Vogue UK december redesign

Here is a 30 minute redesign of VOGUE UK's December 2012 cover, using the same copy and basic layout, only adjusting the main color and of course changing the photo.

SO as I have done before, here is a 30 minute redesign of Vogue UK's december 2012 cover using a picture from inside of this issue to give you an idea of how this could have been way more interesting (and pop since this was clearly what they were aiming for...).I am using pretty much the first typeface that I stumbld across in my font library for this as the type isn't the focus here. I don't know about you but I absolutely cannot tell that these two pictures are of the same woman...

VOGUE UK's december mess

In one of my previous posts I said Vogue could do much better but it also seems they can do MUCH worse. Vogue UK has the gorgeous Natalia Vodianova on their cover for their December issue and this mess makes me want to weep for designers everywhere...

The past two issues of our British neighbors have been disappointing but this one is just plain ridiculous. The photo on the cover (by Mario Testino) is not what anyone could call a Vogue picture nor a good picture. I'm not sure who was in charge of the styling but oh dear! Especially considering when you look at the gorgeous and colorful spreads of Vodianova inside! The pictures in this issue are great, vibrant with all the pop you could want but who could get a chance to see those with a cover so bad? This outfit combined with the grey background makes the whole scene very dull and Vodianova's face and expression is just not right. I have seen her on may covers (including vogues) and I didn't even recognize her on this wreck of a cover. I am being very harsh but it is so disappointing to follow a magazine who did such amazing things just a few months ago and is now daring to publish a cover that looks like this.

The cover photo is not the only thing lacking work, the typography combinations are not that good either. I don't even think I can go in and comment on it, the hierarchy is a complete mess and the line "an explosion of fashion and fun" makes the magazine sound like a cheap version of cosmo.

My biggest concern on this is how can they make the inside layouts so decent and detailed and leave a cover like this? Come on Vogue, please don't keep disappointing like this...


here are the gorgeous spreads/photography of Vodianova once you are brave enough to flip through this issue after seeing the cover. The saying about not judging a book from it's cover does not apply here folks, I'm judging whoever is responsible for this humongous difference between the design inside the issue and outside. Shame on you. shame on you.


GQ's Naked Rihanna

For their Man/woman of the year covers, GQ U.S has gone all in showing a naked and steamy Rihanna. Is it getting hot where you are too?

GQ woman of the year Rihanna definitely has nothing to envy other singers and I think this cover speaks for itself. First of all, I am loving the color combination used by GQ for this issue, its fresh and pops up nicely. It goes very well with the picture. I can't say much else type design wise because I am really not a fan of GQ US's covers. I find the typeface very blah and it doesn't do much for the magazine, there's no it factor. Everything is just there laying on top of each other boringly stacked and I think a magazine as big should be able to do better.

Now I won't lie, this picture is HOT, but there is something I find uneasy about Rihanna's face and pose. She looks a bit awkward and mannish. This also has to do with her boy's haircut (not a fan of that...am I wrong?). Her face looks chubbier than we've seen and the way that leather jacket is arranged on her shoulders is not ideal, that left sleeve is really bothering me, very stiff. All in all this is not my favorite picture of her though it has been making quite the buzz. Love the concept and I think they could have shot a way better picture. Her general pose is great but had those few details been altered this picture could have been amazing. Good point for GQ, it's good they have good buzz ideas because design wise they're not flying so high.

what do you think?


Obama is a GQ Man

That's right, for their November cover GQ France has president (and presidential candidate)
Barack Obama!

This issue is great and I'm not only talking design wise, but also content wise. I realize I don't talk about content in my articles but it also plays a big part in a cover. This is definitely an issue you want to pick up if you can read french. Those great articles are of course completed by great design. It fascinates me to observe how the same magazine ends up being so completely different from one country to another. The general design of GQ US is pretty nice but I don't love it the same way I do GQ France.

Anyways getting back to this awesome new issue, definitely a go getter! the article and layout on Obama is well worth your time trust me. I usually don't enjoy reading articles in magazines like this but I have to say this one actually gets me to. The layouts are perfect for legibility and well organized.
It's a stunning cover, loving the blue they used for the headline and the picture of President Obama is quite nice though I wouldn't have minded it being a bit bigger to get to a real portrait type photo.

