Alexey Brodovitch: Harpers Bazaar

Harpers Bazaar Art Director, Alexey Brodovitch’s is known greatly as being “virtually the model for the modern magazine art director” inspiring great graphic designers and directors through his reign within this area of work. Working as the director of this company, Brodovitch not only “arrange photographs, illustrations and type on the page” he used his talent to ensure that he “took an active role in conceiving and commissioning all forms of graphic art”, a designer I truly admire. His work for Harpers Bazaar between 1934 to 1958 contained work described as including “pages that bled beautifully, cropped photographs, typography and designs that were bold and arresting” which led him to “revolutionize magazine design”. The layouts of the pages created by Brodovitch inspire me greatly as they contain elements equally contrasted against one another from photography to text and space. They layering technique of Brodovitch communicates with the audience undeniably due to the purpose of the work being magazines. I admire the simplicity of the work Brodovitch produced as well as the style that suited the era of creation. I prefer Brodovitches black and white styled work as the tones contrast deeply with one Imageanother and they produce a classic, sophisticated mood/style, perfect for the image of these pieces and this magazine. A signature of his work was the overuse of white space, an element I find most appealing. This feature of his work redesigned the style and face of Harpers Bazaar, the following statement spoken by the previous art director of the magazine expresses the admiration of Brodovitches work greatly. “I saw a fresh, new conception of layout technique that struck me like a revelation: pages that bled beautifully, cropped photographs, typography and design that were bold and arresting. Within ten minutes i had asked Brodovitch to have cocktails with me, and that evening i signed him to a provisional contract as art director” and from then on Axeley Brodovitch begin his reign at Harpers Bazaar. This designer “created a harmonious and meaningful whole using avant-garde photography, typography and illustration” ideally using a clever technique in blending all of the elements together in a perfected way to appeal to their audience. Communicating with his audience, he was able to appeal to them using a unique design style new to the era of Magazine Design, using colour schemes not often used by other designers and layouts which caused a revolution in this area of design. The first ever Art Director to blend image and text as one in his designs he integrated elements which were only ever used separately within magazine designs. I find his style of work inspiring and I saw his Imagedesigns in a magazine on the shelf I would most definitely want to purchase it. Alexey Brodovitch was able to manipulate his audience into wanting to purchase his magazine as he used unique designs to capture their attention. Creating illusions within his work by placing the images he uses at an off balance rather than a perfectly balanced photograph in a common placement, he moved away from the common design style and produced work unlike others had. Creating his own style of layouts throughout his work with this magazine, Brodovitch’s work inspired many who viewed it. Creating unique layouts and experimenting with text and image blending Brodovitch communicated with his audience in different ways compared to designers already around within this era. This designer believed that “many designers are afraid of blank spaces; they cram the page with image and text and hide it with shading colored backgrounds” therefore he moved away from this stereotype and created work in the complete opposite style to this. Every element of his work has been carefully depicted and chosen in every design he produced. Using three main elements of text, photography and white space, Brodovitch understood how his layouts appealed and communicated with his audience. As his designs were being seen by many in the form of magazines he communicated with his audience through this format and understood elements that needed to be included to do so. Overall I find Brodovitches work greatly appealing and I find this designer an inspiration to research into. 


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