I found these Country Fair magazines a couple of weeks ago at a boot fair and bought them purely for the bright coloured covers and sweet little illustrations. The lady selling them had about 30 issues and I'm now wishing I'd bought the whole lot!
Out of the three I bought, one is from February 1954 (red donkey cover - illustration by John Hanna), one from August 1962 (orange pigeon cover - illustration by D Shannon) and one from May 1963 (pink bird cover - illustration by D Shannon). The pink one is my favourite - I love the illustration of the cherries and the little bird in his beret.
Here are a few more of the John Hanna illustrated covers I found over on Automatism
If you like these you might also like my collection of Which?
Remember the post last week about Roman Cieslewicz's Ty I La
covers? Well here are some designs he created for the French international art review, Opus International
in the late 60's.
In true Cieslewicz style, they're loud, bright and graphic. Unfortunately, I can't find out very much about the publication itself, only that it was published in Paris by Georges Fall.Images copyright Roman Cieslewicz.
Images from 'Roman Cieslewicz: Master of Graphic Design' by Margo Rouard-Snowman. Published by Thames & Hudson Ltd. London, 1993.
I just came across these great cover designs for Fortune magazine
on Covenger + Kester
and had to find out more...
Fortune magazine was, and still is a business publication founded by Time
founder Henry Booth Luce in 1930. Luce's vision was to create a bold new business journal that would stand out from the dull and uninspiring competition (at the time business periodicals and journals were black & white and full of facts & figures). Fortune had a luxury stock, striking photography and illustrations, it was alive with colour and was written by a team of up and coming writers keen to impress.
The covers I'm most drawn to are the ones above, mostly designed by the late Walter Allner
- a German born, student of the iconic Bauhaus school, where he studied typography, design and painting under tutors Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky among others.
Allner moved to the US in the late 40's and worked as the art director of Fortune
from 1962 - 1974, during which time he personally designed 79 of the covers (his signature is on some covers before this date though, so I can only assume that he was commissioned as a freelance artist prior to his employment). His Modernist style and Bauhaus principles helped him transform Fortune into a contemporary and sophisticated publication.
If you want to see more, there's a huge collection of Fortune covers throughout the decades here
.Images copyright Gono.
I was browsing Iconofgraphics
the other day, a great site with biographies and images about graphic icons Alexey Brodovitch
, Wim Crouwel
, Lucien De Roek
, Max Huber
, Jac. Jongert
, Erik Nitsche
, Paul Rand
, Jan Toorop
, Theo Van Doesburg
and H.TH. Wijdeveld
- it's a really interesting read.
Anyway, I came accross these Harper's Bazaar spreads art directed by Alexey Brodovitch and was totally shocked by how dynamic and experimental they are. I'm familiar with the covers he art directed, as they're probably his most famous works, but I've never before seen his page layouts which really show the true depths of his talent.
Carmel Snow the editor-in-chief who hired Brodovitch, hoped his unique design style would refresh the magazine and set it apart from it's rivals, "I saw a fresh, new conception of layout technique that struck me like a revelation: pages that "bled" beautifully cropped photographs, typography and design that were bold and arresting". Taken from 'The world of Carmel Snow'' by Carmel Snow & Mary Louise Aswell, McGraw-Hill, 1962.
It's a shame fashion mags these days don't aspire to this level of design. They seem to achieve great heights with photography, but they leave little room for design with almost every inch of the page plastered in content. I think these spreads really show the value of white space and composition - less is more, people!Images taken from Iconofgraphics.
For the second of our Q&A posts, we have the delight in introducing Mike Daines
, internationally known typographic communicator.
Mike has had an award-winning career in design and typography, which started in the early 70’s when he graduated for the London School of Printing and began work at the London Letraset studios. Whilst at Letraset he designed many typefaces, including Hawthorn
and University Roman
, as well as creating baseline
was first published in 1979 by Letraset
as their house typographic journal – a vehicle to showcase their typefaces to typesetting manufacturers and therefore only published when new material was available (which for the first 10 years was about one per year).
Mike designed and edited the first issue and edited subsequent issues overseeing contributions from guest designers and typographers including Banks & Miles (who designed the first colour issue - no.8 in 1986), Milton Glaser and Eric Spiekermann who edited and designed issues 6 and 7. Mike remained at baseline until 2007, after being co-owner and co-editor with Hans Dieter Reichert since 1995.
