Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Response: Historical Magazine Spread Influence

I found this spread (well, technically it's two spreads) in Alive Magazine's September 2010 issue. Fergie, from the Black-Eyed Peas was appearing on the cover that month because her band was stopping in St. Louis on its "The E.N.D. World Tour." I was an intern at ALIVE over the Summer on the editorial side, but I really appreciated the design style of the magazine. I felt that it was young and attracted the target market ALIVE set out to find.

This design is reminiscent of an Esquire spread from 1957 pictured below and in the reading.

For the Fergie spread, the designer took the image and cropped it to fit on three different pages. This design takes inspirations from The New York School Era of the '40s to the 60s. This is when more art direction started taking place and more designers began playing with typography, white space and photography. IN the beginning of magazine design, magazines usually hada page of text and some art on the following page, now magazines take risks with photos and type that usually never happened. Henry Wolf, the art director for Esquire in '57, took a headline and wrapped it around the turn of the page to create a build-up of excitement. The ALIVE designer (who I think was Victoria Millner because she is the Art Director for ALIVE and is a Mizzou alum) wrapped the photo and created an awkward crop, which creates an interesting build-up of excitement and confusion because she broke the horizontal pattern of a magazine and went vertical in both spreads. It's out-of-the-box designing and reminds me of how designers began taking more risks with their photos by using full-bleed. The headline is over the photograph on Fergie and the page numbers are in the center of the two spreads, instead of in the usual corners.


  1. This is a great find! I really like the spread design for Fergie, even if she can't sing live. Great job finding this and recognizing where the designer likely drew his/her inspiration from.

  2. I really like the way the Fergie spread was designed. Making the spread a vertical encourages the reader to be an active participant in the magazine experience, a reason that many of us still love print. Flipping the magazine on its side, turning the pages to make connections, these are things that just cannot be done with other mediums.