OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg Businessweek's design darling

April 25, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Zeke Turner of Women’s Wear Daily writes Monday about Richard Turley, the creative director at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Turner writes, “Turley’s recipe for success at Businessweek is one part rigid slavery to the grid — he chose type size and letting that would allow for 66 lines on a page, divided nicely into 11 modules that inform every design decision in the book — and one part commitment to playing on top of all the structure. He said he tries to create a two-tiered reading experience each week so readers can just as easily flip through the magazine and also read it cover to cover. To that end, he’s peppered the front section, ‘the snake,’ with a superficial layer of doodles, arrows, small images and what he called ‘sticky things.’ He said he stole some of his design sensibility on this front from Chris Dixon at New York magazine. ‘New York’s genius,’ he said, is that a reader can pass over the magazine very quickly, and ‘yet you don’t have to feel bad about yourself for not actually reading it.’

“Business magazines as a category also present their own special set of obstacles to visual story telling. ‘We have a terrible problem with old white guys and it’s impassable. There’s nothing you can do about it. These are a few ways we deal with our white guy problem: We lighten them very dramatically, overwhelm them with type, put them on their side…’ Turley said, flipping through different design treatments of Jeff Bewkes, Julian Assange, Steve Jobs and the cast of characters that fill his pages. Then there are the endless stories about the visually mundane, housing bubbles and commodities markets. ‘Often we have no imagery,’ he said. ‘It happened this week, it happens quite a lot. We just imagine things.’

“Turley, a quick study of the company line, explained how the open seating plan in the Bloomberg offices encourages the magazine’s art directors and editors, who sit amongst each other in the office, to collaborate. ‘Bloomberg is a very ego-flat place to work,’ he said.”

Read more here.

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