designers books

Published by Sébastien Hayez

fact: (Ralph Ginzburg, 1964-1967)

Written by Sébastien Hayez, 6 years ago, 1 Comment



Fact magazine is mostly known nowaday for its covers designed by Herb Lubalin. He collaborated with Ralph Ginzburg on three of Ginzburg’s magazines: Eros, Fact, and Avant Garde, and was responsible for the creative visual beauty of these publications.

What is most stricking is that most of the covers deals with typographical composition is a very restricted color scheme and on a white background. The covers could be concidered as manifestoes for political goals and typographical will of excellence.

Here’s a short extract of Lubalin wikipedia page:

Lubalin’s private studio gave him the freedom to take on any number of wide-ranging projects, from poster and magazine design to packaging and identity solutions. It was here that the designer became best known, particularly for his work with a succession of magazines published by Ralph Ginzburg: Eros, Fact, and Avant Garde.[4] Ginzburg and Lubalin followed with Fact, which the former largely founded in response to the treatment Eros received. This magazine’s inherent anti-establishment sentiment lent itself to outsider writers who could not be published in mainstream media; Fact managing editor Warren Boroson noted that “most American magazine, emulating the Reader’s Digest, wallow in sugar and everything nice; Fact has had the spice all to itself.”[4] Rather than follow with a shocking design template for the publication, Lubalin chose an elegant minimalist palette consisting of dynamic serifed typography balanced by high-quality illustrations. The magazine was printed on a budget, so Lubalin stuck with black and white printing on uncoated paper, as well as limiting himself to one or two typefaces and paying a single artist to handle all illustrations at bulk rate rather than dealing with multiple creators. The end result was one of dynamic minimalism that emphasized the underlying sentiment of the magazine better than “the scruffy homemade look of the underground press (or the) screaming typography of sensationalist tabloids” ever could.[4]Fact itself folded in controversy as Eros before it, after being sued for several years by Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate about whom Fact wrote an article entitled “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater.” Goldwater was awarded a total of $90,000, effectively putting Fact out of business.[4]

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Source: Archive here (Facebook gallery)

About Sébastien Hayez

Art director, graphic designer & illustrator from Lyon, France. Admin at Co-admin of the Facebook group Archives Graphiques Curator at Writer at The Shelf, issue 2.

  1. JohnJune 1, 2015, 6:10 am

    I still remember with great fondness how my NYC art director father used to bring home the latest Fact: Magazines when I was a kid.

    Sure wish I had them still.

    Thank you for this terrific retrospective.

    Many of the statements on these covers are even more appropriate today!

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