesigns of the US Vogue, in particular his ‘ad-free’ issue which resulted in just 14 pages and provided a free ‘anti-capitalist paper clip’ to ‘jam the corporate machine’. Another issue featured a cover claiming a budgie was God, and the entire campaign was based on making every issue free. I’d say radical was an understatement. It’s just a shame they never went live.
Lee Bennett, Senior designer, Propaganda
The Drawbridge is an independent quarterly, broadsheet in format, that has really impressed me. With each issue, writers, artists and politicians are invited to interpret a theme. The quality of contributors is amazing and it is punching well above its weight. These include the likes of John Berger, Gerry Adams, Ryuichi Sakamoto, JG Ballard and Irvine Welsh, to name but a few. The editorial/design team is as sharp as its contributors. Its intellect is refreshing.
Jonathan Ellery, Graphic designer, Browns