Cat on the mat

Interiors magazine April 1959 USA
The American Interiors magazine produced some of the best magazine covers I have ever seen. It’s an industry magazine that ran from 1888 (according to the masthead) until the 1960s, if not later. I’ll eat my (Schiaparelli) hat if the set designers from Mad Men didn’t peruse issues of this periodical. It is simply dripping with adverts and spreads of the best in office furnishings, wallpapers, rugs, patterned surfaces and sculptural desk do-dahs for the executive man.

But shallow sort that I am, it is the cover not the contents that makes me want to pick up and buy any magazine. Even now I can’t be persuaded to part with filthy lucre for a vintage Vogue unless I love the cover. And I definitely bought this for the cover. I have an (perhaps) even nicer copy of this magazine that I would blog about soon if that were my style (yes, yes, I am under the illusion I have a style here at Shelf Appeal). But this issue caught my memory and pen first.

Unusually we have some design credits for this cover, artist Ernest Costa and photographer Harris Haft. Great names. Both of them scratch an appearance in the AIGA design archives online for this very piece of work. But I can’t find anything else out about them. A note inside the magazine points to the extreme clarity of the design of this cover. Especially when compared to other, more abstract Interiors covers, the meanings of which had had to be explained to some readers. From what I have seen of the magazine (which isn’t much and mainly on eBay) this crisp cover design was the exception rather than the rule.

It’s a beautifully simple cover design. It’s a cute kitten. And that’s a great typeface.



That’s gorgeous! And even coming through the immaculate filter that is Shelf Appeal, surprisingly so. Is the date really 1959?

shelf appeal

It really is 1959. I kid you not, most covers I have seen for this magazine are awesome. Someone in the USA must surely have a complete collection and be planning a book.


1959 was a very good year – really nice cat and coconut mat! – and you eating your (Schiaparelli) hat!! (yes we know you have more than one!), not needed too, too obvious – do tell what was ‘The Hour’s’ magazine inspiration?


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