First published in 1846 — eighteen forty-six, people! — Town & Country (T&C) is officially described as “America’s premier lifestyle magazine for the affluent.” Thankfully that’s at least not in its tagline, like Petco, “where the rich people go.” But I digress. Published by Hearst Corporation, T&C covers fashion, travel, design, beauty, health, the arts and antiques and has a circulation of more than 450,000. T&C has been going through some changes this year with a new Editor-in-Chief, Jay Fielden, named in January and a new Design Director, Edward Leida, last month. With the release of the September issue, T&C is introducing a new logo and a redesign of the magazine.
“Like any good creative in the magazine industry, I’m aware of the legacy and history of Town & Country, and it’s extremely rich,” said Leida.” What Frank Zachary brought to Holiday and Town & Country from a design standpoint was extraordinary. And many of those vintage and historical foundations that occurred way before I was born are milestones in the design world, as far as I’m concerned. I’m trying to embrace and process them for Town & Country today. I’d like to bring back some of those very distinctive ways of looking at design and imagery.”
— Interview with Edward Leida, Design Director
The new logo is not quite new, it goes back all the way to the 1930s when T&C started using an all uppercase sans serif in its cover and remaining that way through the late 1990s with some modifications along the way, including an Optima-ish version that added some thicks and thins. Eventually the logo evolved into a very unsophisticated lowercase treatment that had lasted until this redesign. The new logo maintains the quirky ampersand and, in homage to former T&C art director Frank Zachary, the logo comes with alternating colors in the letters just as Zachary did at Holiday. On its own the color alternation might be dopey but in the context of the magazine cover it looks rather nice and that’s also where the logo shines best, rather than on its own. Placed on top of a hero photograph and surrounded by lots of delicate serif headlines, the simplicity of the logo makes it stand out. When you compare the two covers above, this is night and day, and the magazine is now better positioned to attract all those affluent folk.