Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 96: Wither the Magazine

This week, Jessica and Michael return to the Observatory to discuss the changing of the guard at New York magazine, where Adam Moss recently announced his retirement after 15 years as editor, and the fate of online publications such as Rookie and Design Sponge, which are both winding down.

Jessica told a story from when she was art director for the Sunday magazine at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
I was on an Amtrak train on a Sunday and the person sitting in front of me was reading my magazine and I got to have my own personal focus group, looking through the seats at the way this guy read the magazine. And, I mean, it had a beautiful cover and the feature well had been really thought out…

He started at the back. He looked at the crossword puzzle. He pulled it out. He went to the food page. He looked at that.

And then he threw it on the ground and went to the business section.

It was really a humbling and ennobling experience to realize that you just don't really ever know how people consume the things that you design.

Also mentioned this week:

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Posted in: Arts + Culture, Media, The Observatory

Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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