Underground Newspapers: The Chicago Seed. Part 1 (1967-68)

The Chicago Seed was an underground newspaper that published from 1967-74. For most of its existence The Seed was published bi-weekly. Visually, The Seed was one of the most consistently powerful and sophisticated of the underground papers, due in large part to the work of longtime art director Lester Dore. The first couple years of the […]

Underground Newspaper: The Great Speckled Bird (Atlanta)

The Great Speckled Bird was an underground newspaper based in Atlanta and published weekly (for most of its existence) from 1968-76. The Bird‘s covers were consistently strong and graphic, many of them featuring illustrations done in a variety of styles by Ron Ausburn. Oftentimes the covers were literally poster-like calls to political action, as in […]

A Very Merry Black Santa Christmas from Jet Magazine!

Long before FOX News host Megyn Kelly declared it a “historical fact” that Santa Claus was a Caucasian man, Jet magazine was running an annual black Santa cover, featuring noted music and comedy celebrities. Here are 10 of our favorites, with cover appearances by Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Sherman Hemsley, Esther Rolle, Richard Pryor, and […]

Underground Newspapers: Helix (Seattle)

Seattle’s first underground newspaper, the Helix, was published bi-weekly (and sometimes weekly) from 1967-70. The paper’s editor and driving force was Paul Dorpat. Much of the visual voice of the paper was created by Walt Crowley, who illustrated many covers and comics. The selection of covers here comes from the Independent Voices collection. They have […]

Comic Book Covers from the Digital Comic Museum

The Digital Comic Museum is an invaluable online resource that features over 15,000 full-issue scans of comic books from the 1940s and 50s. The scans are uploaded by a wide variety of contributors, and although the quality varies, most are clean and true to the originals (i.e., not too much touch-up). There’s a giant array of […]

Underground Newspapers: Berkeley Tribe

The Berkeley Tribe was an underground newspaper published in Berkeley, California from 1969-1972. It was founded by striking staff of the Berkeley Barb, another alternative paper. The Tribe was published weekly, with most copies being sold by vendors on the street. The covers and inside pages were hard-hitting, graphic, and featured provocative illustrations and cartoons. […]

Jock Magazine, 1969-70

Jock was a New York City-oriented sports magazine that published eight issues in 1969 and 1970 before folding. The magazine was run and edited by Mickey Herskowitz. I haven’t been able to track down the name of Jock‘s art director, but from the little I’ve seen of inside pages, the magazine featured bold photographs and […]

The Village Voice: An Art Directors’ History

[On August 31, 2018, The Village Voice announced it was suspending all editorial operations. Although its last print edition was published late last year, The Voice had continued publishing in an online format. A version of this story originally appeared on the Society of Publication Designers website to commemorate the final print issue of The […]

My First Magazine Love: Ramparts

[This interview originally appeared as part of the Society of Publication Designers “First Love,”  series, “where creatives tell SPD the first magazine they fell in love with.”] Robert Newman: Ramparts was the first magazine I ever bought that wasn’t Mad, Creepy, or a comic book. Almost 50 years later, I still have that issue and I still draw on […]

Face Up: Favorite Magazine Covers of 2018 (So Far)

Foliomag.com asked seven magazine art directors for their picks for the best magazine covers of the past six months. Here’s mine: Essence March, 2018 Creative Director: Ronda Thompson Issue Editor: Vanessa DeLucca  My favorite cover this year (at least so far) was the Essence March 2018 split-run newsstand edition in advance of the Black Panther movie (Essence did a […]