The New York Times Magazine

  • Print
  • Guest-editing

In 2003, The New York Times Magazine asked us to design, curate, and co-write a seven-page feature about “inspiration and where it comes from” for the annual design issue. Our task was to investigate seven design objects that we found curious and intriguing. The stipulation was that our picks couldn't be too obscure, they had to be connected to mass culture. Hence our selection spanned a huge gamut of subjects.

Two of our seven pages were devoted to Paris Hilton, who was at peak fame at the moment. We were interested in exploring the concept of her as a design since we felt that she sold and marketed herself as a product. She was, to our surprise, happy to participate and a photographer was called in for a big photo shoot in LA. (In fact, it was a delight to call up all kinds of high-profile people on behalf of The New York Times and get treated like VIPs by them and their publicists.) However, the day after the shoot, Paris’s sex tape was leaked to the press and her team went into lockdown. Our pages were pulled and we had to very quickly replace them with other subjects (the Mohammad Ali book and the car boat). We still like the way it turned out.

Audio CommentaryHjalti and Jan talk about the project with Janet Froelich
"Karlssonwilker created a remarkable introduction to the design issue, which ended up inspiring the cover. It was a really fresh way to tell a story, back then no one was really using infographics, especially not for stories that are only driven by pleasure, where there's no real need to know, it's just fun."
Janet Froelich, former Creative Director, The New York Times Magazine
© karlssonwilker 2024privacy policy