Honestly this is the only thing I can find that might bother me a little bit, apart from that kudos to the whole GQ team in Paris.

Time to go grab yours!

On a side note: Obama has been on a few other GQ covers, which one is your favorite?


Cosmopolitan Time Jump

Ah Cosmo, you've been there so long and you've been so present yet I can't get myself to like you the way I like other publications such as ELLE or teen vogue.

I figured the answer to my question had to lie somewhere within past cover designs. So I did a little research online to look at WAY past issues of the magazine. I explored covers from the 20th to the 21rst century
and oh boy was there some good stuff. (you can find a little visual at the end of this post of all the covers I looked at.)

I saw this one summer cover that I loved from 1970 and instantly thought, "wonder what this would look like if we modernized it a bit..." I don't need to tell you what happened next... (excuse the picture quality, I didn't really look for a higher res)

Now I did tweak their copy a bit (mostly shortened it), and for those of you who'd want to know what fonts I used, here is a little list as well as where I used the specific typeface (see image below for details). Benton Modern display Ultra for the headline, a mix of Arial narrow bold and simple bold for the sans serif text and finally Bauer Bodoni Std1 bold italics for the subheads.

and finally here are some of the covers I looked at when I was digging around, I was trying to see the evolution based on 10 year jumps. It looks like they started going type crazy in the 60s, too bad because the 1952 cover is really nice...


What's This Font 1.0 - Esquire

 Hey guys, so like many other graphic designers I'm a font nut and I like to know what is being used out there and if I can use it too. So for this first post of What's this font, I will be exploring our friends at Esquire Magazine U.S. If you've ever wondered what font they are using, this is the place to look. Most of Esquire's typefaces were custom made for the magazine though not all of them. You can find the ones that weren't, online ,(they do cost a bit though but nothing particularly excessive for a font family).

The first one we'll start with is Graphik (the font used on their cover) which can be bought through commercial type and was designed by Christian Schwartz in 2009. Esquire uses it on the cover and throughout the issue for categories like "Style", "cars" and "MaHB" (Man at his best). It's a very nice font, modern and bold,very easy to use as well as easy on the eyes.

The next one is Granger, which was commissioned by Esquire from Commercial Type. The name of the typeface was for their long-time editor in chief and was designed by Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho. Granger is also used as one of their pillar typeface with Graphik throughout the issue and is quite prominent. Both those fonts stand very well together and bring the layouts together nicely.

Now the last one I'll cover today I am not sure about. They use a condensed type on their cover which I would assume after digging around, is Giorgio Sans from Commercial Type. It's a very nice typeface, lots of different weights, very modern and simple. It goes very nicely with Graphik and Granger, so nicely actually you almost don't notice there's a third type family on the cover.

I will keep updating this post as I get more info so stay tuned!


GQ U.K has all the Bonds

So it seems I've been a bit scattered with everything showing up on stand at the same time,
and I forgot GQ U.K's November issue with it's James Bond special (doing a bond cover one month after everyone else and doing 6 covers, nicely played U.K), YUM.

Let's start off with the good things about this issue, number 1 there are 6 covers and they all kick ass. GQ U.K has gone all in for this issue and it looks absolutely amazing. All the covers are great, that goes for the photography as well as design, the color palette is perfect and really, seeing those makes me want to devour the inside of the magazine. They are definitely climbing back up on my magazine favorite list as this has scored some major awesome points. Now I don't know about you but there are of course some tweaks that could have been made type wise to improve this issue.

The best cover for me has got to be the Sean Connery one, great picture and really nice type. The Daniel Craig cover is bit too much of an echo of the french edition of GQ. I would have liked to see the same layout they used for Sean Connery on Daniel Craig. But all and all, they rocked the month and it's a checkmate for all the other magazines covering Bond this month.


British Vogue: Quick tweak session

Here is the tweaked cover of November Bristish Vogue, done in less than 30 minutes
using the same copy, same picture and almost the same arrangement.

So from now on I will be posting very quick ( 25min) re-designs of covers that are on stands I wish had been done differently. I am using very basic fonts as my goal is to do this quickly, for this cover I used Arial and minion pro (can't go more basic than that).

Why am I tweaking the cover?

Number 1, it's great training, number 2 I might just be able to make my point better than with words. So to officially start it off, here is a very quick tweak of the November cover of British Vogue staring Jennifer Lawrence. See below for the before and after details.

