Exiled Russian Magazines

Fiodor Sumkin, an extraordinary Russian typographer who draws on history for his inspiration, is in the process of discovering Soviet-era Russian periodicals that were published in Paris, Berlin, and Harbin. His archive, titled “Russia Without Russia. Press Archive,”  includes some …

Covering Print Magazine, 1940-1953

The magazine we all call Print has had a half dozen different names since its inception in June of 1940. It was originally a limited-edition periodical that discussed the endless techniques used in the graphic arts industry, and even included …

Greetings From the Underground

The Composing Room, Inc., in New York City, was the most ambitious and progressive of all the type houses operating during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Much of the credit goes to Dr. Robert Leslie and his staff. Smart printed …

Things, the Magazine

In 1934 Cose (Things), the Italian lifestyle magazine, published stories about things. It was a strange journal if only for its curious moderne layout. The cover (below) is lime green with an almost unreadable logo dropped out, with almost equally …

RDA Selects: Behind The New Yorker's “Rubbed Out” Cover

For the next few weeks, we’ll be running selected projects from the 2012 Regional Design Annual along with quotes from their designers. To submit work for the 2013 RDA, click here—the early-bird deadline is February 1, 2013. “Rubbed Out” cover by The …

Changing a Designer's Spots

Esquire magazine has long nurtured exceptional designers and illustrators. David Levine (1926–2009), America’s foremost caricaturist, got his start doing spots at the head of front-of-the-book columns in Esquire. His linear style was developed to meet the reproduction demands of that …

Oooh La La!

The legendary Folies Bergère lives (right here). What a history it had (see here). The Folies Bergère was founded in Paris in 1869 as a music hall and revolutionized the “music hall revue.”  It was at the height of its …

Soviets Covering Soviets

Soviet Union magazine is “the last of the extravagant photo journals of the Soviet era,”  write Howard Garfinkel and Larry Zeman at Productive Arts, the antiquarian resource for Soviet avant-garde design. Soviet Union, which began in March 1950, was the …

Nice Type

I’m just reporting the facts. Sometimes it’s just impossible to make this stuff up. The front page of the Daily Mail is rather well-designed for a sensational tabloid. The banner headline type has a modicum of class. But even good …

What Is the Essence of a Book?

Over the last couple of months, I have been picking my way through I Read Where I Am, “82 reflections on the future forms of reading.” In the book, some contributors claim that we read less than we used to, …