Cover to Cover: January 2010

January 5, 2010

Welcome to the first installment of Cover to Cover. Our art and photography teams are often praised for our innovative cover designs, so we thought we’d take the opportunity the new blog provides to give you a peek behind their process. Since the new issue has just come out, we’ll start there. In the future, we’ll be writing the liner notes to covers past and present.

For the January 2010 issue, contributing editor Thomas Maresca came up with the idea to conduct our own urban archaeology. The art department needed to find a concept that fit the period tone without falling back on the clichéd tactic of making the cover look old and worn. The solution: work with form rather than gimmick. The result:

Urban Archaeology

Art director Jennifer Watson borrowed the aesthetic of information manuals and mid-20th century guidebooks and intellectual journals. The grid and linear divisions create a clinical, composed look and feel, which enforces the analytical nature of the features section. By avoiding the cliché, Jennifer allows our readers to decipher the reference to journals of old, a timeless aesthetic tucked away in our collective unconscious.

The cover images themselves have been treated to make them looked aged, when in fact, they’re contemporary photos shot by photography editor Fred Wissink. This provides a subtle juxtaposition for our audience to detect and engage with—perhaps more so after reading the feature.

This cover marks Jennifer’s last for AsiaLIFE, as she’s moving on from Vietnam. Here’s to two great years.

Contributed by Tom DiChristopher


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