(Futura) Bold new cover approach by Mevis and Van Deursen

International oriented Dutch weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer recently changed their cover design, with a bold new approach. The bold approach is easy to criticize. But also easy to underpin. With a target group interested in philosophy, politics, literature and liberal arts, the average reader will have the background and mindset to support arguments with opinion. But in my inner circle, the cover was ‘just sloppy’. No arguments.

Most readers and co-workes around me indicated that they find the cover sloppy and unattractive. But the respected design duo Mevis & Van Deursen (original and praised graphic design for Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, Viktor & Rolf and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam) who did the redesign job, did a deliberate job to meet the demand of De Groene Amsterdammer. The magazine wanted to expand the textual and graphic content on the cover, as they write on their website. Currently form and function actually do meet. My designers eye observe:

  • By no longer choosing a topic to bring full page cover, there is space for various graphic and textual content to immediately catch the eye
  • All space is used, practical information like date, price and pay-off almost or do touch the masthead
  • The red Futura Bold Condensed masthead looks so seventies. Although retro is hip, this timeless typeface looks dated in red
  • The masthead is proudly standing centred but left aligned in the middle of the page
  • It’s bravely different than the standard cover design grid and content

But, I hear you think, do I like it? Honestly and insensitive for the the Mevis & Van Deursen brand label, it does not feel right at first sight. They did meet the demands of their client, but in their tradition, I am sure they did not compromise their vision and final result.

Some things get better over time. I am curious how my opinion on this restyle will develop. And I am even more curious how Mevis & Van Deursen pitched their (Futura) bold approach.

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© June 2012, Marijn Engels