Alternative Weeklies: September 2010 Archives

Las Vegas Weekly Covers: Cool Altweekly Design from Sin City

Las Vegas Weekly Covers: Cool Altweekly Design from Sin City

Benjamen Purvis was the art director of alternative weekly Las Vegas Weekly from 2002-08. Confronted with a weekly cover budget averaging $250 and an extremely short production cycle, Purvis ended up doing a lot of the photography and illustration himself. He estimates that he photographed or illustrated over 225 covers during his stint at the Weekly. According to Purvis, "Covers were put together on the fly. I'd usually have two business days to execute them, and rarely got cover lines more than a few hours before the cover was due at the printer."

Las Vegas has three alt-weeklies, and its own unique culture. "I tried to do everything I could to make my covers stand out," says Purvis. "It was my hope to embrace regionalism, and mirror the spirit and history and mythology of Vegas whenever I could. There's more sin and skin on these covers than you'll see on a typical alt-weekly. We were trying to capture the 'what happens here, stays here' culture of Las Vegas, in as playful a way possible."

Purvis was laid off from the Weekly in October 2008 during a companywide downsizing. He's now the art director at Seattle Met, a monthly city magazine. We've collected some of his more memorable Las Vegas Weekly covers, along with some comments on how they were put together. Most of these covers were completely conceived, photographed, designed, and retouched by Purvis.

(Above): CineVegas 2003, June 12, 2003. Photograph by Benjamen Purvis.


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