The evolution of magazine design

August 5, 2010

From a profile in the New York Observer of Scott Dadich, executive director of digital magazine development at Condé Nast:

“The only reason magazine design looks the way it does is because it’s the literal, physical limitations of two pieces of paper,” [Dadich] said.

“With this,” he said, gesturing to an iPad sitting on a couch, “we wiped the slate clean. We have one pane. We have these many pixels. We have this proportion. How are we going to use it and how are we going to tell a story?”

In Mr. Dadich’s ideal, it will work like this: A design editor will open up his computer screen and there will be four images down the right-hand side. Two will be dedicated to tablet devices; another is for the printed product; the last is for a mobile device. The design director will lay out a page unique to each medium. If you’re a story editor or a copy editor, you’ll make a change once, and it will show up in every version.

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