The graphic attack of The Dallas Observer

The graphic attack of The Dallas Observer Alexander Flores has been the art director of alternative weekly newspaper The Dallas Observer for a little over two-and-a-half-years. In that time he has created a series of covers that stand among the boldest and most creative of any publication, anywhere. Working with a limited budget and deadline, Flores attacks the covers, using the images, logos and headlines as tools in his palette, crafting wonderful holistic visual products. He draws on his prior experience as an art director at local ad agencies, and essentially creates the entire cover himself, through creative typography, manipulation of stock photography, and his own illustration. Almost everything on the covers in this collection was done by Flores, who says, "If I can sit in front of the computer or a drawing board and create it myself, I will." This is state-of-the-art cover design. Take a look at the 10 we've got pictured below, and then visit here for over 100 more. 

Cover above: illustration by Noah Patrick Pfarr.   

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(Left): October 22, 2009, photo illustration by Alexander Flores, with modified stock images. (Right): August 27, 2009, stock image book cover, all art and typography by Alexander Flores.

Alexander Flores: "The ultimate goal for the covers is to get people to walk over physically and pick up the issue off the rack or out of the box, using the boldest, biggest, brightest, most provacative, bizarre, symbolic, iconic imagery that the subject matter will allow."

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(Left): May 8, 2008, type and illustration by Alexander Flores, cardboard stock image from (Right): May 21, 2009, typography and photo illustration by Alexander Flores.

Alexander Flores: "The last thing the paper needs is to be regarded as sensationalistic by journalistic standards, but I can take certain elements and enhance them, exaggerate them, juxtapose them, in order the get the passerby's attention."

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(Left): August 28, 2008, design by Alexander Flores, photograph by Brandon Thibodeaux . (Right): March 19, 2009, design and illustration by Alexander Flores.

Alexander Flores: "I try look at the paper as a collective volume; I try to not design similar-looking covers in tone, color palette, style, etc. in consecutive weeks. I want to make sure that the readers notice the new issue on the stand and pick that one up too, instead of not, because from 10 feet away it looks like last week's issue which they already grabbed."

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(Left): June 4, 2009, typography and illustration by Alexander Flores. (Right): September 18, 2008, photograph by Morrey Taylor.

Alexander Flores: "Overall, I want every cover to be memorable, something that's going to literally be a call to action to get people to pick up a copy, read our content, whether by boldfaced means or subtle subversiveness."

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(Left): design and typography by Alexander Flores, using stock DIsney images. (Right): design and illustration by Alexander Flores.

To see every Dallas Observer cover designed by Alexander Flores, visit his Flickr page. You can see another collection of Dallas Observer covers here.

  • Jimmy Ball

    These are incredible - Alex, please get in touch, I'd love to have you speak to the AIGA Dallas chapter.

  • gbourgeaiseau

    Very inspirational.

    Good thing they let you "get away with it".

  • Shaun Baron

    Great Post!

  • Mike Solita

    Awesome! Love the full conversion. Usually these types of covers leave the logo untouched -- nice to see it completely integrated with the look

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