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NY Times Magazine Music Special
Detailed

NY Times Magazine Music Special

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Two weeks ago the New York Times Magazine published a music special. Essentially a classic ‘list’ piece, the entire issue was taken up by a series of in-depth analyses of 25 songs that ‘tell us where music is going,’ the 25 long-form pieces held together by liberal use of Henrik Kubel’s New Grotesk Round typeface in its many weights.

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It’s a gloriously simple editorial idea brought to visual life by a singular visual idea: that one font explored.

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Every few pages the issue is punctuated by primary coloured pages (above, below) that highlight longer entries, accompanied by full page portraits of the artists by photographers Richard Burbridge, Graeme Mitchell (above) and others, as well as a portfolio of images of Pharrell by JR. I like the way the background colour is wrapped round to the next page (see top two images).

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Illustration breaks up the text pages, with work by MVM, Jesse Draxler, and Erik Carter (below).

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It’s a brilliant issue. Of course resource counts for a lot, the contributors list is impressive across writing, photography and illustration. But it’s also a result of having the confidence to keep things simple. The typographically-led design provides a visual coherence that holds the issue together, and the front cover offers a slight hint of gig poster. Best of all, the online version follows a similar design but adds a Spotify playlist.

Editor: Jake Silverstein
Design director: Gail Bichler
Art director: Matt Willey
Deputy art director: Jason Sfetko (lead designer of this issue)

nytimes.com/section/magazine

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