U.K Vogue bodge?

Like pretty much everyone this year, I went to see the hunger games and loved Jennifer Lawrence. She's been on quite a few covers this past year so let's check this one out shall we?

Like always I'm going to start with the photography. It's quite a beautiful shot of Lawrence wearing a gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana silver and black dress.It's a great image but unfortunately nothing groundbreaking. You would expect something more amazing coming from Vogue.

Design wise it's looking up from the last issue (see previous article) but still, nothing groundbreaking here either. The color palette is very nice, that coral/red color is beautiful and complements the image well. So it's easy on the eyes BUT then again the type placement is a bit off to me. There is a lot of copy competing with each other but I think what is actually bothering more than that is the way the O of the logo is place above Lawrence's head. It's not bringing anything to the cover and the more I look at it the more it's annoying the crap out of me and it looks like a mistake more than something on purpose. Someone probably went : "oh my god this is going to look amazing"and it somehow made it to print that way. Though this would have worked if her hair had been visible inside the O.

All and all not a terrible cover but not an amazing one either. It's nice to look at and I know I'm probably being harsh but Vogue has to be held to the highest standards and in my honest opinion they can do much better.

Harper's Bazaar's sexy October

Harper's Bazaar U.S hasn't always been the sexy thing it is now and has definitely
been evolving towards something great.

The new look appeared early on in 2012 (it seems they had been tweaking the cover around for a while) and the new look knocks it out of the park. I had never really paid attention to it before that, I didn't find the general design either appealing or interesting. But the last couple issues since this big change have been great and we couldn't ask for more, or could we?

As a graphic designer I have a very critical eye and looking at any cover of any publication, there is always a way to make something better. Harper's Bazaar still has some way to go before it looks absolutely amazing but so far they definitely have been going to right direction. The photography, which is absolutely perfect, and very simple color palettes are dead on and very attractive (doesn't Kate Hudson look stunning?). These are a perfect example of a great blend between the design and the photography, they don't compete and they don't clash, way to go Harper's Bazaar, keep 'em coming. Meanwhile below is a little compilation of their awesome new covers. (the Gwen Stefani one is to die for right?)

more about the new look here


VOGUE U.K quick re-design

So I was looking at this cover and thinking I should stop blabbing and start doing,
that's right take actions in my own hands.

SO, I re-designed the Kristen Stewart Oct cover in a little over half an hour and using pretty much the first fonts in my font library (Arial & italian Oldstyle except the big headline that's Narziss). Now I'm not saying that what I did looks amazing (clearly, I barely spent any time on it)

BUT I mostly wanted to see what the cover could have looked like if the pink and photography had been treated as a whole and not separately. In order to do that I changed the color of her lips to pink and changed the hue of her eyeshadow just a tad.It goes without saying I also tweaked the way the type was on the page...

Vogue U.K: not even trying

OK so I'm going to start with a "what the heck is going on with Vogue U.K" comment:
What the heck is going on with Vogue U.K?? 

At the beginning of the year they came up with gorgeous covers, we couldn't have asked anything more, from the photography to the typography, everything was there to please. You look at both the covers above now and see what I mean. It seems like our U.K friends are leaning towards the American look font wise (which is ,I'm not even sorry to say, not good):

The photography which they usually nail is not amazing and I'm pretty sure the problem with that lies with the terrible clash between the color scheme of Kristen and the pink they used for the type.Yes I have been made aware it's breast cancer month and the color change is a yearly thing (which is great dont get me wrong), what I am trying to point out however is they could have have done something photography wise to make this easier on the eyes. U.S Vogue did it very well, why couldn't British Vogue do the same?

I'd also like to know what is up with that bold and huge sans serif typeface? (that's Nobel bold in case you'd want to know...). Big no no. The typeface they had on the june cover was so sexy that seeing this huge change just makes me refuse to buy this issue. YES, it IS all about the cover, because the cover is the first thing you see and if that's not good well the inside can't have done much better...(not that i wont flip through the issue when I get a chance but right now I'm just not up to being disappointed some more.) To sum up this terrible tragedy, this cover is not a victory for the bristish version of the magazine. ELLE U.S did it better on their June cover and it wasn't even what we can even call a good cover. (see below)

P.S. I must say Nobel Bold is a fine font it's just not Vogue material, seriously, the french made their own gorgeous Vogue font; what are you waiting for?

