Field Notes-Esquire-Typography & Language

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Typography

The Esquire word mark is one that is identifiable no matter the color it is portrayed in. The most common primary color that is used to represent the brand’s logo is red with black and white used as supplemental outline and stroke colors.

The logo uses a san serif cursive type font created for the publication itself. It is a mix of many popular cursive fonts with the added thickness of many popular print fonts. This choice in font is meant to evoke the James Dean sleek, bad boy image of the readers that the magazine targets.

The articles within the publication feature much simpler type faces with very thick blocking for the heds and deks such as Arial Black and Avenir. For the text Georgia is the regularly used font. These conscious choices to simplify the inside typography of the publication are an attempt to not overwhelm the reader throughout the entire publication especially after having such a dramatic entrance with the cover page.

The most interesting part of the use of type within the magazine is how they use an organized chaos method for displaying the cover and content list with the departments. They use the same fonts but take advantage of the use of type size and font thickness to create a visual hierarchy of importance for the eyes of the reader.

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Language

Esquire’s use of the English language is all about clever simplicity. Their media kit describes their readers as, “affluent, sophisticated, all American men on the edge of culture.”

Through the use of puns, social cues, and references Esquire deters from using any jargon based language and opts to take straightforward approach towards speaking to its readers. The writers pride themselves on writing conversationally while also still taking the time to challenge and tickle their readers wits and minds. I would personally describe it as corporate fraternity boy talk because it is an elevated form of casual conversation infused with a splash of intelligence and education.

The heds of the story are primarily puns and jokes in an effort to keep continuity with the magazines reputation of not taking themselves too seriously. The deks are used to flush out the actual point of the article and provide some context.

The pull quotes and other supplemental items are probably the boldest items within the articles aside from the editorial images. This technique is used to give little hints of excitement and spice throughout the publication while also still allowing the reader to continue to enjoy reading.

Esquire started as a men’s magazine about outdoor and everyday activities for the all-american man, and has elevated itself into one of the top three men’s magazines in the world. Overall, although it is much more editorial and artistically centered never has its voice or desire to serve the man on the edge of culture and sophistication changed.

justinbryant