It’s through his involvement in baseline that I knew of him. baseline was one of those publications that as a student I couldn’t afford and used to spend ages in the college library or WH Smiths reading it. So when Mike got in touch, I couldn’t wait to ask him a couple of questions:Is there one issue of Baseline that stands out for you as a favourite, either for content, design, the typeface or for the people you worked with?
I have a few favourites, but forced to choose, I’d settle for issue 20, because of the contents. The late Alan Fletcher gave us one of his tip-offs, about a rare collection of artworks by E McKnight Kauffer, hidden under a bed in Ladbroke Grove (it’s a long story, told in the magazine). I am a big fan of Kauffer, since college days, and we published some wonderful rare images. Plus early showings of the work of the now very famous Stefan Sagmeister; brilliant photos of disappearing Spanish signs by John Chippindale, and on and on….What inspired the design for the very first issue of Baseline?
The brief was for a very ‘European’ look, seeing Herb Lubalin’s U&lc magazine as a direct competitor. Hence A4 as the first format, two colours, and a deliberately ‘cool’ typography – Futura, thin rules and lots of white space. Later it became big, full-colour and more vigorous, of course.How do you think computer technology has affected design and typography over the years, and do you think it has had a positive effect?
How long have you got? Like other typographers of my generation I applaud the advances in technology (and currently work mainly with e-documents), while regretting the loss of some of the ‘filters’ imposed by the old structures; attention to type selection and letterspacing, for example. This can be countered by education, (and designers involving themselves in template creation), but carelessly fitting type into text boxes doesn’t constitute typographic design.In your view, how might design/typography publications need to change in the future to stay ahead of the game, and ahead of the blogs?
There will always be a primary place for printed documents, and not just as objects, but the key thing is that form should follow function – instant communication in e-documents; moving images in interactive media and e-zines and so on. The key remains clear communication through good design… and lastly…
What was the last typeface you used and for what purpose?
I am currently working with Rotis (Semisans) in various weights, in a series of publications (and e-publications) for a London firm of stockbrokers. Otl Aicher’s Rotis family broke some new ground, and isn’t the most beautiful of typefaces, but it’s good for providing a contrast to the ubiquitous Arial and Times that abound in financial publications.We'd just like to say a huge thank you to Mike for all his help and for taking the time to answer our questions!
Last week I had the wonderful pleasure of exchanging emails with typographer and designer, John Miles
, co-founder of Banks & Miles
After chancing upon my Which?
, he emailed to tell me that a full collection of the magazines can be seen at Reading University in the B&M archive and that he was glad I liked them so much as the Consumers' Association were, "a great client to work for"
. Banks & Miles of course designed all the Which? covers from 1968 to 1988.
I was thrilled to hear from such a great designer and took him up on his offer of more information, by asking a few questions about his time working on the Which? covers:Where did the inspiration for the covers come from?
At the time you are so absorbed in meeting the deadline that you don't think about where it is all coming from (an experience I am sure we share).
Looking back I don't remember much in the way of inspiration but there were a number of limitations which drove us in a certain direction. We had only black and spot colour so we couldn't rely on full colour or graphic effects.How did the design process work?
All designs for both cover and text pages had to be agreed with the client using hand-drawn finished roughs which meant we all had drawing skills of some sort.
So really everything depended on the idea in your head which took graphic form through the end of a pencil. Lots of thumbnails which threw up both good and terrible ideas but in the end one usually surfaced and we agreed 'that's it'.
One huge advantage, which I don't think we fully appreciated at the time, was that the magazine was available to members by direct mail only so we were not under pressure to make the covers look like every other magazine competing on the book stalls. And the marketing men weren't blaming the covers if membership numbers fluctuated (In fact during this period the membership was growing steadily).
We worked directly with the editors who were invariably supportive and encouraging and a joy to work with.Which is your favourite cover?
I am not sure I have a favourite – there are a few I would rather forget – but I always had a soft spot for 'Fly killers' (the fly in a parachute) and 'Sun glasses' (the lady sunbathing with the sunglasses in the bra position).
Hopefully Q&A's will become a regular feature - it's so interesting finding out a bit more about how people work and their inspirations.
So John, if you are reading this, thank you so much for your wonderful insight into the Which? covers and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It's been a pleasure!
Finally I got round to scanning in more of the Which?
magazines I bought last year. For those that don't know Which? is the monthly publication of the Consumers’ Association, designed by great British design duo Colin Banks and John Miles (co-founders of Banks & Miles) between 1964 and 1993.
