You know that phrase don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, DO judge a magazine by their cover. I like my magazine covers the way I like my typography – quirky and out of the ordinary. That’s why I love Esquire’s front covers. The way they manipulate typography around the monthly celebrity on the front is incredibly creative. You’ll see a mixture of colour palettes, typefaces and the occasional illustration to fill out the space. Whatever Esquire do on their covers definitely drawers in the readers, whether they care about the content or not.
The main purpose of a magazine cover is to highlight the key articles within the magazine. Chris Frost writes that “a magazine front cover or a newspaper front page is there solely to invite the reader to buy, to tempt him or her into picking up the publication and becoming engrossed in its content.” (2003, p.1) Often you’ll find magazine covers that are sparse in text and favour statement photography. However, I find that the more typography the more engaged I am in a magazine. If it’s creatively used like with Esquire, you’ll find yourself flipping the magazine round to read the text from all angles, and if you’re a typography nut like myself you’ll be able to spot traditional fonts from those that have been hand drawn or modified in some way to fit the design. The front cover should be viewed as a piece of art that is so iconic that as a designer, or a reader, you’d showcase it on your wall. With Esquire you are certainly getting a one of a kind piece of art that will one day show the evolution of typography in editorial design, and how it saved the print and publishing industry.
Here are a few examples of Esquire in its typographical glory.
Frost, C., (2012). Designing For Newspapers and Magazines. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.