As a magazine designer, I take no small comfort in the decisions I don’t have to make—the signage that stays the same issue to issue, the consistent margins, the grid that remains my stalwart companion through the months and the pages. Anyone who’s taken paint to canvas knows that it’s the first few strokes that can be the hardest. When you design a publication those first strokes are already made—and that’s a good thing.
I therefore find it a disturbing–nay–a terrifying trend that the folio, that tiny little workhorse of unobtrusive function is now, apparently, in some circles regarded as a “design opportunity.” While I disapprove, I also feel covetous. I now look shamefully on my pathetic unformatted plain-Jane page numbers as indicative of my personal failings and limitations as a visual journalist. Above, Wired’s Star Wars edition folio from the September issue. Below, some of GQ’s September folios and more from Wired.
Damn them, damn them all.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Buy Jandos’ new book!]