Esquire often fills the pages with illustrations, images, with plenty of examples. With that, the furniture is clean, organized, and structured, balancing out the content of the departments that can often be more packed, even collaged with photos and design elements.
In the entire magazine, they use a thin line that lines the top of the page (approximately .4 inch from the top of the page and .4 inch from the bottom of the page) and also at the bottom, not going to the outside or inside edges.
The use a bolder line to separate a thinner column from a wider column. Also, when they have a side bar, including facts, “Esky Wisdom,” or to go more in depth with a topic, they will box it in with a solid black line. It isn’t always a complete box but usually outlines the section enough to separate it, and highlight it in a crisp way (examples 1 and 2).
There is also Esquipedia which is filled in with color and heads the section going in more depth on a topic found later in the magazine.
Throughout the publication, a common piece of furniture are two red dots, resembling a colon. They start a paragraph with it for the columns in the shorter stories and also in the sidebars sometimes. Esky Wisdom (example 2) is another common piece that is found within “The Code” and “EsqIQ,” as well as some later in the magazine, between features. It is usually separated from the rest of the content with a solid black line above and/or below it (examples 2 and 3).
The page numbers are are in bold but like the rest of the furniture is understated. The magazine name and publication date are in regular font and connected with an underscore (example 3) The folio continues the classic and clean look of the rest of the furniture, with the colon feature being one of the most bold, besides the underlined, bold headlines in some departments. The designers include the names of photographers and illustrators in the folio, and sometimes it is placed vertically along the edge of the page.
Headers are bold and black and often underlined. This furniture is common in each issue and compliments the lines separating content and columns, as well as the semi-boxed in fillers. Some pieces include the red colon design and also arrows which can be bold and sharp, or some appear drawn (example 4).
ARROWS AND DRAWING ATTENTION
In Esquire, to capture the reader’s eye, the designers use arrows to focus attention on a detail in a suit, on words they want to stand out louder, and to tie items together. Whether the arrows are sharp and exact, or more drawn and stretching around a section, they are expressive and successful in drawing the eye to the items highlighted.
Also, they help direct the reader to glance at each part of the page, catching each detail no matter what order they follow (if the arrows are more circular and not designed to be read in a specific order)(examples 5 and 6).
For organizing small pieces of information and more descriptive examples, the designers use boxes to make them stand out from the overall page. Sometimes these boxes are outlined simply in black and other times they are filled in with color. In some instances, the pieces of furniture are connected with lines or arrows to prevent too much disorganized information. Also, some pieces are more circular and also filled in with color, whether faces of the person quoted or featured, or of the information mentioned (example 6).
ESKY – ESQUIRE’S MASCOT
Throughout the publication, the illustrated face that pops up on pages is a piece of furniture that is part of the Esquire branding. Esky shows up giving “Esky wisdom” or even has a body and is illustrated to give the quote more effect. It also shows up as a simple touch on various pages, at different sizes.
The furniture helps to organize and balance out the content and designs of each page, however, the use of so much color filled sections, boxes, and even the placement of multiple arrows can sometimes crowd a page. When the reader comes to the page, it may take longer to adjust and know where to start on the page. The pieces may be overused in some sections, being more of a distraction even with the varying weights of typefaces. The underlining, arrows, and common shapes used as furniture can capture the reader’s attention, but with too much filling, stacking, and mini columns, it is challenging to focus in on one, with your attention wanting to jump around and try to find some order. There may be three shorter columns on the top half of the page, then two smaller paragraphs stacked below, and two more columns beside that…all on one page. In the case of example 6, there are numbers and lines connecting them, but even here, there is a lot of shapes, with varying weights that may tempt the reader to jump around, before settling in.
Overall, the furniture in Esquire contributes to the stylish design of the magazine in general and even with some pages being more collaged and “louder” than others, the pieces of furniture they include in each issue, offers familiarity and polish for each section.