Art

LOOK. AT. THIS.

I didn't really know much about Bea Feitler until I read this great article by Madeleine Morley in the latest issue of Riposte. I mean, I knew her work because we've all seen it or seen its influence in magazines, book covers, album artwork but I didn't grasp just how brilliant she was.

bea feitler

Bea was a graphic designer and art director best known for her work in Harper's Bazaar, Ms., Rolling Stone and the premiere issue of the modern Vanity Fair.

bea feitler
bea feitler

'Throughout her life Feitler thought about rhythm; about the flow of pages, about the beat, layers and corners of a city. Whether she designed for Harper’s BazaarMs.Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair she’d mix up the things she saw in whirring, non-stop New York—high art and fashion, pop and ballet, politics and print—symbolising how things were mixed up and connected already. The freedom she was given at these publications allowed Feitler to renegotiate commercial representations, using magazines as a mass vehicle to address social change.

Feitler often used classic lines to break up pages—the kind of lines she’d find underscoring the title pages of antique books. She used them to interrupt text, to geometrically puncture vibrant organic shapes, to impose rhythm, but mostly she used lines to emphasise. To make space. To make meaning. With lines she said: This is important. Look. At. This.'

bea feitler

'Feitler believed totally in graphic design, how the flow of images and visual energy give vital shape and form to information. She wanted modern culture to look like it was already classic—of the moment, but also apart from it. She saw designers not as invisible, functional guides, but as a singular blend of authors and artists. Documenting and decorating, explaining and exploring, creating the stage upon which everything performed. A dancing figure, a pop-art shoe, a political message, a woman kissing herself in the mirror; all reinforced by Feitler with a definitive line, a persuasive elegance and, ultimately, a love of life.'

bea feitler