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The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine

Every Monday in the lead up to this year’s Modern Magazine conference we’re inviting a different speaker from the line-up to introduce a spread from the most recent issue of their magazine.

Today, the New York Times Magazine's design director Gail Bichler is talking us through this week’s food themed special.

At this year’s ModMag, Gail will be talking about the major redesign she and her team carried out last year and their experiments with virtual reality storytelling.


‘The New York Times Magazine is a weekly general interest magazine distributed in the Sunday edition of The New York Times,’ says Gail. ‘This week the magazine published a special issue devoted to the predicament Big Food faces as it strives to produce mass quantities of food at maximum profit in the era of health consciousness and environmentalism.

‘The centerpiece of the issue is a photo essay by George Steinmetz, who spent close to a year traveling the country to capture the scope and grandeur of food production in America. All the stories, including an essay by Michael Pollan on the Obama administration’s failure to regulate corporate agriculture, are illustrated by Jean Jullien.


‘I chose to show two spreads instead of one because the pacing of this issue is unusual. Steinmetz’s aerial images are interspersed throughout the well and the feature stories flow into one another and are often interrupted by full-bleed photo spreads. The unconventional structure allows the two aesthetics (the grand, at times complex photographic imagery and the punchy typography and illustrations) and two separate narrative threads to coexist. At the magazine there is a strong commitment to visual journalism, and we are thinking a lot about structure in our special issues, and how we can break up the magazine in unusual ways.’

Editor-in-chief: Jake Silverstein
Design director: Gail Bichler
Art director: Matt Willey

Tickets for ModMag16 are now sold out but we hope to have some more available later this week. If you’d like to add your name to the waitlist please email

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