New Blog, bye bye blogspot!

After keeping this blog up for a while I have officially decided to stop posting here since I have been using wordpress for a while now. So from now on all my new blog posts will be up here
It's the end of an era and the beginning of a new one! 
In the hopes you guys will keep up with the new blog, live long and prosper~


Cover Fight 1.0 : Fallon V.S. Kimmel

Cover Fight time!
Ok so I've been meaning to post this since the Jimmy Fallon Vanity Fair cover came out but work has been crazy and I haven't had time to. SO, I'm posting it now because I believe this is still relevant and well, I love that Jimmy Kimmel cover and never had a chance to post about it so here we go:

A few months ago Esquire and Vanity both put on their covers two late night stars, on the one hand we have Jimmy Fallon for Vanity Fair and on the other Jimmy Kimmel for Esquire. We have two very different styles. Esquire mixed polished with artistic and oh my god how well does that work?! This cover made me smile, made me want to buy the issue, made me happy I went to the newsstand. The photo is great, it's by Jeff Minton. It captures the essence of Kimmel really well, the whole concept is just perfect for him. I love the hand drawn look of the type and the smudges around the logo. There isn't much to say here other than, they totally nailed it… So we have 1 point for concept, 1 point for typography and one point for photography!

On the other hand we have Jimmy Fallon for Vanity Fair. Different magazine, radically different style. The cover was shot by Annie Leiboviz. I am divided on this one. The more I look at it, the more I like it, I guess. But if I were to glance at it quickly at a newsstand I don't think I would look twice. It doesn't pop out enough for me. I wish Jimmy had been the only one on the cover, the models add a certain touch to this that I don't like. I get the concept, I get why it might have seen like a great idea to shoot two stories in the same picture on the cover, but I don't think it came out as great as it could have been. They didn't play the comedy side enough. The type is ALL over and it's getting very cramped which might be what is bugging me. I don't care too much for the blue sticker bubbles on top on the red banner on the bottom right. The logo is getting completely eaten away and I don't know where to look anymore. The hierarchy is off and it's a cover that ends up being rough to navigate through. (On a side note, Fallon's face looks kind of weird…) If we count it up we have 1 point for concept, -1 point for typography, 1/2 point for photography.

Which gives us 3 for Kimmel and 0.5 for Fallon.

So for this "fight", Kimmel and Esquire get the win…because you know, I smile everytime I look at this cover and that is a really good feeling.


Lazy July cover fail

 Not too long ago I picked up my issue of Vanity Fair U.S. At first I thought "well that can't be right...I feel like I've bought this issue already." That's when I realized they completely "recycled", if I may say, their January cover.

Where should I even begin? It's the same damn cover, (minus the christmas ornament and snowflakes but oh dear were those a bad idea...). The shiny red dress? The white background? the red lipstick? WHY? why are they doing this to a july issue? I understand, it's summer, people are out of town or getting lazy but there is no excuse for this cover. The january one was bad enough they really didn't have to make a double. 

To quote the devil wears Prada: "That'll be all...."


What’s This Font 1.4 – GQ Paris

  Hey guys, and welcome to this 5th edition of What’s this Font! Been a while since the last one but worry not, good things are coming. I finally have a little time for myself which means time to research and share my font findings, this time for the French edition of GQ.

The first typeface we will be looking at today is GQ Baton. It’s the typeface used on the cover. It has a few different weights for our utmost pleasure! Baton is a sans serif typeface, slightly condensed with a very modern edge. It’s the perfect partner for the GQ logo and works really well on the cover. It comes in 10 styles with a lot of great glyphs. The typeface was created and art directed by Yorgo Tloupas (currently AD “at large” for Vanity Fair France) and Paul Chemetoff (AD at GQ Paris). It was designed by Fat Type‘s Yassin Baggar and Anton Koovit. The typeface was originally commissioned for the redesign of the magazine in 2010, they had exclusive rights on it for a while but get your wallets out because you can buy it here, score. The complete family goes for 350€, it’s not cheap but not over the top for a typeface of this caliber. Get your credit cards out!

Now let’s look inside and see what goodies we can find there. I’ll start with GQ Slab. It’s used in different sections of the magazine like the cover story (see below) for the title. It’s a very nice spin off the GQ Baton, sturdy and working very well with the other typefaces on the page. It has a strong visual presence without being too overwhelming so kuddos for that! you can find it on the Fat Type website, though it has limited licensing.

The body copy is called Adelle. This font was designed by Type Together and has 14 styles, ranging from light to heavy, with more than 1100 characters per font. It’s an editorial font but not my favorite to be honest. It works in the magazine but I find it too bulky despite its light weights. I don’t find it particularly pleasing when reading but I have to admit the combination with everything else works nicely. you can purchase it here starting at $30.

