Aperture Relaunching: Sneak a Peek at the Redesign

Aperture is the storied photography quarterly that we’ve been known to purchase in duplicate, reading one copy with an X-Acto knife close at hand so as to surgically remove the suitable-for-framing images by the likes of Lee Friedlander, Joel Sternfeld, Mary Ellen Mark, Cindy Sherman, and Daido Moriyama. Sixty years after the publication’s founding–by a group that included Minor White, Ansel Adams, and Dorothea Lange–the Aperture Foundation is overhauling the magazine, a project led by executive director Chris Boot with editors Michael Famighetti and Melissa Harris.

The new Aperture debuts with the spring 2013 issue (pictured), on newsstands February 26. In addition to the bold redesign by London-based A2/SW/HK, there are more pages and images, new columns (including “Object Lessons” and “What Matters Now?”), and writing geared toward a broader audience. Each issue will examine one theme at the heart of contemporary photography, explored in two sections: “Words,” focused on ideas, interviews, and debate, and “Pictures,” immersing the reader in individual artists’ projects and series.

As for the new look, A2/SW/HK’s Scott Williams and Henrik Kubel have gone big, reformatting the magazine to a larger trim size and filling all those new pages with typography unique to Aperture. “Our starting point was a work-in-progress sans-serif typeface that was inspired by the hot metal fonts Futura and Memphis,” noted Williams in a recent interview on the Aperture blog. “This modern, geometric typeface echoes the Aperture logotype and also acknowledges the original incarnation of the magazine from the early 1950s. By contrast, Aperture Serif, developed parallel to the redesign of the magazine, is rooted in the classicism of the sixteenth century and has been designed to contrast and complement Aperture Sans across multiple weights and to offer another flavor to the pages of the magazine.”