Sunday, December 7, 2008

Alexey Brodovitch

Alexey Brodovitch (1898-1971) was arguably the most avante-garde layout designer ever. His layout designs influence and resonate through modern layout design and high-art photography today. He emigrated to the United States in 1930, and began working as Art Director for Harper's Bazaar, a well-known American fashion magazine, in 1934. Harper' s Bazaar considers itself to be the resource for "the well dressed woman and the well dressed mind." The focus was on the world of fashion, beauty and popular culture on a monthly basis. Brodovitch was one of the first designers that taught design as a professional discipline. Brodovitch's avante-garde philosophies revolutionized magazine design with his usage of "asymmetrical layouts, white space and dynamic imagery." His double page layouts are considered some of the best ever made, using practices that were groundbreaking for the time, such as bleeding photos over the gutter, using serif type faces such as Bodoni, and using the photograph as the overall basis of the spread. He is credited with influencing many leading photographers and designers, such as Richard Avedon, Art Cane, Hiro, Bob Cato, Irving Penn, Otto Storch, and Henry Wolf. Brodovitch was also known for commisioning the works of well known photographers Man Ray  Henri Cartier-Bresson, Horst P. Horst, Cecil Beaton, George Hoyningen-Huene. 


April G. said...

I especially enjoy his use of white space, large black and white photos and shaped blocks of type. His work has a very elegant feel. Also interesting how he was the first person to recognize a "creative team" of designer, art director and copy writer.

April G. said...

Even Richard Avedon in the image above, with as scruffy as he looks, appears elegant because of the use of white space and typography. Very nice.