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'I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world'



Of all the names left forgotten by history, Henry Luce is definitely one of them. Although we know the work he created and see it within our everyday lives, we do not know how he links to the work I am talking about. However, to put it simply, this man was the founding designer of magazines including Life, and most famously, TIMES magazine which is still publishing even today.


Born in 1898, Luce began life as a publisher practically penniless. Having just finished studies in Yale, he had left education only to become jobless as well. Like his friend , Briton Hadden, the work they both could find did not support their mutual desire to publish a magazine which would discuss issues that newspapers left out of print. Dreaming of creating a publication which could be read by everyone, the two young men were dreaming of making a type of magazine which we still recognise even now. And, by the early 1930s, the pair would be able to pool what money they had together, to create the beginning of a publishing house. Five years later, both Hadden and Luce would finally achieve their dreams, and created their first magazine- Life. When asked why they designed it so differently from what the public already knew , they both replied together that life magazine was meant to be:


'The magazine to contain all the news on every sphere of human interest, and we wanted the news to be organised as well. There will be articles on politics, books, sport, scandal, science and society. This magazine will serve the illiterate upper classes, the busy business man, the tired debutante, and prepare them at least once a week for a table conversation.”



And its thanks to their work, I found the inspiration for the project I am currently working upon, which is inspired by the lost women of NASA. I wanted to use Life magazine as the inspiration for the format of my own designs because (as the above pictures show) this magazine captured the biggest and most important people and events in history. Henry Luce and Britton Haden made such a successful publication, that it gave them the ability to hire journalists who could be anywhere and everywhere within the world, capturing the biggest and juiciest stories of that time. The articles this magazine published were unique in the sense they felt human, and when a person read them, that buzz which had got these people etc. into the article was felt. It was more alive than a newspaper, and far more accessible too, and this is exactly what I want for my own attempt at making a magazine myself.


This is my own take on this incredible publication- though it will never be able to match the ground-breaking work the original photographers and designers of life created, I hope it pays more than a nod of healthy respect towards them, Luce and Haddon.