Dress the (graphic designer) part

I came accross Ugmonk while browsing instagram and its simply awesome... The typogaphy is just beautiful and makes you want to buy on the spot. So if you're a designer, dress the part with these really cool tees.


Daniel Craig: GQ v.s ESQUIRE

Latest 007 Daniel Craig is on the cover of both GQ France and Esquire U.K
for their October issue and I can't complain. But who is doing it better?

Let's start with the photography.

For Esquire we have famous photographer Terry O'Neil with a straight on portrait and for GQ, photographer Tom Craig opting for a lighter setting and something slightly more interesting than a straight on pose. The photography is clearly better handled in every way by GQ France. The styling is great (that suit looks perfect on him) and he looks the most like himself. Esquire seemed to have had a bit of a mishap regarding the styling (and I also want to say Craig's face? I'm not the only one seeing there's a problem there am I?), what is Craig wearing? nothing I'd buy for my guy for sure...They tried to do something way more dressed up than they usually go for on their covers and it didn't work.

Now design wise.

 I'm not playing favorites but GQ does it better as well. Mostly I like their typeface better than Esquire U.K, it makes more of a statement and is way more pleasant to look at. Don't get me wrong Esquire's cover looks fine but considering they are indeed esquire they should look great. The whole thing looks a bit awkward to me.
Let's hope their next cover makes us forget about this one because so far (excluding this little accident) they've been amazing


GQ October is bare & dapper for fall 2012

GQ U.S, U.K and FRANCE throw at us multiple covers for this fall, good thing?
I'm not so sure... We see here how drastically different the same magazine is from one country to another, and apparently the country where the magazine originated from isn't always the leading example to follow.

Well hello there Mr. Craig! GQ France didn't do anything particularly special for this October issue but why change a winning style? This edition of the magazine has been gorgeous all on it's own completely detaching itself from its American sibling for a while now. The typefaces are custom made for GQ France and were designed by Anton Koovit, Yassin Baggar and Yorgo Tloupas. The boldness might appear a bit overpowering at first but it actually fits the general design perfectly. It's clean, modern and gorgeous all the way. We have a definite winner here there's no question about it!

Very sexy Tinie Tempah and Lana Del Rey cover GQ U.K going black and white for this fall. Both covers for this UK edition are at first glance a mixture of steamy and classy. The photography by Mariano Vivanco for Lana and Dylan Don for Tinie Tempah is perfect and the styling is just as good. What is bringing these covers down you may ask? well it's the typography. I mean really? I tried to find the name of the font they used unsuccessfully, not that I want to use it, it's not my taste and really not in sync with the GQ style. I understand the concept behind this but they could have used a more modern typeface and make this look way more appealing. So for this issue I'm not sure I can look past the font used. Still, I do have to give them credit for standing out on stands and be eye catching even if only for a few seconds.

Oh GQ U.S...what's been going on with you? Granted your photography of actors Denzel washington and Javier Bardem is great and that should'nt change but your typography is just boring. There is nothing special about these covers and it's a bit disappointing...The typography is just so cluttered and boringly stacked, you have so much more to offer than that, and if you don't I'm asking myself why pay $5 for this. When are they going to redesign this to be visually more appealing? Hoping for something better for the next issue.


A few weeks ago I started working at Vente-privee.com

I've been doing photo retouching, comping and art direction, it's actually really fun and it's giving me a chance to sharpen my Photoshop skills (that can't hurt I was not far from being photoshophobic...). Anyways, my boss asked every designer to work on a little something for a book they want to send out to furnishers and clients as a little goody goody!

The theme: A touch of pink.

Since I've been trying to experience more with typography lately, I decided to go type nuts on it. The fuzzy "Rose" is to mirror the company's mascot and well the pink...its a pink world I go to every morning, enjoy!



 On the cover of YRB magazine this month (a very late summer issue)
we have Evelyn Lozada and Michael Ealy.

Between the time when we had Evelyn's photoshoot and interviewed her about her glam life as a basketball wife, she got a divorce...Needless to say her marriage to Chad Johnson was very short lived (they got married on July 4th and she filed for divorce august 14th). Drama, drama...you know you love it. Anyways check out our latest issue of YRB, (designed by me) quick before the summer is over!


