Magazine spreads for the biography of Seymour Chwast, dubbed "The Left-Handed Designer", celebrating his style and energy.

Print, Writing  |  1 Month

 

Background and Context

My class made a publication on renowned Western designers from the last two centuries. I researched, wrote, and designed spreads telling the story of Seymour Chwast, and made a layout that balanced quirkiness with seriousness in honor of his work.


 

01 – Understanding His Story

I spent a lot of time with his work and books to understand his personality and style.

I used a moodboard made of a collage of Chwast's work. Adjectives I came up with from this were: Quirky, sassy, playful, whimsical, and visual implications were: Hand-drawn type, line work, stripes, collage, line work interweaving with type

 

02 – Developing Grid and Typography System

Inspired by 70s typographic work and Chwast's energy, I chose Gill Sans for the content, and added movement to the images.

Because most of Chwast's work were illustrations with few layouts, I drew inspiration from his time period instead. I looked at magazine layouts from the 70s and 80s to find inspiration in different sized headers, contrast of large type with small body size, rounded sans serifs, and contrast in weight.

My header type studies Supra Sans italic, Gill Sans, and Merriweather, while my body type studies include Museo Sans, Nunito, and Fira Sans. I found the bolder ones more successfully characterized Chwast's strong opinions and having flair to terminals or contrast in weight were more energetic.

 
 
 

I decided on Gill Sans over Supra Sans italic for the call-out font because it gives a vintage, nostalgic feel whereas the smooth curves of Supra Sans feels too modern. Initially, I used nunito for the body for its rounded quality and legibility, but found it too lifeless next to Gill Sans, so I changed to Gill Sans for the body as well.

My grid leaves space in the outer margins for history captions, which I deemed important to call out next to Chwast's biography. Initially, my columns varied between one and two column for playful rhythm, but condensed to just one column to give images breathing space.