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.