The Last of Newsweek.

I promise that this will be the last post on Newsweek (probably) for some time, but I figured it was worth following up after having attempted to redesign a few pages of the magazine.
First off, a number of other sites picked up on the design and their reviews are worth reading. In particular, writes in Newsweek relaunch: “Unless I’m missing something here, this is a bit of of tricksy over-design that doesn’t suit a magazine claiming depth and intelligence.” I think this sums up the entire experience of the magazine. Further down the page, a commenter writes “I feel like I lost a close friend.” My sentiments exactly. Great site, magCulture, by the way.
Second, it appears that the design was executed (my word) by Number 17. I can’t speak to their other work, which looks fine enough, but they have a lot to answer for with this project (or their client does). (FYI, Number 17, your site doesn’t work on the iPhone and isn’t accessible.)
Next, I found some interesting commentary by James Robinson about the size and losses of the magazine, which is sad on top of sad. Writer and art director Mark Porter writes about the design’s fundamental randomness on his site. As well, a really nicely crafted new design blog called idsgn writes Newsweek, can a redesign save the dying magazine? and pick up my redesign.
Font identification update: It appears that the redesign uses Village’s Flama for headlines. Most of the magazine’s new text itself appears to be using Christian Schwartz’s Farnham. And then there’s Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Archer used for much of the body text in the front of the book. On their own, each of these typefaces are elegant, unpretentious, modern, and extremely legible. Mixed into the cauldron of the Newsweek redesign, they look like hell.
Finally, some inquired as to where I work. I run a small design firm called MANOVERBOARD. I’d be happy to hear from anyone with thoughts or questions.
Oh: I cancelled Newsweek and I was kindly sent a check for the remainder of my two-year subscription.