R. O. Blechman on context

“Have you ever found yourself in Barnes & Noble (or better yet, that vanishing place, your neighborhood bookstore) surrounded by books clamoring me, me, ME, ME, MEEEE? You naturally head for what strikes your eye (the jacket design), and not your mind (the subject or the author). At least initially. Book jackets are great hooks to attract your attention and grab your wallet. When Milton Glaser was the art director of New York magazine, he claimed that cover photographs sold magazines, not illustrations. Maybe so, but in 1967 he designed a cover for Holiday magazine that was entirely hand drawn – even including the masthead listings – and, to quote Glaser, ‘[It] was extremely effective.’ And why not? The entire cover was printed in black and white, a startling departure for a magazine noted for its splashy full-color cover photographs. As Glaser went on to say, ‘For a designer, context is everything.’ If everyone shouts, there’s nothing like a whisper. If everyone whispers, there’s nothing like a shout. ‘Context is everything.'”

— R. O. Blechman (via On the One Hand / On the Other Hand)