The last one is the GQ Serif. It’s quite a nice font to end this with! it’s used in various sections of the magazine like in the “manuel du style” section and brings a bit of fresh air to the mix. It’s quite light on its serifs and brings just enough of a change from the baton without fighting it. Like the GQ Slab and Baton, you can find it on the Fat Type website.

 for more magazine fonts, check out my other “what’s this font” posts, enjoy!


Vogue UK June 2014 redesign

Kate upton made the cover of this month's Vogue UK. It's quite a disapointing cover considering the model and the photographer. I would have expected more but it turns out we don't always get what we want right?

After looking at the full photoshoot I saw this one picture and the cover alarms went off in my head. I took about 20 minutes and here's a little bit of a "what if..." moment...

 Dear Vogue, if you are going to have a really hot, beachy and steamy photoshoot with Kate Upton, do it all the way (by all the way I do mean put it on the damn cover).
 For this redesign I used some of the most basic fonts on my computer (though clearly they need a little help typography wise it's not the point I'm trying to make).

I understand that dealing with brands and getting the proper credits on a cover is a huge thing but that's why you plan those things ahead. This shoot is so light and steamy while the cover appears completely dull and washed out. This is another case of Vogue UK being so much better on the inside than it is on the outside (see my previous post on this with Natalia Vodianova). But this is supposed to be a package deal! (see below for more pictures from the shoot)

Next time Vogue, please go through with a concept ALL the way, 
it would make everything so much better...


Brasil did it better

Kate Upton seems to be everywhere these days, especially on magazine covers. One of her latest appearances was on Vogue UK’s June 2014 cover. Her vintage looking bathing suit is from Dolce & Gabbana and the Photography is by Mario Testino. Now let’s see what could have been done to make this better…

I am a sucker for Vogue UK (most of the time). They have great layouts and photoshoots. Usually though, despite all the awesome content, the cover doesn’t follow. This cover is acceptable but not mind blowing (those are becoming very rare unfortunately). The major thing that is bothering me at first glance is the one thing that always bothers me with Vogue UK, why the hell aren’t they putting the head of the cover girl above the freaking logo? They deleted the G from Vogue, that would have been completely unnecessary if they had just put her head above it. It’s a minor detail I will admit but it’s something that bothers me a lot. Once you’ve noticed her hair behind the logo on the right, it’s all you can see, and you ask yourself, WHY?

As I said though this is a very tiny detail. The typography is also a mess… You can’t read the “Beach Chic” line at all and it’s the biggest headline on there. The first thing I read when looking at this was “30″. Not what you want people to see first, it makes no sense. That giant number is also confusing from afar. Is it her age? oh wait no it’s just “30 all-star summer buys”… The Hillary Clinton copy on the left barely reads too. I’m not sure pink was the best color choice, it has a bad readability.
The photo is ok. I’m saying OK because the fact that the background is beige despite the fact that Upton is in the sand bothers me. It took me a few minutes to put my finger on it but that is a little odd. Everything is so beige, there is no other color to clash, to pop, to make this cover live a little and that’s just too bad.

As I mentioned earlier, Kate Upton has done more than a few covers. Here are 3 other vogue covers she was on and it’s safe to say the only truly successful ones are Vogue Brazil and Vogue U.S. Granted the Brasil cover looks more like a September issue and not a June one BUT, it’s so Vogue. It’s edgy, chic simple and draws you in. what else is there to ask for? As for the U.S one, it’s perfect for a June issue. It’s fresh and warm, it’s not my favorite but it works.


Esquire's game of Throne

I have to admit I wanted to buy the march 2014 of Esquire instantly just by glancing at it quickly on my computer screen. Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones stole this cover and am I glad he did. With exclusive photographs by Tom Munro.

Ok so first off, hats. Thank you Esquire for putting this amazing actor on your cover. I'm sure many other people feel that way as well. Dinklage looks amazing here and I cannot control the urge I have to go to the first newsstand and buy this issue (unfortunately, we french people have to wait a little longer to get the latest goodies from America...). The styling is great, the picture is great and the guy is great. This scores major points. However, I can't only be saying nice things...or can i?

Layout wise I have to admit I was a little weirded out, at first. The logo placement felt a little awkward laying like that on Dinklage's shoulders, but after thinking about it, it was an obvious choice. Had the Style Guide copy and logo switched places it would have made Dinklage look a lot shorter. The placement they have now, with his head all the way above the logo helps a LOT. It makes him a lot more present and imposing. To give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, I quickly tweaked the cover to emphasize the difference.
On the left we have the original cover, very powerful. On the right, my tweaked cover. It's quite funny because it looks like I made him smaller. Optical illusion. A simple logo placement can make or destroy a cover, this one works very well, kuddos for that because this picture could have easily been ruined.

