Simon Esterson: Designing the pages of Eye Magazine

We talk to the art director of graphic design quarterly Eye Magazine on keeping the page size the same in the time of great change for print.

Art director of collectable graphic design journal Eye Magazine, Simon Esterson has enjoyed an illustrious career in editorial design: working with The Guardian newspaper, Domus Magazine and New Statesman among others.

His insight into the world of print publications in the digital age is quite invaluable. An interesting change in modern mainstream publishing, says Esterson, is that the scale of the equipment has shrunk to the size of a laptop computer: “You can do it [make magazines] in a coffee shop, you don't need a big office anymore”. But, he adds with a smile, don't expect to make any money from it…

Esterson talks about the curation of content at Eye Magazine, where there is no particular agenda for the type of design that is included.

“I guess we are slightly more interested in experimental things and cultural things, slightly less in being full-on corporate design. But we are also interested in history, and that’s always a difficult balance.”

The magazine has gone through many design experiments and intertions, from changing paper types to layouts and bindings, but the one thing that has remained constant is the page size.

“You want to try and make a magazine where there is a visual rhythm, as well as a rhythm with the content,” says Esterson. “I love sitting there and laying out the relationship of things on a page.”

Esterson is a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), and it was at the AGI Open 2015 in Bienne/Biel, Switzerland, that we had this unique opportunity to talk with him.