Organised by Roger Black at Type magazine, this Friday’s conference in New York City is a unique event. Almost all the art directors of Rolling Stone, from the first to the last, will be speaking. Along with the photo directors, this is some stellar company, I’m flattered and honoured to be part of it.

The conference on the 25th begins with coffee at 8:00 am and presentations at 9:00, with a two-hour break for lunch. (Note: Content and speakers are subject to change.) Tickets still available at

The Type: First Ten Years
Rolling Stone kept up with the fast pace of music in the 1960s with a quickly evolving design.  The first art director, John Williams, will explain why the type was not “counter-culture.” Vincent Winter and Roger Black take us through a dynamic and eclectic period, and the development of the custom typeface that has been used for 40 years.

The Type: Reform and Revival
Brand typography needs to be challenged to remain strong, and there have been two art directors who have disrupted the type style of the magazine to bring in fresh ideas. Andy Cowles and Joe Hutchinson will talk about the pros and cons of consistency and innovation.

On the Cover of the . . .
You can judge a magazine by its cover, of course. Baron Wolman adapted a street photography style for the first 50 covers of the magazine, and he tells how he did it. Lloyd Ziff explains how the cover became a pop icon.

Photo Editing as a Cause
Three great photo editors talk about how the photo story developed at the magazine. They will take us through some stunning examples. Karen Mullarkey, Laurie Kratochvil and Jodi Peckman share tips on how the assignment and selection process creates a visual narrative and grabs attention.

Design by Team
Rolling Stone’s art department has attracted great staffers This panel focuses on the effectiveness and fun of collaboration in design. With Geraldine Hessler, Kory Kennedy, Melanie Ress, Martine Winter, Vincent Winter and Lloyd Ziff.

Lessons Learned: Branding
Andy Cowles shows how he has applied the experience and craft of magazine design to visual branding of all kinds.

Lessons Learned: Magazine as an Idea
Chris Austopchuk’s love of magazines has impelled him to publish a luxurious style quarterly, Spirt & Flesh—in his spare time. He will try to answer questions like: Why print magazines? Will they survive? How can you adapt the magazine idea in digital form? What’s next?

For the Love of Rolling Stone
Five art directors tell stories and suggest what they’ve learned in the first 50 years of the magazine.  This talk will feature John Williams, Roger Black, Fred Woodward, Andy Cowles, and Joe Hutchinson.

Plus: A dozen surprise guests
Between sessions we’ll see some of the key visual players at Rolling Stone—and people outside the art department who were important to the magazine’s visual success. To quote Roland Young, the Berkeley disk jockey in the early ’70s, “Some of them are live. Some of them are on tape. And some of them I don’t know where they’re coming in from.”