Newsweek’s Creative Director Addresses Criticism


By Chris O'Shea Comment

Dirk Barnett is the mind behind the redesign of Newsweek, and WWD gets him to open up about the new look of the magazine and the inevitable backlash against it. Barnett says his creative goal is to get readers to see Newsweek as something glamorous:

The mantra that Tina kept saying was, ‘I want this to be a monthly on a weekly basis,’ so we definitely made it feel a little more lush. The typefaces definitely help to do that. It’s gonna say to readers: ‘This is new.’

As for the criticism? Barnett – who has composed plenty of good work in his career – does what he should do, he shrugs it off:

The second I took this job I was like, the one thing people are going to destroy is the design. They’re just gonna rip it to shreds. No one’s going to be happy with it. Because it’s Tina Brown. Anything Tina Brown does, there’s haters.

This is the right attitude for all of the Newsweek staffers to adopt over the next few months. There are going to be some stiff jabs from the media (yes, even from us), but they’ve got to keep fighting. And if they should need a cut man, FishbowlNY is in their corner. A win for print is a win for all of us.