I have been writing on and off (mostly on) for Eye magazine since it began 92 issues ago (or around 28 years ago). Some of you weren’t even born when Rick Poynor presented his idea for a graphic design magazine that was high on criticism and analysis and low on PR trade journalism. Over the ensuing years the magazine enthusiastically brought new ideas to light while covering history and contemporary print communications.
This is its 93rd issue. Although Print and Communication Arts have each tallied more issues over a longer period, Eye has made such a huge contribution to the writing and research of the broad and meta concerns of graphic design that I consider it one of the most valuable documents of our field. (I only wish the entire run could be reprinted in an accessible volume for all to have.)
I’ve worked on Eye under Poynor, Max Bruinsma and, for the past almost 20 years, John L. Walters, who with a cadre of collaborators bought the magazine and publish it three or four issues annually.
The most recent issue (pages of which are below) is exceptional for its loyalty, fealty and important coverage of print with barely a word on the digital (although the entire production is a product of the digital age). I’m not saying that stories on digital phenomena are not pertinent or important to our current design world, but this Eye seems to say, at least for now, that our attention is on the themes that make graphic design into GRAPHIC DESIGN.
The magazine is for all of us. It is not meant to exclude the devotedly digital, but it is, in this issue in particular, a record, at times an homage, to that media of communication that made most designers want to become visual communicators.
My only regret, and perhaps the reason for writing about Eye today, is that it is difficult to find on newsstands or in bookstores these days. In New York, for instance, the magazine stores and specialty shops that carried it are all but entirely gone. This is not just a New York problem, either. I hope some or many of you will think of investing in a subscription, which will keep Eye afloat and bring the print world into clear focus. You can always read some of it online, but the best way to appreciate it is to have and hold.
Cover of Eye 93 by Olivier Kugler
Vintage Penguin book covers by Bentley/Farrell/Burnett
More covers from feature on Bentley/Farrell/Burnett
Fuel’s Russian tattoo books, part of their publishing program, covered in an article by Rick Poynor
Lora Lamm’s graphics/illustrations from Milan
More of Lora Lamm’s heralded work
The Guardian newspaper’s relationship to illustrators
The Guardian’s illustration renaissance
Opening spread on illustrator/journalist Olivier Kugler
Kugler’s drawing from life
Profile of Peter Brookes, editorial cartoonist for The Times
Spreads for the story on Peter Brookes
Spreads for the story on Peter Brookes. Anyone look familiar?
Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen Lupton / Eddie Opara / Paula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.
Draplin image: Leah Nash. Hische: Helena Price. Lupton: Michelle Qureshi. Scher: Ian Roberts.