How I Got Here: Nicholas Blechman

The New Yorker creative director talks about his first job in the industry and how to avoid predictability in editorial design

Designer and illustrator Nicholas Blechman has been creative director of the New Yorker since 2015. Before that he was previously the art director of the New York Times Book Review and The Times Op-Ed page. Since 1990, Blechman has also been publishing, editing and designing his political underground magazine, Nozone.

Blechman is known for his distinctive minimal style and this approach feeds into his illustration practice as well, which utilises clean linework and simple geometric shapes. His drawings have graced the pages of GQ, Travel + Leisure, Wired and the New York Times. He has also co-authored a number of books including a series of limited-edition illustrated tomes with Christoph Niemann titled One Hundred Percent.

Here, Blechman talks about his illustrator father, his first job in the industry, his day-to-day at the New Yorker and the challenges of editorial design.

Top: Long Island Bar, illustration by Nicholas Blechman, art director: Matt Willey. Above: Blechman’s home office. Photograph by Stephen Kent Johnson