Vanity Fair no. 582 is awesome and not awesome

Vanity Fair February 2009 cover

I bought the new issue of Vanity Fair with Cate Blanchett on the cover. Love the cover photography and type treatment, it all looks incredible as usual. She was shot as by usual Annie Leibovitz.

VF cover detail

I love the typographic details in Vanity Fair, it’s really nailed their signature style. The repro on the cover is really good, but after looking at the photo for a minute I can’t help feeling it looks slightly fuzzy – but not to any degree that really matters, and if it is, it’s more likely caused by print processes than a camera problem I think.

VF contents page VF ed's letter

The ed’s letter and contents pages are the same as usual pretty much – exactly what they need to be, but nothing to write home about.

VF front of book 1

VF front of book detail 1 VF front of book 2

What I was surprised by inside though was how much I dislike the front of book pages that I used to be so eager to …er… seek inspiration from at every opportunity. They feel cluttered and overdone, like a parody of their former selves. The way the images are used in a couple of places made me automatically assume they were actually fractional ads and I passed right over them. There’s no more use of white space, and less thought seems to have been given to the use and choice of images here, with several looking like they came straight from manufacturers stock photography.

Salman Rushdie caricature in VF

Moving on, there’s a 3 page piece on Muslim fundamentalists use of the media, in which Salman Rushdie is featured heavily. I’m amazed how much a caricature of Salman Rushdie so doesn’t look like a caricature, but a regular portrait.

VF Kevin Dillon interview page

Throughout the issue there seems to be less of a regard for white space in general. It’s almost as if pieces such as the Kevin Dillon interview (pictured) were originally templates created for use in a different manner, perhaps opposite a full-page ad, and with a little more thought and space given to photography.

VF Cate Blanchett spread

Finally, this is one of my favorite photos I’ve seen this year.

VF January Jones spread

This one would have been but for the head to spine doucheness.

Explore posts in the same categories: bad magazine design, contents pages, cool, Covers, design, Influence, Magazines, Photography, Typography, Why is it like this?

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