The Esquire Type – The Influence of Typography on Esquire Magazine

One of the few things I admire about men’s magazines is the creative team behind them, the people who work together to come up with one smashing issue for every month of the year. Among the dozens of men’s magazines out there, only one of them stands out for me when it comes to creativity and uniqueness – Esquire. As we’ve seen in the past decade, Esquire’s covers have been typography driven. Based on their cover archive, it was in the September 2006 issue that they’ve found their identity in typography. In that issue, Esquire began using typography as the main background for the personalities they feature on the cover. The trend continues today, with some exceptions – like George Clooney’s head shot in 2009.

Prior to experimenting with typography and its iterations, Esquire used a magazine cover format similar to different men’s magazines – Inparticular, FHM. This type of cover uses a different color for the header and a generic color, either black or white, for the next few flavor texts. It also uses, every once in a while, a ribbon or a circle that says ‘PLUS’ or ‘EXCLUSIVE’ continued by a flurry of different review/article feature blurbs. Here are some Esquire covers that feature a strong typography influence.

If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our other articles on Controversial Magazine Covers, Print Advertising Examples, Great Magazine Layouts, Wedding Invitation Designs.

September 2006

September 2006

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October 2006

October 2006

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November 2006

November 2006

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December 2006

December 2006

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Januaary 2007

Januaary 2007

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Feburary 2007

Feburary 2007

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March 2007

March 2007

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April 2007

April 2007

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May 2007

May 2007

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June 2007

June 2007

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July 2007

July 2007

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August 2007

August 07

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September 2007

September 07

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October 2007

October 07

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November 2007

November 2007

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Esquire’s use of style is inspired by the different forms of typography. They’ve used handwritten, urban art inspired-, and serif and sans serif types.These have been creatively manipulated and placed around the background. Some of the covers feature typography that’s been directly written to the physical wall on the background, and some are placed partially, tilted or angled, behind the subject of the cover. Watch out for my next post. It’ll be about George Lois – the man who designed over 92 covers for Esquire during the 1960s.

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