bon appétit | Furniture

A Condé Nast publication, bon appétit, uses a pure geometrical shape as its furniture elements. They mostly consist of underlines, small triangles towards an image linking the image and its respective headline for the story associated with it. They also use white color rectangular patched which is overlapped in the image and a story or some witty tagline is written over the tagline. 

The underline is a repetitive element that is not only used in the folio where the section is mentioned but also used for headlines and taglines. “A Line” is an element they use often even to divide two images or recipes. The different treatment given to a line in terms of line weight and line type is what they use to create that distinction between imagery and textual element. The line is also used as navigational markers when the line gets converted into an arrow or a curvy line directing towards an image or a typographic element.

As repeatedly mentioned, the modern minimal aesthetics of the magazine, I think the line element works well in terms of a compositional element as well. Even though they use it to create divisions the whole spread looks as a whole and due to the less line weight it does not become an important element but it surely helps the reader to place himself or herself and focus on that one recipe or image.

Along with the lines, the second most repeated element is a small green triangle at the beginning of the paragraph in the body copy. The way it is placed is actually as if it is being used as a bullet point facing in the direction of the body copy text.

I also think most of these elements or at least their placements are developed very specifically concerning the design of each page. The designers have been very conscious about making them subtle elements of navigation and interaction. They are also color-coded and are the same in size and appearance making it like a format that they repeatedly use.

Additionally, to my understanding, the ‘furniture’ of the magazine and specifically to this one, they are used to define the utilitarian feature of a magazine. They make the navigational format of the magazine more efficient making it easy for the readers to understand and grasp the magazine. Even though they are graphical elements they contribute tremendously to the flow and narrative of the magazine, which is interesting in the case of bon appetit.

The Cover Page and TOC

A typical page of the magazine

A page covering a feature story in different sections

A part of the cover story to the left and a regular feature story to the right

This spread is unique in design and the use of the lines for space divisions is what makes it interesting and easy to read

In continuance with the earlier image, the lines are again used for space division of the headline and corresponding body copy only. Unlike the previous image which also had graphics