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to be notified of special advance sales and early subscription rates—and more importantly, to be the first to nab a copy of our of first full issue #01, coming winter 2018.

In the meantime, enjoy a preview of our pilot issue #00,
printed by our partner, Paper Chase Press.

“An ode to the art of physical magazine-making–and a gift to those who love to read them–from the die-cut cover to the tear-out-mail-in Proust questionnaire on the back page.”—Co.Design 

“[Eye on Design’s] visual identity, with its eye logo and signature peachy-pink have been beautifully translated for the print version.” — Creative Review 

This thoughtfully designed, beautifully-made pilot issue offers a taste of what’s to come each quarter, starting winter 2018. At half the length of the upcoming issues, the slender pilot packs a lot of heft: Stories span from a reported piece on design and depression to a three-part exploration of high-design erotica to the outsized influence of a small gay magazine. Designed by Tala Safié, the pilot issue sets off a series of discussions that will play out over coming issues, each of which will be guided by a central theme and designed by a surprise guest designer.

“Aims to be ‘testing ground’ for design ideas… the design aesthetic takes inspiration from AIGA’s visual archive.”—Design Week 

What’s the same: A rigorous yet playful editorial approach that’s considered, unexpected, and increasingly global, Eye on Design will continue to investigate topics like mental health, sexuality, education, and gender disparity through a design lens.

What’s different: Print offers new flexibility to experiment with design ideas, printing methods, story formats, and deep dives into quarterly themes.

Why Paper Chase Press: It’s important for us to work with a printer whose values and priorities align with our own. Aside from producing quality work with designers we know and love, this independent print shop has been family-owned since it was founded in 1976, and currently operates out of a zero-waste (and zero bullshit) facility in Los Angeles.

“Just as you thought that print is dead, AIGA is bringing their popular website ‘Eye on Design’ to the real world with a gorgeous new magazine.”—Design Taxi 

Eye on Design Magazine pilot issue #00, designed by Tala Safié


Illustration by Isabel Castillo Guijarro

Editor’s letter from issue #00

“Makers of books are makers of men.” That’s a line from the editor’s letter of the very first piece of print AIGA circulated to its members 60 years ago. I don’t know how it came off back then, but to me it lands just a wee bit heavy, like fist-pounding-on-pulpit heavy, despite that first newsletter’s modest goals: share local news, announce events, publish obituaries. It was quaint and folksy at heart, yet it reads like a stuffed shirt, starched and pressed.

But as dusty as some of these old journals can be, they’re also undeniably impressive, with work and writing by Saul Steinberg, Seymour Chwast, Bob Gill, Tibor Kalman, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Alvin Lustig, and on and on.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, not the most diverse group. But a lot has changed in design and at AIGA since then—even more since it was first founded in 1914. Still, as far as we’ve come, there are things that don’t change: no matter what profession, some people will take it too seriously (those aforementioned stuffed shirts) and some won’t take it seriously at all. In the middle, there’s a great conversation to be had.

At Eye on Design there’s room for all sides, though we tend to come at even the most serious subjects with a sense of humor and self-awareness. We tell stories that connect designers to the world beyond their desktop, and connect work by experts in fields as diverse as mental health, law, sexuality, and sociology with design and its more familiar bedfellows. From op-eds to satire and some of the more experimental narratives published here and online, we’re hellbent on creating an allover different approach to what a design magazine can be. Just as each iteration of AIGA’s previous print publications reflects the era in which it was published, the work you read and see now in Eye on Design is representative of our time; and more than just a who’s who, it’s a who’s next.

Like all AIGA editors before me, we each have our own style—and I realize there are shoes here to fill. The most recent editor was Steven Heller, who took the AIGA Journal from a society paper slapped together by committee to a proper print publication helmed by an editor with a real vision. He came on in 1985, the year I was born, and rolled off in the ’90s. After a good long break, AIGA started publishing on the regular again in 2014, when I founded Eye on Design, online to start, and now also in print.

This half-length pilot issue #00 will give you a taste of what’s to come with our regular quarterly magazine in 2018. We’ll continue to be a daily online destination for surprise and delight, publishing more longform stories about designers and the issues they care about, and the Eye on Design magazine will offer a new kind of flexibility to experiment with design ideas, printing methods, story formats, and deep dives into quarterly themes. Plus, one of the most exciting parts: each issue will be designed by a surprise guest designer.

This issue is by Tala Safié, a young Lebanese designer currently studying in New York, whose instincts match our own approach to design: considered, unexpected, playful—and increasingly global. You can read her designer’s statement on the next page.

Aside from Tala, I’m lucky to get to work with a truly talented team of editors, writers, and contributors. At the time of publication, we’re bidding a teary farewell to our much beloved senior editor James Cartwright, whose byline you’ll continue to see here, and welcoming Meg Miller, a gifted writer and editor who will come to shape Eye on Design along with fellow senior editor Emily Gosling, staff writer Madeleine Morley, and our growing family of regular contributors.

We’re also incredibly grateful to the AIGA members who have supported our efforts these past few years; you’ve patted our backs and kept us on our toes. We’re exceptionally proud to be part of AIGA’s mission of design advocacy, and look forward to spurring rollicking conversations about graphic design and its friends illustration, digital design, motion graphics, et al. in our coming issues, on, and on social @AIGAeyeondesign.

Gravissime et stulta,
Perrin Drumm

Ps. Tell us what you think: comments, questions, queries. Nasty emails are also welcome. I’m saving the best for my memoirs. Nice emails are welcome, too. I save those for negronis at sundown.


Look out for issue #01 in 2018