The black and white candidate

BARACK OBAMA MAY or may not become the first black president, but he is the first black-and-white candidate of this century.

The newspaper disease

INSIDE AND OUTSIDE of the paper, there’s no confusion about who the paper belongs to. Not the editors who built it, not the reporters who fill it with articles, but the men who bought and paid for it. - David Carr

Requiem for a candidate

IS BARACK OBAMA joining the establishment, now that he’s changed his logo from upper-and-lower to caps-and-small caps? I haven’t heard anyone make this charge, but there has been a lot of talk about the branding of the candidates.

Resolution, Exhibit A (of A-Z)

THE FOLLOWING IS a requested response to Bill Hill from its author to me.

A conversation about survival

Amid Capeci, the AME/Design of Newsweek and Arthur Hochstein, the design director of Time, are midtown rivals. I've worked with both designers. Amid was at Esquire when I got there in the early 90s, and I persuaded him to move to Newsweek during one of the four redesigns I've been involved with. He left for a while to go to Rolling Stone, so we have a lot in common!

The last year-end post

IT’S IRONIC, BUT 2007 was the Year of Helvetica. The reason, of course, was the Gary Hustwit documentary film by the same name. I waited until September and the ATypI to see it — and wrote about it then — and now my lingering impression is the role of the great Massimo Vignelli, as a kind of Timothy Leary of modern design. Turn on, tune in, drop out. You need no more than six typefaces.

A milestone on the road
to digital magazines

WITHOUT MUCH FANFARE, The New York Times has introduced an online version of T—the seasonal style sections that used to be called “Part Two’s” of its magazine. The design was done with the help of Createthe, an agency that designed the Calvin Klein web site. You can see the hand of Janet Froelich, the brilliant art director of the magazines, but not the influence of the Times’ famous web designer, Khoi Vinh, who has positioned himself as a mediator between print and online and who tends to favor plain old HTML over flashier technologies.

Interview with Roger Black

FAZ CABER: OUR bosses and news chiefs are not interested in design. Can the editor request to change the layout and place the amount of text that he wants, or is the form more important?

Type as dogma

THIS PAST WEEKEND, the annual Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) conference in Brighton screened the movie Helvetica. This is a fine documentary, directed by Gary Hustwit. It’s been shown at a few other conferences this year, and is now enjoying a small art house run. As one of those who hasn’t used Helvetica since 1970, I was prepared not to like it. But Helvetica, the movie, won me over — mostly by intercutting many striking shots of the typeface in use all over the world, for every possible purpose, and in every situation, from monumental corporate identity to graffiti-covered municipal notices.

Rupert makes his move

THE SALE OF Dow Jones to Murdoch has been greeted by much clucking in the press. Every paper, with the exception of The New York Sun and maybe the Journal itself, seems to have concluded that this is the sad, if inevitable, end to the long, lustrous legacy of a fine journalistic institution. Most columnists point to other supposedly fine papers that were ruined by the man once called the Dirty Digger. Case in point: The Times of London. No one remembers that that gray lady had become pretty frail by the end of the Thomson era. In 1981, when Murdoch took over, the bureau system (which the Times may have invented) was moribund. No longer was there a Times man in every outpost of the Empire serving as an alternative conduit to Whitehall for frustrated foreign ministers. Not that they needed one: the Empire itself was gone.

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