I've now scanned in covers up to 1975 - it's taken a while I know, but they're worth the wait. It's great to see the development over the years and from one decade to the next. They definitely illustrate a social history of product development and consumer habits. They'll be uploaded to the Flickr
group later this evening.
Read the previous post about Which? Magazine here
and find out more about designers Banks & Miles
I love the colour and typography on these covers of Gentry
- a men's fashion magazine from the 50's.
Published by Reporter Publications and founded by William C. Segal it covered fashion, style, sports and art, but for some reason it only ran for 22 issues.
There's currently a full set available on Ebay
for $599!! and some individual issues available here
I love it when you turn on your computer in the morning and are immediately confronted by great design that you haven’t seen before and that is exactly what happened the when I read Sell!Sell!
’s post about Jauna Gaita
and it’s fantastic cover designs.Jauna Gaita
(The New Course) is a quarterly, Latvian journal for culture and free thought, first published in 1955 and still going strong today.
It’s covers, many designed by Ilmars Rumpeters, are perfect examples of my favourite kind of vintage design - fresh and bright with a definite modernist influence.
The ones I’ve shown above are only the tip of the iceberg – the full back catalogue can be seen here
.Images copyright Jauna Gaita.
This is a copy of, 'The Racing Pigeon: The British Pigeon Racing Weekly', 22 April 1967. A funny little newspaper devoted totally to racing pigeons and absolutely packed with information, adverts, stories and articles. Pigeon racing must have been very popular back then to get this much content week after week.
Here are some of the adverts and pictures that made me chuckle, and did you know the term, 'squeaker' refers to a young racing pigeon? See you learn something new everyday!#20 - The Racing Pigeon, 22 April 1967
I had a great find at the car boot sale on Saturday - a big box of Which? magazines from 1960 to 1981. There are a couple of years missing and quite a few of the 'Money Which?' and 'Motoring Which?' supplements are missing, but as a collection they are well worth the £10 I paid!
Above are a selection of the covers, they are really great, I personally prefer the more graphic ones, but there are some more photographic and also some which are more illustrative. They are quite text heavy inside, but remain clean and un-cluttered, with some lovely typography. Also because of all the comparisons and tests that they run, almost every issue has a really well-designed chart, graph, diagram or illustration making them valuable reference.
I will eventually scan in all the covers and create a 'Which? Covers' Flickr group, so watch this space!
The Practical Householder, January 1961
. This is great publication, packed full of adverts, and I mean packed
full - the first article starts on page 25, before that it is just pages of mainly mono ads selling anything from sheds to chandeliers.
There is a 'test report' for a fast-boiling kettle - 'the latest edition to the housewife's time-saving equipment'
, a heat controlled iron and a multi-purpose tool for house and garden.
The illustrations, typography and graphics are fantastic reference, but the best things about this magazine are the many 'DIY/How to' pages. In this issue alone there are instructions on 'how to make'; a table for occasions (see above), a perspex fruit trough, a veneered light (see above), pelmets & curtains, a stow-away top for table tennis, a fold-away linen bin, a selection of children's wooden toys, a storm door, a cocktail bar, a wrought iron balustrade, lattice steps 'for the housewife'
, a birdcage suspension bar and a nursery chair. As well as how to re-cover a three-piece suite, prevent condensation, hide a waterpipe and hang a kitchen cupboard!
Did a 1960's man really have enough spare time in a month to make all those things? If so. where did all the time go, I don't think I have time to make even one of those things in a month - or is it a case of the women doing so much that the men really didn't have anything to do except play at DIY?So quite a packed #17 - The Practical Householder, January 1961
For those of you who are not familiar with it, Craphound was a zine created by Sean Tejaratchi, each one themed and filled from cover to cover with line art and clip art in b&w. We are big fans here at Delicious, they are fantastic, and through the late 90's Sean created 6 in total.
We recently found out that in 2005 issues #5 and #6 where re-published by Show & Tell Press in Portland, and that there is now a #7: part 1 currently available and a #7: part 2 on the way. Yeah! Reading Frenzy
have copies of #6 and #7: part 1 in their online store if anyone wants one.
Meanwhile there is a great article all about Craphound and an interview with it's creator on Ping Mag
Check out the Spring 2008 issue of Eye Magazine
(#67) out his week. This is the publications first independent issue after being 'released' by Haymarket Publishing to editor, John L Walters. Fingers crossed it will be onwards and upwards from here on in, I think design mags need the freedom of independence to be able to push the boundaries and remain inspiring. Look at Grafik it is better now than it ever was.