Condé Nast Traveler goes 1920’s (and still looks better than most other magazines)

Condé Nast Traveler looks very 20’s noirish on the cover… love the pale yellow logo on the blue sky, and the crop of the photo, with just enough of the sea and umbrellas showing. I can totally picture Jack Nicholson circa Chinatown standing on that balcony in his suit sweating his ass off. The layout doesn’t even have to try, it’s straightforward, simple to scan and doesn’t try to overwhelm you with how clever it thinks it is (see Wired’s latest cover for an example of trying too hard).
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There’s also some great looking front of book stuff in here. The contributors pages look very elegant, nice consistency with the contents pages and other up front content. There’s a lot here to read, and little attempt made to dumb anything down, but plenty to scan and take in if you don’t have time to get into it. I love how you’re going through page after page of pretty dense copy and info, then suddenly you’re hit with a full-page of swimsuits and another of handbags like they’re saying “Wait! It’s not as serious as it looks!”
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The feature well contains really rich, beautiful looking photography, and carries on that 20’s-ish theme from the cover. I wish I knew how to color correct like that. I also think it’s really cool how they create a completely custom layout for each feature story, so you jump from the cover story and its noir theme to a piece on San Francisco with its own completely separate look and type treatment.
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And finally, I thought this illustrative infographic was really well put together. It really stands out from the fantastic vector-based graphics Condé Nast and John Grimwade in particular are famous for.
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