Face Up: Print
Issue #: 66.1
Publisher: F+W Media
Art Director: Ben King
Editor-in-Chief: Aaron Kenedi
For its February issue, the creative team at Print identified a few overlapping motifs throughout its editorial lineup. However, a feature story exploring poster graphics created by Philippe VermĂ¨s and Aletelier Populaire during the French protests of 1968 served as a strong catalyst for the overlying theme: Power.
A visual record of these posters called âBeauty is in the Street,â edited by Johan Kugelberg with the help of VermĂ¨s, is the basis for the feature. Unfortunately, Print writer William Bostwick (who interviewed VermĂ¨s for his article) wasnât the only one to take notice of the book.
âAs we were approaching our deadline, I happened to notice that Bookforum [magazine] ran one of the graphics from âBeauty is in the Streetâ on their cover, and I was increasingly unsure about leveraging the work so plainly for ours,â says art director Ben King. âI gave the legendary Mirko IlliÄâa designer well known for his interest in protest graphicsâa call and asked if heâd be interested in working on an interpretation of Philippe VermĂ¨sâ work. Fortunately, he was excited by the challenge, and turned around what ended up being the main art for the cover only a few days later.â
The art was developed through a 3D modeling program. Each simulated person (183 of them) was individually created. The orange shade was picked to pop off newsstands, as well as for its âstoried history in protest graphics.â
King says Print has also been experimenting with left-hand sub heads, and various types of skylines, to attract more eyeballs on the newsstand.
âThis is not the first time Iâve seen this concept (a large group of people forming an arrow). Thatâs not a knock! As designers, we need to do storytelling with visual conventions that read quickly and succinctly. So, in the end, itâs all about execution and attitude. This cover has great attitude! The posterization of the image and color choice give the cover a Bauhaus flavor. I also love the distressed type treatment of the headline. Itâs that kind of attention to detail that really sells this cover.â
Robert Lesser, Design/Art Director, CFO Publishing
âI find this cover fascinating, and have mixed feelings about it. Itâs a great, bold central image, which dominates the cover. I love that itâs ever so slightly rotated off center, and that it invades the logo, pointing up to the âOccupy Artistâ hit (which the image ultimately references). The graphic and sparse design is spot on for the audience.
âI had a bit of âhierarchy confusionâ at first glance: I wasnât instantly sure which type was the companion to the image. Once I did, I found myself trying to interpret what the people-arrow plus âThe Power Issueâ was trying to communicate. Personally, I probably would have tried to contextualize or explain to a potential reader what theyâre going to get from âThe Power Issueâ more directly.
âAs I took in the other lines, I found myself thinking the hierarchy confusion was intentional. Emotionally and indirectly it makes sense: The words âOccupy,â âTake Over,â âPower,â âPoliticking,â and âDo designers actually have any influence?â (great line!) all can relate well to the image.â
Chris Imlay, Creative Director, Games Group, Future US
Have a unique âcoverâ story? Contact associate editor Stefanie Botelho at email@example.com.