OLD Media Moves

How Bloomberg Businessweek is reinventing the magazine cover

November 7, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Alissa Walker of Gizmodo writes about the funky Bloomberg Businessweek covers that are unlike any other magazine.

Walker writes, “Today’s success is largely thanks to creative director Robert Vargas and deputy creative director Tracy Ma, with a hefty nod to Richard Turley, the creative director who oversaw the relaunch and established the new visual language (he departed earlier this year for MTV). But the creatives also heap lots of the credit upon Bloomberg Businessweek’s editor Josh Tyrangiel. ‘When he rebooted the mag he created this environment where the visual people and the words people have equal footing and work side-by-side,’ says Ma. ‘That’s not the case anywhere else, I think, and it’s a model that’s worked pretty well for us, and something we keep pushing for.’

“The internet moves fast, but the pace of creating a weekly printed magazine is blistering. The designers only have a handful of days to build a thick publication with often visually challenging content. ‘The primary job for every designer here is to be a problem solver, and we get excited when we feel like we’ve nailed visualizing a story by approaching it from a completely fresh angle,’ says Vargas.

“As designers finish their layouts, they’re posted on a wall and the staff is invited to a walk-through of the ideas daily, so the designers get input from everyone, not just other creatives. ‘Generally, if people laugh, the idea works; if there’s a lot of silence and confused faces, it’s the kiss of death, and we go back to the drawing board,’ says Vargas. The issues ship each Wednesday and often the designers don’t know the final design until that day.”

Read more here.

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