Oct 26, 2016

Foliomag Face Up: Time Out New York

I was asked to help critique a recent cover of Time Out New York for the Foliomag Face Up feature. Here’s my commentary:

This is one of my favorite magazine covers of this year to date. It does everything a successful cover design should: it’s fun, colorful, engaging, provocative, and spot-on connective with the Time Out New York audience.

The cover art, by illustrator Leon Edler, is perfect — just the right mix of funk and style and NYC diversity. Of course I love seeing the word “ASSHOLE” prominently featured on the cover of a popular magazine. And from the perspective of someone who has struggled over the years to make type read over complex cover images, I salute the designer for coming up such a bright and readable design solution for the headline.

That said, I have two slight beefs with this cover. First, I think the headline would have been much more powerful if it was a statement instead of a question (“New York’s Biggest Assholes,” or “How New York Makes You An Asshole,” for example, although I’m sure the TONY crew could do much better than my feeble efforts).

Secondly, I was very disappointed to not find Donald Trump’s face somewhere in this group of NYC assholes. I think he would have fit nicely in the lower left-hand corner of the cover (and heck, why not add Rudy Giuliani while you’re at it?). But those are small quibbles, and I would definitely put this in the NYC magazine cover hall of fame.

See the full critique here.