SPD 47: Magazine of the Year - 15th Anniversary (Part 3)

SPD 47: Magazine of the Year - 15th Anniversary (Part 3) In 1997, SPD debuted the Magazine of the Year award at its Pub33 Gala. The idea, conceived by co-chairs Janet Froelich and Robert Newman, was to create a best-of award voted on by all the judges who participated in the awards. It was a recognition of the best magazine of the year, the one with the best all-around design, imagery, graphics, illustration, and general visual magic. A look at the most recent winners...
  • The New York Times Magazine (circulation 1M+)
    The New York Times Magazine (circulation 1M+)
  • WIRED (circulation 500K-1M)
    WIRED (circulation 500K-1M)
  • Blueprint (circulation under 500K)
    Blueprint  (circulation under 500K)
  • GQ

PUB 43 (featuring the work of 2007*)
The New York Times Magazine
Janet Froelich, CD
Arem Duplessis, AD

Scott Dadich, CD

Deb Bishop, DD

PUB 44 (featuring the work of 2008):
Scott Dadich, CD

PUB 45 (featuring the work of 2009):
Scott Dadich, CD

PUB 46 (featuring the work of 2010):
Fred Woodward, DD

PUB 47 (featuring the work of 2011)
To be announced May 11th

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A SPD Q&A with Fred Woodward (excerpted from "SPD Solid Gold"):

When did you first get interested in magazine design?
In the winter of 1976, I was studying graphic design at Memphis State, having transferred less than a year earlier from Mississippi State, where I had studied practically everything else. I was working a few afternoons a week after classes, mostly pasteup, for Jack Atkinson, who ran a small design business out of the attic of his midtown Arts and Crafts bungalow. I showed up for work one day, and Jack met me at the door. He had just received a call about designing the prototype issue for a new city magazine. Jack normally had a very calm, kind of bored-with-it-all air about him, but not that day.
We drove to the college library and stayed until it closed, looking at back issues of New York magazine. I remember that as we walked across campus to his car that night, I asked Jack what an art director did. The next day, I was doing it.

How do you lead your staff?
At my best, by example. By practicing the golden rule. Always remembering we're all in it together-no matter how deep it gets.

What is the key to producing constant, memorable work over a number of years?
A healthy fear of failure. You've got to get behind the mule every morning and plow. Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

If you had to switch careers, what would you be doing?
Photographer. Director. Stay-at-home dad. Stir-fry chef in the Conde Nast cafeteria.

Should art directors have complete autonomy?

What is the hardest thing about producing a magazine on a creative level?
Not having complete autonomy.

How important is it for a design director to actually design instead of direct?
Pretty important-especially if you work alone. Incrementally less so, with each talented designer you have on staff. Come to think about it, I've never seen a winning coach, in any sport, score a single point.

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*In 2007, The Magazine of the Year competition was divided into three circulation categories (1M+, 500K-1M, and under 500K) which is why there are three there.
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