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Identity for Paper Magazine

In 2005 we re-designed Paper magazine, from top to bottom, bringing in new content, departments, and a slew of contributors. The first task was to standardize the masthead, and settle on something the company could live with for a very long time. After months of research and experiments we decided a custom, italic version of Trade Gothic condensed was right: it’s utilitarian and simple, and the forward gesture of the italic gave it a zing, reminiscent of some sort of trashy but intoxicating European tabloid. We wanted visual depth to the logo, and the flexibility to change it every month, so instead of the canned, photoshop transparencies that most magazines were using at the time, we decided to go back to basics, using a dot pattern. The dot pattern was a nod to the mass production process of magazine printing, and like a woven fabric it allowed us to create infinite configurations, which somehow made each issue more exciting for us to design and adapt to the cover subject, all the while making each issue a collectable little gem. The dates on the cover of each issue were hand-lettered which acted as a warm and friendly juxtaposition to the snappy design of the masthead.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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