Design and art direction from the third issue of Escapades magazine.
We had a lot of fun with this issue, which features the debut of a new department called Dossier. The editors and I had been toying with the notion of an intermediary section prefacing the features, ideal for articles whose length was too long for Compass (our primary front-of-book department, typically single-pages) and too short to constitute a feature article. We couldn’t seem to find the space in previous issues, but some in-between-length stories and the absence of an Insiders interview (another of our typical departments) made issue 3 the perfect introductory vessel.
I pitched the name “Dossier” attached to the sub-line “Global Travel Intel,” a somewhat intentionally ambiguous descriptor that could potentially house a miscellany of topics. Rather than employ a departmental icon, like the one we use in Compass, I developed a simple type header, drawing on the dots and dashes that decorate the alphabets of foreign languages, a nod to our international audience and the obvious travel nature of the publication. There’s also a fleeting hint of morse code, reinforcing the “intel” bit in the section sub-line. The opening Dossier article displays the type mark large along the side, always against white, noticeable enough to indicate the arrival of a new section. The subsequent stories use it smaller, over the photo itself.
All in all, very happy with how this issue came out. We had an unfortunate miscommunication regarding the printing deadline, leaving us scrambling to complete roughly half of the magazine in a period of three days. Once more for emphasis: Three. Days. Hats off to Nasser, our new publisher Ahmed, Sean Horn (who illustrated the portrait for our Bourdain opener), Chandra, Larry, and everyone else who burned the midnight oil and worked across a nine-hour time difference to get this sucker out.
On another note, today officially marks my one-year anniversary of working independently, an admittedly minor accomplishment I’m happy to say has arrived without any instance of bankruptcy, lawsuit, or mental breakdown. Here’s to another year—
Before the availability of the tape recorder and during the 1950s, when vinyl was scarce, people in the Soviet Union began making records of banned Western music on discarded x-rays. With the help of a special device, banned bootlegged jazz and rock ‘n’ roll records were “pressed” on thick radiographs salvaged from hospital waste bins and then cut into discs of 23-25 centimeters in diameter. “They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole,” says author Anya von Bremzen. “You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.”