RIP: September 2017 Archives

The Village Voice: An Art Directors' History

The Village Voice: An Art Directors' History

Pictured above is the final cover of the final print edition of The Village Voice, which hits the streets on September 20. Photograph by Fred W. McDarrah, art director: Ashley Smestad Vélez.

Since its founding in 1955 The Voice provided a venue for a wide array of visual voices to speak--photographers, illustrators, cartoonists, artists, and designers who were given space and room to grow and connect with a larger community. The Voice visual aesthetic not only went on to influence newspaper design--both daily and weekly--but also mainstream magazine design. Former Voice art directors went on to direct the visual directions of Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Saveur, Real Simple, Details, Vibe, Fast Company, Wired, Fortune, Lucky, Mother Jones, and many more.

Starting with Milton Glaser, who redesigned The Voice in the mid-70s, the paper has been the home to a stack of talented art directors and design directors, including George Delmerico, Michael Grossman, Wes Anderson, Kim Klein, Robert Newman, Florian Bachleda, Jennifer Gilman, Audrey Schachnow, Ted Keller, Minh Uong, Ivylise Simones, John Dixon, Tom Carlson, Andrew Horton, and current AD Ashley Smestad Vélez. Two other creative talents who contributed mightily to the look of The Voice were longtime picture editor  Fred W. McDarrah, and art director Jesus Diaz. Diaz has been the Minnie Minoso of The Voice, working in various roles over five separate decades (he started young), and in the process becoming an inspiration to countless creatives, and many would say, the soul of the paper.

SPD reached out to former Voice art directors and design directors to get their impressions and memories of life and work at the paper. We've also collected an historic gallery of over 50 covers and pages, beginning with issue number 1, published in 1955.


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