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 Aurasâ distinct house style often doesnât serve the
editorial voice of the publications it handles. Itâs a look that leans
towards the cutesyâ they use typefaces that, while not actually novelty
fonts, come closeâtheyâre so garish as to be distracting in an
editorial context. Thereâs 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 colorsâbut
thereâs 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 colorfulâmaybe even attractive,
but Iâm just not a big fan of magazine design thatâs 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