Magazine Covers Today: What Do YOU Think?

Magazine Covers Today: What Do YOU Think? If you've been in design and/or advertising classes for a while, you've probably come across George Lois, the master behind those legendary Esquire covers from the '60s and early '70s. He recently spoke with BlackBook about the state of magazine covers today and he had some pretty intense things to say...

"Magazine design is almost an oxymoron with most magazines today. ... If you get even one inch of white space to breathe you're lucky. Everybody's just packing in the information. Most magazines you pick up -- you choke to death.

"Why do you put all those cover lines on? They say, 'Well, if I don't get somebody interested in this one, I'll get somebody interested in that one.'
"The design was the idea. I don't design, if you know what I mean. If you want Andy Warhol being devoured by his own fame in a can of Cambell's soup, you just put the can there and you have him drowning in it. Case closed.

"You're knocked down by the idea, and the fact that it's got complete clarity visually. Don't complicate it with busy work.

"At the same the same time, you can look through the SPD [The Society of Publications Designers] book and it's pretty good. So maybe something good is going on, maybe there are some people who know how to do it. I can't believe there aren't some young George Loises out there somewhere. Go get 'em. And give them the freedom."

Check out the whole interview here. And check out the commentary going on here and here -- lots of discussion about what it's like working in magazines today.

So ... what do you think? Are the current cover trends totally out of step with what readers want? Would Lois' brilliant Esquire covers ever see the light of day in today's publishing world and, if so, would they sell? What publications do you think are doing a great job of balancing "ideas", great design and content? 

As a student, you're probably experiencing the most creative freedom you'll have for quite a while, whether it's class projects, campus publications or your own personal work. So as designers who have yet to face the full constraints of the real world, take advantage of the great opportunities you have to explore all the creative avenues available ... who knows, maybe YOU are the next George Lois!
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