When The New Yorker was founded, in 1925, by Harold Ross, it was conceived as both a bastion and a parody of cosmopolitan sophistication: As Ross famously put it in the magazine’s founding prospectus, “The New Yorker will be the magazine which is not edited for the old lady in Dubuque.” And from the beginning, its design, conceived by Rea Irvin, reflected that premise. Sparse but witty, heavy on text and short on almost everything else, the magazine’s only distinguishing visuals were Irvin’s quirky, eponymous typeface, and the black-and-white cartoons sprinkled throughout.
For decades, this aesthetic remained wholly unchanged. Throughout the Life era, and as photography became widespread in newspapers, The New Yorker stuck to its three-column layout and squiggly cartoons. Over time that began to change, especially when Tina Brown became editor; it was under her direction that the magazine published its first full-page photograph, by Richard Avedon, in 1992, and her art editors, Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, expanded the use of topical spot illustrations to accompany features. But through it all, it retained its iconoclastic appearance, free from the glossy excesses seen elsewhere on newsstands.
A new redesign, led by creative director Wyatt Mitchell and launched with the September 23rd issue, …read more

Via: Melville House Books