Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ramparts: History and Design

One of the best outcomes of the Ramparts book has been a renewed interest in the magazine's design. Several pieces have appeared, mostly online, and mostly focused on Dugald Stermer, the magazine's art director from 1964 to 1969. As I stress in the book, Dugald's contribution was an indispensable part of the magazine's success.

The most recent article comes from Steven Heller of the School of Visual Arts. An art director at the New York Times for over three decades, Heller interviewed Dugald and offers his own take on the magazine's successes and challenges.

It's always interesting to hear the experts discuss the magazine's look. My work as editorial director at PoliPointPress has taught me a few things about design, but I wish I knew more about it. A lot more. So I'm especially grateful for pieces like Heller's.

I already knew from my interview with Dugald that his son was the model for the April 1969 cover (above). What I didn't know was that his son's name was Chris, and that his reward for helping out with the cover was a trip to IHOP. That little bit of information came out in Jim Welte's piece for the Marin Independent-Journal.



At 12:49 AM , Blogger beijingscene said...

dear peter:

great piece of work on the book! a couple of correx (i did not know how else to notify, thought you'd appreciate)

p. 150 thomas merton certainly did not visit the dalai lama in tibet in 1968, since the tibetan leader had gone into exile in india in 1959. merton is very unlikely to have set foot in tibet at all at the height of the violence of the cultural revolution.

p. 165 david meggyesy's name is misspelled (meggysey sic). he is also referred to as a "left-wing linebacker" which is not a position in american football. he was an outside linebacker (both left and right) most often simply referred to as a linebacker.

At 4:35 AM , Blogger Peter Richardson said...

Thanks, quite right about the Dalai Lama and Meggyesy's name. According to Monica Furlong's bio, Merton met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. The "left-wing" remark refers to Meggyesy's politics, not his position.

At 7:16 AM , Blogger beijingscene said...

got it! [politically] left-wing would clear up any possible confusion in the paperback. i thought your editor must be a brit or something! (not too many american males would confuse that one, although garry trudeau of all people does not know his football positions, once referring to his character "lava lava" lenny, a samoan offensive lineman as "the entire front four [sic].")

i knew about merton meeting the d.l. in dharamsala, india. but tibet was pretty inaccessible in those days, as you no doubt know. i think there is another reference to someone traveling to tibet earlier in the book? i could be wrong and could not relocate it, but in those days most people visited the tibetan exile community in india, not chinese-occupied tibet.

regardless, great book!

At 7:30 AM , Blogger Peter Richardson said...

Yes, carelessness on my part re: Merton's travels. I can't tell you how many times I've looked up Meggyesy's name, and still I got the spelling wrong! (I don't recall any other references to Tibet in the book.) Thanks again for the corrections.


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