LA Weekly, Last Pages

No job I’ve held has been as influential on me and my career as the eight years I spent as art director of LA Weekly. The crazy deadlines, the diverse subject matter and the constant collaboration with staff and contributors — some of the most gifted in their fields — was a crucible for my ideas about graphic design in a practical context.

This post is a sort of random collection of a fraction of the pages we produced in my last couple years at the paper. I believe the common factor might be that they were all designed and/or art directed by me, but it’s also quite possible that some of the talented people in my department also played a role, so I’ll list them here: Dana Collins, Debra DiPaolo, Kathleen Clark, Dave Shulman (special thanks to Dave for helping me collect these and many other sample on this site), Laura Steele, Tulsa Kinney, Mitch Handsone.

Though they weren’t on staff during this era, I’d feel bad not mentioning the many others who were part of the Art Department of LA Weekly during my stay: Scott Ford (he’s the fool who hired me), David Goldman, Kathy Anderson, Robin Ogata, Jeff Monzel, Marty Luko, Scott Dorobiala, Cynthia Wiggins and Jennifer Alden. Thank you.

If you click around the site, you’ll see a lot more LA Weekly stuff if you’re curious. Mostly in the Blog section.


I got to interview a number of cool people for the paper. This is a story I did on Warren W. Wagner, an architect in LA. A lot of the ideas I learned from Warren were formative in my own humble, ongoing experiments with house design and remodeling.

I think a lot of these flat, cutout-looking illustrations were done by your’s truly. You can see more here »

The layout here is not exactly earth-shattering. But we grabbed this page to show a design trick. I’d always wanted to exploit the problematic transparency of newsprint, but until this story, never had a good opportunity. The page above was a piece about Joy Division, and the flip-side page below was an accompanying article on Ian Curtis, Joy Division’s legendary frontman who died in 1980. The effect of the dark image bleeding through the page to act as an illustration on the back side worked fairly well in print.

A page by Carol Lay.

Quark Soup was a regular column by Margaret Wertheim. This story’s about crop circles.

Spreads from a “Best of LA” issue. One of the stories is my interview with Kenny Scharf.

Original page by Tony Millionaire.

These pages are from the annual “List Issue” which was our response to all of the top-10 type lists that appear around the end of the year. The lists were usually funny, sometimes informative, and were contributed by every department at the paper.

This drawing is by artist Tom Knechtal.

This is the intro page by issue editor, Dave Shulman. He also designed the cover which was a life-size photograph of a blank yellow notepad.

This story was illustrated by Spain.

Photographs by Virginia Lee Hunter.

This issue was called “The Body Politic.” In addition to commissioned drawings, I used the photography of Laura Aguilar to illustrate the package and had the pleasure of interviewing her for one of the articles.

The End.

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