When it comes to designing magazine covers, publishers, editors and art directors employ a litany of tricks;bright colors, cover line symbols, numbers, stark minimalism;to catch readers’ eyes, particularly at the crowded newsstand. One of the more recent tactical trends to take hold has been angles. Everything from cover lines to logos to whatever’s not tied down by the cover template has been getting the angular treatment.
"For us, it’s a nod to the idea of forward or positive motion," says Stop Smiling art director Tracy Boychuk, who credits the late Raygun and renowned art director David Carson with fostering the aesthetic. "He blew up the traditional magazine design notion and took that to the extreme;it’s just now finding its way back."
A quick scan of the newsstand reveals the "angularia" epidemic is wide: Intersection, Interview, Chicago-based anti-establishment ﾑzine Punk Planet, Outburn, locomotive enthusiast Trains, the defunct Radar and recently-launched Another Man all use angular treatment in their cover design.
But standing out at the newsstand isn’t the only reason. "That’s probably what a lot of publishers think, but I’m not sure it actually works," says Boychuk. "It might make your magazine appear hipper, or connect with a particular audience that they think is smarter, or gets ﾑit’ more."