Graphic Design & Magazine Journalism

There are those days…where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, where you need two crazy-sized mugs filled with the blackest tea on the market, where you wonder to yourself, “what am I doing with my life?” On days like those, I play back in my head magazine covers that have basically changed the course of my life.




Publications like these are the reason why I’m a student in Syracuse University studying magazine journalism. Both Interview and V Magazines’ aesthetics are something to be admired and wouldn’t even be possible without the study and clever usage of design. Magazines depend on digital design; technology has been consistently evolving over the past four decades, taking over such industries. With graphic design, various techniques are learned to entice the attention of mass audiences and create aesthetically pleasing covers, editorials, articles, etc.

Both covers use similar techniques to draw people in, like color application. With Interview, the majority of Thom Yorke’s face is black and white with strips of color shown behind seemingly torn-out portions of paper. Within the color are the headlining articles and descriptions, focusing the important information revealed on the cover in the most colorfully stimulating places. With V, the only thing in colors are its logo and headlining article “Cameron Diaz Toughens Up”. Again, the most significant information is highlighted using color.

Typography is also another important technique used by graphic designers, with both these covers using different fonts to create a world around each publication. Interview (which was founded in 1969) uses script and serif font types, giving off a vibe of elegance and maturity. V Magazine (which was founded in 1999) has almost a more modern approach in using san serif, elongated, bold text.





Magazine journalism has gotten so far because of the advancement of technology enabling graphic design to flourish. Without graphic design, magazine would be flailing in the deep waters of regression. A magazine’s purpose is to create a world around aesthetics and content including photos, text, and graphics. If graphic design did not exist, magazine’s wouldn’t be able to appeal towards their own specific audience. In this way, a magazine like Interview wouldn’t have the magical and artful touch that it does because the studied techniques in which to create their artful world wouldn’t exist. And on a morning like this one where I’ve woken up to the happy thought of knowing exactly why I’ve chosen to be a magazine journalism major, a world without graphic design would be a sad thought.


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