SPD 47: Arthur Hochstein's Favorite Magazine

SPD 47: Arthur Hochstein's Favorite Magazine Arthur Hochstein, Art Director
Favorite Magazine: Bloomberg Businessweek

In today's world, what does "magazine" even mean? Print, tablet, online. I'll stick to print for my choice. It's awfully hard to pick a "favourite"--there are so many excellent ones. But one that stands out is Bloomberg Businessweek--it's one magazine that I always feel compelled to look at to see what they are doing.

BBW may not be technically the best designed or most beautiful magazine, but it has three things going for it:

1) Offbeat and surprising covers that embrace what print still has to offer, especially in the creative use of metallic and spot-color inks. Like the inside pages, BBW covers sometimes go overboard, but that's because they've thrown away formulaic thinking and applied a garage-band surface aesthetic. Some of the treatments bully their way into anarchic disruption of the logo and cover lines, which tickles me to no end.

2) An extremely intelligent architecture that makes it easy to navigate. BBW cover the five main areas of business (with no traditional f.o.b.) and then lets the features go off on their own tangents. The grid is tight and disciplined, but overlays those energetic, wacky surface treatments (sometimes to dizzying excess, but I still appreciate the effort). Business readers are a tough audience. BBW walked the plank on their redesign and lived to tell about it. 

3) Thoughtful, nourishing infographics. Most graphics strike me as dutiful and very skip-able. BBW's do not. They're modern and brassy, and they help parse stories for the reader.

Most important, BBWs design makes the magazine seem smarter, and makes an aspirational and information-seeking consumer want to read it.

This post is part of the Favorite Magazines Project, part of SPD's PUB 47 Competition and AwardsDownload the entry forms and be a part of the competition here.

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