Esquire's HOT Summer

Esquire U.S and U.K are all in for summer with hot looking cover

A very tasteful clothes-less Rihanna steams things up at Esquire U.K versus 57 year old Bruce Willis who can still is bring it on for Esquire's U.S's cover.

That's all nice and cozy... but let's not kid ourselves, this is about who's got it right:

Both covers' styles are great for different reasons. On the one hand we have great typography for the U.S cover (including the inside, as always pure YUM), the design team sure knows how to keep things interesting. BUT, it is starting to get a little busy and is taking focus out of Bruce's fierce portrait. The copy above the logo is what is mainly throwing everything off, poor Bruce is drowning in a too abundant amount of type...
now now will someone throw him a lifebuoy?

On the other hand we have a gorgeous and fresh Rihanna. A perfect design for summer with the simple typography. Loving the clean look of this cover. The combination of this sexy picture & the restricted color palette brings everything together. In general I would probably be doubtful about the type/copy at the bottom of the cover but weirdly enough (though it could be a little smaller) it really ties the whole thing together and completes it nicely.

on a side note, wouldnt it be wonderful if these two managed to merge their styles? 
those 2 covers seem to complement each other nicely...anyone up for the challenge?

Can't wait to see what's in store for the next issues, dazzle us Esquire teams~



The month of may is already there in editorial land and I am focusing on the vogues. Three different and gorgeous women on each edition of U.S, U.K and French vogue show contrasted design styles. U.S vogue features Scarlett Johansson photographed by Mario Testino, for the U.K we have Charlize Theron looking more beautiful than ever in a Valentino dress photographed by Patrick Demarchelier and finally Laetitia Casta for french vogue also photographed by Mario Testino.

VOGUE U.K is my favorite of those three for many for different reasons. First of all the photography and styling is all you could want from a Vogue, beautiful yet simple and elegant. The general color scheme of the cover made me instantly want to pick it up from the stand and the inside is as great as the outside. The light blue/green of the dress combines perfectly with the bright red(with a hint of orange) on the cover. The typography combination of a sans serif typeface with a serif one makes everything better. As well as being more visually appealing it adds the edge that is lacking on the french and U.S covers. This "living Special" makes me want to be Vogue and carry this edition around all day.

Now FRENCH VOGUE's minimal style on the cover works quite well with the photography, a very simple color palette matching Casta's eyes looks very fresh. All and all a good cover though a little excitement wouldn't hurt... The typography is still a little crowded and could have used a little more work. That aside this custom font made especially for french Vogue is absolutely beautiful and makes me drool every time I read an issue...

U.S VOGUE I am afraid to say looks a bit "cheap". Now don't get me wrong, it's not terrible but it lacks the fashion edge that the U.K and french covers have. I am not a fan of this picture of Scarlett Johansson but I think that what is throwing me off is the typography. Vogue needs to be doing some redesign on its covers...It simply doesn't look like a fashion magazine. And the type... all sans serif, all caps, big and round letters crowding the left side, NOT looking sexy at all. Its overcrowded and under treated, come on the french and the british are doing it so well, what is happening in the U.S?


GQ U.K's May Issue rocks your iPad

The May issue of GQ U.K is out on our tablets and all I have to say is nice job!
Model Candice Swanepoel is on the cover with great photography
from Terry Richardson.

This issue is sexier than ever and the inside is just as delicious as the outside. The cover with its restricted and sexy color palette is more than appealing and the way the pictures are being revealed as you scroll down do read the article is the perfect touch. Awesome come back from last month's issue. Nice work from the iPad team!
Hopefully this will make GQ U.S switch things up a bit on their iPad edition and think outside the box.

If there's an issue you want on your iPad this month, it's this one!


Esquire's 2012 Big Black Book

It's this time of year again folks, the brand new Big Black Book 
spring/summer 2012 issue from Esquire is out!

I got my copy this morning and it looks amazing. The cover is beautiful with its type
and awesome spot gloss. The font for the cover and titles throughout the book is dala floda which you can find on Commercial Type. It's quite expensive but beautiful nonetheless! The whole book is designed very tastefully with a clean modern look, Dala Floda gives it the perfect edge. In addition the special openers add so much to the flow of what is esquire's best issue this year so far. Only minus is the overflow of commercials but we can let that slide considering the general great design of this issue.

Time to go grab yours.