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Art Directors' Handbook of Professional Magazine Design 3 ed


What makes a magazine into a design classic? How can timeless ideas be incorporated into an ever-changing contemporary context? While many books on editorial design simply illustrate great work, this book, now updated with a new chapter covering independent magazines and revised illustrations throughout, presents a huge range of examples from an amazing collection of international magazines and uses them to illustrate the principles of classic editorial design. Horst Moser discusses the design challenges facing art directors today, showcasing the most successful solutions, from the cutting edge of modern style to classic techniques. With over 1,000 colour illustrations, it is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for students and professionals, and an essential and authoritative guide for anyone involved in magazine design.

Originally published in Germany in 2002 under the name ‘Surprise Me’ (taken from Alexey Brodovitch’s advice to Eve Arnold), Thames & Hudson have just reissued Horst Moser’s ‘Art Directors’ Handbook of Professional Magazine Design’. A large format hardback 294 page book built around Horst’s huge collection of magazines (photos of which adorn the endpapers), this remains a key reference book about working magazine design. An editorial designer himself, Horst  deals with plenty of the details of editorial design while sharing loads of visuals.

Art Directors'


My only hesitation about recommending this revised edition is that it hasn’t been much revised. A quick glance only yielded one new section, a look at the independent magazines that have arrived since that first edition (above). An important addition, but editorial design has shifted significantly over the past decade, and seeing pages from early noughties Wired might leave newcomers wondering what the fuss is about more recent editions of that magazine. The same applies to the brief section about infographics – there are so many better examples today.

‘The Art Directors’ Handbook of Professional Magazine Design’ is by no means a complete book in itself but if you missed it in its first iteration its a worthy addition to your collection of magazine books.




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