Esquire, please ship your issues to France faster.



I'm finally posting again after being MIA for quite some time. Its been busy and also a bit hard to get to write anything recently. It's too bad I ,issed a few good covers to comment on in the past few months. But let's not dwell on that and focus on the latest issue of W magazine instead!

For this (quite awesome) issue of W, Cyrus was photographed by Mert and marcus. Now there is no question, the cover is doing everything a cover is supposed to do: intrigue, surprise and please.

The photo is beautiful and at first you don't really know who it is you are looking at, "Is that Lady Gaga..? no, wait…holy crap!." That moment right there, that is how every cover should make you feel, great concept and art direction.
The article written by Ronan Farrow is great as well, really draws you in. Nothing particularly exciting or new, just good writing. The general design and layout of the mag is really clean too which is a plus. Cool illustrations are added in the mix and who doesn't love those…

 All other publications out there should be striving for covers like this one every month, there aren't many good ones out there anymore. Let's take Vanity Fair's hollywood issue as an example. It was pretty but when you open the mag to look at the story, surprise! there is none. The cover is all you get apparently nowadays at VF. I know I do a lot of commenting on cover design and photography but come on you have to back it up with more content inside. If the content is not as good as the cover you are really cheating the customer…

Anyways, W rocked it and I definitely want more.


GQ class

Yes! Thank you GQ for printing three covers for your October issue. Usually less is more but in this case more is better. For this month GQ decided to cover Aniston's husband to be Justin Theroux, actor Idris Delba and singer/actor Jeff Bridges.

The photography is great, all three cover guys look really good. The classic sexy look is back and it feels amazing. The type is not too present, just enough so you know what's inside without ruining the pictures. I do have to mention the two rectangles with headlines are kind of a no no especially the one with the white outline… do people actually still think boxes with outlines are ok? Tried it without the box on the left and instead put it on the right, I feel like it's more balanced that way.

I love the fact that the logo is half black and half white, it really enhances the way the lighting works on each of the guy's portraits. Thank's GQ, for being classy and smooth this month and giving us the gift of a trio.


What’s This Font 1.3 – Vanity Fair France

 Greetings typelings, It's this special time again, what's this font is back! For this 4th and latest edition we will be taking a look at Vanity Fair France. Lots of really cool and recent new fonts here that I'm sure you guys will love. We've got a mix between Vanité, VF Didot and Futura.

The first typeface we will be looking at today is VF Didot. Of course such a beautiful font could only come from one place: Commercial Type. Both the U.S and french version of Vanity Fair are currently using it, though the U.S is also using the stencil and the thicker weights unlike VF France.  The font is used throughout the whole magazine, Front of book, back of book and of course features. It has got the most amazing lowercase italics and they come in a bunch of different weights. They give just enough of a soft feel so that it doesn't look girly rather just elegant. The original Didot is a timeless gorgeous typeface and VF Didot is just as beautiful. It's not available for purchase yet as it was designed very recently. You can keep an eye out just in case but it seems Vanity Fair will have the exclusive use for quite a while. For more info check out Commercial Type
(Side note: The uppercase italic are are not working quite as well as you would want them to, they are too italic unfortunately...VF France hasn't been going in that direction too much though unlike VF U.S)

Now for my personal favorite, Vanité! Vanité is the font VF France is using instead of Solano Gothic (What VF U.S is using). This font was the result of a design collaboration between the art department at Vanity Fair France and Jean-baptiste levee. This typeface is perfect for the french edition, it's art deco and modern at the same time. This is what's replaced VF Sans and it's doing a great job. It has a lot of wonderful glyphs. Unfortunately, there again, it's not available for purchase but we're keeping our fingers crossed right? You can find more information on Vanite here.

The third one is a classic, Futura. Ah future, I have come to appreciate that typeface a lot in the last few years. It's just so easy to use and in this case it blends so well with the whole design of the magazine. VF U.S and France use the same version of it, Futura (T1). This typeface however has so many different variations that it's really hard to know which is which! I was never able to find where to get Futura (T1) but here is a link to the regular version on MyFonts. It goes for $356 and has 18 different weights. I'd say it's definitely a good one to have in your pocket.

For the last one I'm afraid we're just going classic with the VF times which is used for all the main text throughout the mag. Nothing fancy here, just a sweeter version of Times making an easy read. All and all, good typefaces in the mix! You can check out the fonts Vanity Fair U.S uses here.