Steven Heller on a 1920s-’30s Design Magazine

Steven Heller on a 1920s-’30s Design Magazine.

Design Is This and That


Design magazine, published by the Keramic Studio Publishing Company in the 1920s and ’30s, was aimed at the Sunday designer who wanted to design throughout the week. But design was used in the broadest manner—in fact, in a very healthily broad manner, covering everything from ceramics (what we call crafts) to watercolor (what we call art) to bookplates (what we call graphic design).

The magazine sold to teachers as well. This was an era when art was viewed as an alternative outlet to the depression of the Depression and a possible way out of the economic doldrums. Of course, this magazine evolved into the hobby pubs still published today. In their day, they made an even bigger difference.


For insight into contemporary magazine design, download the webcast Redesigning a Legendary Brand, by the New York Times Magazine’s design director, Arem Duplessis.

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