"The main principles of design—in books, appliances, cars, clothing, everything—are:
1. Your product must be bold and eye-catching and conspicuously different from everyone else’s, but
2. Not too much!
Which is why the covers of most contemporary books all look disturbingly the same, as if inbred."
("The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover", The New Yorker, July 2013)
This is so true- inbred- of the covers of Marathi magazines, I see on the newsstand today. Thankfully, it was not always so.
Marathi daily Loksatta (लोकसत्ता) July 28 2013 has an article on, now defunct, Marathi magazine 'Vangmay-Shobha' 1939-1994 (वाङ्मय-शोभा). Read the article here.
If you want to read e-issues of the magazine, read them on Book Ganga website here. I think there are around 485 issues of the magazine available. They are free to download.
I did not read any of the e-issues but was fascinated by their covers. Seemingly every cover was done with pride, the one we associate today with the magazines like The New Yorker, The Economist etc.
I found the quality of covers going down in late 1970's and beyond.
The visual artists, who worked on Vangmay-Shobha, that are mentioned in Loksatta article are:
Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे), D A Bandmantri (द. अ. बंडमंत्री), Ashok Dongre (अशोक डोंगरे), Dinanath Dalal (दीनानाथ दलाल), Mulgaokar (मुळगावकर), Vasant Sahasrabuddhe (वसंत सहस्रब्रुद्धे), Padma Sahasrabuddhe (पद्मा सहस्रब्रुद्धे)...
Below is the cover dated April 1963- April Fool issue. It is either by Vasant or Padma or both Sahasrabuddhe.
It's fumy and delightful.
Those kind of child carts were used by upper middle-class and wealthy people in Miraj. We were neither. So my parents never used any. But I used to be very curios about the kids riding them. Those carts looked a bit heavy and smelly to me. I never wanted to ride in them.
Look at the girl riding the cart. She is obviously upset at her mother's doting on her sheep-dog instead of her. Even her stuffed puppy is not amused.
Look at the usage of colours red, yellow, blue and green.
Look at the onlookers. For the poor and the deprived in India, lifestyles of even middle-class people have always been a spectacle. I remember during many Diwali's, when we burst fire crackers, a lot of poor kids from the neighborhood always gathered around us to watch it. They almost had no Diwali compared to even us- mere college teacher's kids.
Look at the generally happy gentleman, who then occasionally wore a suit even for an evening walk
All in all, very pleasing experience and a good, solid start.
Artist: Vasant Sahasrabuddhe (वसंत सहस्रब्रुद्धे) or Padma Sahasrabuddhe (पद्मा सहस्रब्रुद्धे), or both 'Vangmay-Shobha', April 1963
Courtesy: the artist (s), family of the late Manohar Mahadev Kelkar (मनोहर महादेव केळकर)- founder of the magazine and Book Ganga