September 4, 2013

Before and after

Vanity Fair at 100

Vanity Fair celebrates its 100th anniversary this month with a special issue starring Kate Upton and featuring a new logo.

Designed by Christian Schwartz at Commercial Type, the logo uses a condensed version of the Didot font Schwartz recently developed for the magazine, and is the final part in design director Chris Dixon’s gradual redesign of the magazine.

Inside there is much celebration of old and new, with the magazine’s first issue reproduced (above, note title Dress & Vanity Fair) alongside a recreation of the charming front cover illustration (even the green background of the birthday cover seems to have been taken from that first issue). It’s fascinating, too, to see the 1936 illustration of Josephone Baker by Paolo Garetto (below). It looks thoroughly contemporary.

VF editor Graydon Carter has published a book to mark the birthday too. ‘From the Jazz Age to Our Age’ is published next month.

Read an excerpt from my interview with Dixon for Eye magazine.


Comment on September 4, 2013 by Andrew says:

Except of course it’s only its 30th anniversary, as there was a 70 year gap without any issues, as WWD points out: . (Also it shouldn’t be confused with earlier magazines in both the UK and USA that carried the same name.)

Comment on September 4, 2013 by jeremy says:

According to its official history VF as we know it was launched in 1913 (Condé Nast bought the rights to an existing title) and after an uncertain start was published for 23 years, ceasing in 1936. That was the period of the Jazz Age and illustrated front covers. It was then relaunched by CN in 1983.

So… 100 years since it first published, 53 years worth of published issues.

Read the history here.

Comment on September 11, 2013 by Bryan! says:

What do you think of the font stylistically? I wasn’t huge on Vanity Fair’s former font, and this change brings it into the same visual field as magazines like Elle and Vogue (at least looking at the font cover.)

Vanity Fair is so much more than the standard “fashion” magazine. Do you think this shift was to bring them into that ring of consumers? I understand the reasoning behind doing a redesign (fresh is better) but what demographic are they shooting at?

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