criswell

The Metropolis Minute: Designing the January Cover

. . . . We’ve nicknamed the January issue of Metropolis the “1 – 5 – 10 Issue” for its cover story, called “What Next,” in which architecture and design leaders forecast events in their fields–one, five, and ten years from now. After the jump, watch Metropolis’s creative director, Criswell Lappin, talk about this month’s cover-design process. . . To…

Behind the April Cover

In thinking about the April cover, the famous Philip Johnson expression, “galloping off in all directions” comes to mind. We explored ideas for three of the six features, and even considered turning a front-of-the-book story on Muji into a feature (during production, no less) because the image worked so well as a potential cover. Alas, the editorial timing of that…

Behind the March Cover

She’d been a designer at Rolling Stone for fifteen years, she knew how to make something stand out in Times Square, and she received the AIGA medal last year. Why not ask her to design the March cover? Well, not only did we get to collaborate with Gail Anderson, but I think most of the SpotCo design team came with…

Behind the February Cover

Maybe we should have an intern who just works on education metaphors, because we seem to need at least one a year. After two rounds with an outside designer who decided he wasn’t right for us, various holidays, and three days of full-tilt art-department energy, the dust finally settled, and we went with the clearest direction. The simplicity of a…

Behind the Cover – December

This month, the cover debate came down to the wire-not because we were having trouble finding something that worked but because we had two strong contenders. Internally we designed a straightforward direction-a building and a hybrid engine joined together-to represent the high-performance aspects of Stefan Behnisch’s structures. But in the end we went with Matthew Bouloutian’s bright illustration (above), which…

Behind the Cover – September

      We were impressed with Volume when we collaborated with them on the February 2007 cover. So when we wanted a San Francisco-based graphic-design team to work on our September cover, they seemed like the obvious choice. When we approached them, they told us they had actually created the exhibition graphics for the Academy, and all the pieces…

Behind the Cover- July

The alternate cover, pictured above. “Some ideas come and go, others just won’t go away,” associate art director Dungjai Pungauthaikan says about the design of this month’s cover. “For quite some time, we’d been toying with the imagery produced by the geometric reflections seen in kaleidoscopes. But the visual language never synched up with our editorial content. Then along came…

Behind The Cover – June

When we received the contact sheets from our photographer, Anna Knott, we were excited about the possibility of putting Jeanne Gang and her Aqua tower on the cover. But the art department couldn’t get any shot to work by itself, so we pursued another direction: juxtaposing Gang, George Lois style, into the skyline. Gang’s office sent us a polished rendering…

Behind the Cover- April

We knew the cover would center around Alice Waters and our story on four famous chefs discussing the design of their professional kitchens. The conceit was clear, but consensus was not. The art and editorial departments were split over how best to present Cody Pickens’ photograph of Ms. Waters in Chez Panisse. The editorial department strongly preferred the simplicity of…

Behind the Cover- March

We tried to collaborate with Peter Mendelsund last year but ran into scheduling conflicts. Then I saw five of his book covers at the AIGA’s 50/50 exhibition, and it reminded me to reach out to him again. We asked him to create an image to represent our product issue, which is centered around localism. Peter came back with a flurry…

Behind the Cover- February

This month’s cover features British designer Tom Dixon. He sits in his Wingback chair inside Shoreditch House, a space he designed in London. There was the typical difficulty in setting up an overseas shoot during the holidays. But once the image came in, we were able to respond to photographer David Balhuizen’s set-up. His framing allowed us to carve out…