Vogue on Vogue

In a series of ghostly Vogue covers posted to LiveJournal, every 2010 cover in each edition is layered into a single image. The process reveals the gulf between the formulaic approach of the majority of editions and the more experimental nature of a select few

In a series of ghostly Vogue covers posted to LiveJournal and noted on magCulture, every 2010 cover in each edition (UK and Italia shown, above) is layered into a single image. The process reveals the gulf between the formulaic approach of the majority of editions and the more experimental nature of a select few…

With every issue from every edition from 2010 added together (minus text), you get the image below – a kind of Voguein Mary that, as a ‘mean’ cover, says a lot about the formula most commonly used by the magazine’s art directors and photographers: dark-haired, white-skinned model, centred, thank you very much:

The British, Australian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Japanese and American editions collected on the LiveJournal page posted by ‘shrubrub’ adhere to this structure. (You can see each edition that was used to create the single image by clicking on the edition name.) Here are the 12 UK covers brought together, where the model’s face features quite prominently:

And the Australian version, where the G in Vogue generally frames the model’s face:

But there’s much more interest going on in the amalgamated covers of Vogue Paris and Vogue Italia. Here’s the Paris edition – a riot of darkness and varying type treatments:

And Vogue Italia, which also reveals the more independent and experimental spirit of its creative direction even in hybrid form. I rather like the look of this one as is:

Of course, the sheer variety of imagery and type used in both the Paris and Italia editions makes for a more interesting mix up.

The combination of Steven Meisel’s photography and editor Franca Sozzani’s input in the latter, for example, certainly adds a more adventurous take on the comparatively staid world of Vogue’s international covers.

Hardly surprising that in being one of the least commerical of Vogue’s stable, Vogue Italia can actually afford to be the most experimental. But these layered hybrid editions bring that point home all the more clearly.

And as a strange, abstract summation of publishing in 2010 in image form, I know which ones I prefer.

  • Abi

    Fascinating. I love the Paris editions as they are actually, it looks like there’s a watch fading across the faces, which is rather lovely.

  • Could it be that the Vogue Italia is less commercial beacuse it is experimental?

  • Sam

    Do it with CR covers.

  • Mark Sinclair

    We were only just saying that – though we think we should give the new design a full year first

  • Mark

    amazing stuff.

  • Yum. Design archæology. I like these covers, very much, both as science and as art.

  • Whaam1

    The Italian cover looks like the Mona Lisa.

  • Much more interesting than the individual covers!
    For more glimpses of interesting ad mashups, and visual quirks try adlib.co
    It gets the creative juices flowing.

  • Lovely stuff! Would be nice to either purchase them or get them published somewhere.

  • Rob

    Love it. Imagine the file size.

  • Fascinating in terms of visual culture…wow! and it looks great, too!

  • Looks much better like this. Also, really reveals the nature of each publication. Legit.

  • These are pretty awesome!

  • Chidinma Nnorom


  • You should also see these artworks from the late 90s by Jason Salovan
    from a larger series he calls amalgamations

    “Begun independently in 1997, these works use the mean and median average from sets of photographs (also music & video) sharing common characteristics.”
    artist’s statement from his site

  • Possibly the most creative and genuinely interesting work on this site at the moment. At last something that represents time, effort and creative credibility, which makes a nice change. Thank you.

  • Spooky, and pointless.

  • Lovely to see these! Nice technique to judge how creative any magazines been over the past year!

  • bonkers. love it.

  • lucie Cox

    These are eerie yet, intriguing. They manage to capture a fast pace feeling yet keeping very ambiguous and mystical- simply lovely.