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History of Graphic Design through Publications: FLAIR MAGAZINE

Flair Magazine

Location: Special Collections Oversize AC 2 F585
The Library owns Best of Flair, a book published in late 1990s.
We also owns 3 individual issues from 1950.

Fifty years after it ceased publication, Flair is still one of the most talked-about and influential magazines ever created. It is remembered for its innovative design and production quality, its superb coverage of the arts, and its discovery of many artists and writers well before they achieved fame and fortune.

Only 12 issues were published in the early 1950s. This book was published to document this innovative magazine.

About the book:
Flair was critically aclaimed for its sharp mix of clothes, literature, art, travel, decor, theater, and humor. It made publishing history with its combination of eclectic editorial content and lavish production quality. Recalled as "the first magazine that became an art form," The Best of Flair is a compilation of the magazine’s best content as chosen by the woman who created it. Along with its distinctive production values, Flair also features interviews and contributions from some of the most noted artists and celebrities of the past fifty years, including Lucian Freud, Jean Cocteau, Tallulah Bankhead, Saul Steinberg, Salvador Dalí, Simone de Beauvoir, Walker Evans, James Michener, Ogden Nash, Gypsy Rose Lee, Clare Boothe Luce, George Bernard Shaw, John O’Hara, Margaret Mead, and Tennessee Williams.

"One of Flair's distinctions is that each issue had a different die-cut hole and revealed a new surprise. March featured Spain, and revealed a "Guernica"-style tapestry. May's roses revealed a gorgeous portrait of a young woman. The July All Male Issue let us peek through binoculars at a woman on a beach. Even more daring, Flair's name was treated a new way each time, taking its cue from the issue's thematic content: sans serif type one month, hand-drawn the next, serif type the month after."
-Book Review by Tony Buchsbaum in Urban Desires, no. 3.1,  January 1997

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Vol. 1, #1 1950

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August 1950

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Vol 1, #4 1950

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Book: Best of Flair
Special Collections Oversize AP2 F585 1996

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