From the SPD Archives: The Runner, 1979

From the SPD Archives: The Runner, 1979 SPD50.jpg
Above: The Runner, Special Issue: New York City Marathon, January 1979
Art Directors: Steve Phillips / Patrick Flynn; Publisher: George Hirsch

Just in time for this weekend's New York City Marathon! The Runner was launched in 1978 as an insert in the biweekly newsmagazine New Times. Art directed by Steve Phillips, it was the brainchild of New Times publisher George Hirsch, who was also the original publisher of New York. The Runner soon became a stand-alone magazine. In 1987 it was acquired by Rodale and merged with Runner's World. Hirsch later became the worldwide publisher of Runner's World and the first publishing director of Men's Health.

Obsessed with running, Hirsch helped start the five-borough NYC Marathon in 1976, founded the New Year's Eve Midnight Run in Central Park in 1979, and became the chairman of the New York Road Runners in 2005. At 80, Hirsch remains an avid runner and was recently profiled in an article in Runner's World.

After the jump, we've got a selection of interior pages and comments from art director Steve Phillips about the creation of The Runner logo and this special issue.

Steve Phillips, who at the time was art director at New Times as well as Folio (featured in an earlier SPD Archives post), did the design and art direction for The Runner, including the creation of the logo. He says matter-of-factly, "Yes, I did draw the logo...using a rapidograph pen and a compass. A bit difficult, but thankfully we have software these days that makes this sort of thing much easier." Per his usual hands-on style, Phillips also took on the role of photographer for this issue. "I had several photographers working on the marathon. But I also took some of the photos, from a helicopter. It was great experience!" Phillips later did a redesign of Runners World as well. See more of Phillips's work on his website.

Patrick JB Flynn, known for being a champion of cutting-edge political illustration, and current design director of "punk literary magazine" The Baffler, worked with Phillips as an art director on The Runner until he returned to Madison in 1981 to become design director of The Progressive.





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