Friday, 4 April 2008

New York Times Key Magazine Cover

Note that I dont have an obsession with New York at the moment, but with such great art foundations of Rauschenberg, DeKooning & Pollock its no surprise of its creative vein. Today technology is the key that has fused creativity & opened boundaries to allow interdisciplinary practice.

The New York Times real estate magazine Key started with the cover design concept of hiring people that are brilliant to do personal interpretations of what a key means to them & their lives. The 1st cover in the Fall 2006 by Carin Goldberg featured all the places she lived at using the font Dynamoe (green & black thumbnail) & spring 2007 (yellow & purple thumbnail) was designed by new york design studio 2x4.

In dialogue with John Maeda (author of Creative Code: Aesthetics + Computation) art director Dick Barnett looked at some of Maeda's sketches and replied to him saying how he's 'loving #3 Google Mappish Mondrian' (3rd thumbnail along) idea and how he might 'think of a way to make it more personal to [maeda's] life'. Maeda responded utilising Boston, he states how he 'thinks of the world as a sort of map of cities', a topographic territory, he 'mined the internet for all the cities with an airport' & made a simple diagram and then drew some 'fluid like curves [framing] to connect into the centre of the keyhole' (4th thumbnail), (Centaur Publication, 2007, p. nov – 42).

Maeda wanted to concentrate on the background rather than the foreground & after some design processing (problem solving) such as replacing fonts used to that of Key magazines T-Star, it was finished. The design is brilliant, although probably not that easy a task to create without access/stroke knowledge of computer science functionality but excellant aesthetics. The overall white stands out from the blue (a colour normally percieved as depiciting sea in maps) causing a slight incongruity on part of the viewer, map reader/user. Boston being the epicentre of travel in this map providing the key access to other cities and the viral red linking lines spidering the topgraphic locations.

Excellant Map utilising technology to visualise data functionality mentioned upon with Bradford Paley, in the heart of its design.

'John Maeda is an artist and a computer scientist, and he views the computer not as a substitute for brush and paint but as an artistic medium in its own right. His mission is to foster the growth of what he calls 'humanist technologists'- people that are capable of articulating future culture through informed understanding of the technologies they use' (, 2008, p. john maeda interview).

More examples of the stages of Maeda's Key Cover design here,

Creative Review. New York. Centaur Publication, 2007, p. nov – 42).

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