When Designers Design Design Magazines

Jandos of Designing Magazines is one of the best bloggers writing about the art of magazines. He weighs in today with thoughts on FPO magazine, ‘For Publications Only." This rag is for designers and art directors who work on publications, so this is a very interesting take on their work:

In my view Auras’ distinct house style often doesn’t serve the
editorial voice of the publications it handles. It’s a look that leans
towards the cutesy— they use typefaces that, while not actually novelty
fonts, come close—they’re so garish as to be distracting in an
editorial context. There’s too much clutter and repetitive empty
decoration on the page, and a tendency to undermine hierarchy with
graphic add-ons that distract from rather than focus attention on
content. Auras pubs are often full of bright saturated colors—but
there’s often no unifying color scheme.

I particularly dislike their art direction. They use a lot of stock,
which leads to trite and obvious visual solutions, but even when
commissioned, images in Auras pubs too often lack subtlety or nuance.
They tend to illustrate headlines rather than articles. The Auras
method works ok for Moment, but was an enormous step backwards for Urban Land, a once-attractive magazine that the company redesigned early last year.


It must be said that Auras pages are colorful—maybe even attractive,
but I’m just not a big fan of magazine design that’s pretty for the
sake of being pretty. It gives every page the same goal and the same
solution, and a piece of art that merely reinforces the headline, even
if it does so attractively, is a missed opportunity to get into meatier

Read the whole meaty review at Designing Magazines.

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Michelle Ryan

About Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.