Bloomberg Businessweek’s Steve Jobs Issue

Over the weekend I picked up a copy of the 10 Oct issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, which is dedicated through and through to the memory of Steve Jobs. The issue is a tour de force of editorial design, filled with emotionally and visually stunning layout after layout. What’s even more remarkable is that the publisher had the good taste to forgo all advertising throughout the issue.

Sample Spreads

The front cover is wonderfully succinct and unexpectedly powerful. The black and white silhouette of Jobs is set against a background of silver-colored metallic ink. The back of the magazine, too, is incredibly effective: a diminutive shot of the original Macintosh tucked into the lower right-hand corner, with “Good bye” on the screen.

Businessweek Cover

The magazine opens up with a series of large, full-bleed images, overlaid with quotes from Jobs himself. These made me tear up.

Businessweek Spread 1
Businessweek Spread 2
Businessweek Spread 3

There are essays later in the issue, as well as this extensive timeline of Jobs’ life.

Businessweek Spread 4
Businessweek Spread 5

News of Jobs’ passing first broke on Wednesday night. This issue was on newsstands by Sunday, at least, or maybe even Saturday night. Which means the Bloomberg Businessweek team must have been working like mad to make this happen, probably with very little sleep and almost assuredly under the duress of simultaneously mourning a man that many of them probably felt very strongly about. That effort is an incredibly fitting, touching and commendable tribute to Steve Jobs himself. Congratulations to the team.

  1. You should really check out BloombergBusinessweek on the iPad. It’s a close second to The Economist, in terms of a great experience on the iPad.

    Anyway, the iPad issue, as all their issues, contains a brief introduction video from the editor. In it, he talks about that they did have to work very hard to get this out so quickly, but mentions that most of the material had already been written beforehand.

  2. This is a really sharp and clever design. Though they probably had some of this in the can waiting for Job’s passing. It’s a bit morbid, but it helps when a page designer — for a newspaper or magazine — has the core of an obit ready. It clears your head to think about presentation. Most wire services have obits of old, sick celebs, politicians ready to send out. There was a famous AP mistake were they accidentally sent out Bob Hope’s obit when he wasn’t dead. I just got my issue of Bloomberg Businessweek in the mail. Unfortunately, The mailing label is on the back — my favorite (and I think the most ingenious) part of the design. I would’ve preferred the Goodbye Computer image as the main art for the design. Sorry Businessweek folks. Everyone’s a critic. Either way, bravo! Great job!

  3. According to their @BizWeekDesign twitter feed, they dropped an entire issue that was ready to go 30 mins before press deadline, as soon as they heard Jobs had passed away. This lead to 20 hour design shifts.

    Clearly the result is a passionate reflection of Steve Jobs impact on so many people’s lives. Not least the fact that was observed elsewhere, that the designers would not have been able to drop the issue so late (and re-do one from scratch) had it not been for Jobs reinventing the design industry. A fitting tribute.

  4. Beautiful work. I’m sure every one of the individuals working on the magazine were happy and proud to be producing this for such a prolific and inspiration figure.

    Clever design, hope I can grab a copy in the UK>


    If you need any reason to reaffirm your passion for print, please look no further than this issue. Maybe as a graphic designer, I’m a little too emotionally invested in Mr. Jobs’ work and legacy to offer clear perspective on this, but with every turn of this issue’s page, a few more goosebumps popped up on my body.

    I brought the issue in to the studio the day after and played show and tell with all my colleagues — Tossing the issue on top of whatever they were working on — To say, “Get a load if this.”

    Seamless execution from cover to cover. Congratulations @BizWeekDesign.

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