Spring 2018

Anatomy of a magazine

Each magazine is unique. Happily, magazines are all alike, too. Here we analyse some of the elements that most mags have in common … the things that make them essentially ‘magazine-like’

See ‘The cover’, ‘The contents’, ‘The front matter’, ‘The features’, ‘The reviews’, ‘The information graphics’, ‘The adverts’ and ‘The colophon’ in Eye 96.

Top. American Esquire, April 1968. Design by George Lois. Photography by Carl Fischer. In 1967 Muhammad Ali converted to Islam. The following year, when he refused to do military service because of his new faith, he was sentenced to five years for draft evasion, barred from the ring and stripped of his World Heavyweight Champion title. Lois saw him as a contemporary Saint Sebastian who was martyred for his religious beliefs. He posed Ali after the fifteenth century painting by Francesco Botticini in which Saint Sebastian’s body is pierced by six arrows. (Caption by Ian Birch, see ‘The cover’.)

First published in Eye no. 96 vol. 24, 2018


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. You can see what Eye 96 looks like at Eye Before You Buy on Vimeo.