Peter Mendelsund has been named creative director of The Atlantic, and his frequent design partner Oliver Munday will become the publisher’s new senior art director. Mendelsund, a longtime associate art director for Alfred A. Knopf, is widely recognized as one America’s preeminent designers. He now brings his vision and portfolio to The Atlantic, where he will direct the design and visuals across the newsroom. Mendelsund and Munday will begin their new roles in February.
“In Peter Mendelsund, The Atlantic has found the perfect person to lead a once-in-a-generation re-imagining of its design, all in service to its readers,” said editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg. “In Oliver Munday, we have found one of the most gifted art directors in all of publishing.”
As The Atlantic’s creative director, Mendelsund will lead the design process for the magazine and its cover each month. The Atlantic’s cover remains one of the most important pieces of real estate in American journalism. He will also oversee The Atlantic’s design execution across its editorial platforms, including TheAtlantic.com, video, podcasts, and newsletters. Munday will be primarily focused on leading the art teams for both the magazine and TheAtlantic.com—which includes the talented artists and designers Paul Spella, Katie Martin, Arsh Raziuddin, and Emily Jan.
Mendelsund and Munday have consulted on the design for several recent issues of The Atlantic, and are behind the covers for the October, November, and December 2018 issues and the current January/February 2019 issue, “Why Are We So Angry?”
Mendelsund was the associate art director at Knopf for 15 years. He has designed covers for books by David Sedaris, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Stieg Larsson, and collections of works of James Joyce, Kafka, Simone de Beauvoir, and Michel Foucault. Mendelsund is himself the author of four books: What We See When We Read, Cover, and the forthcoming non-fiction work The Look of the Book as well as a novel, Same Same. His design work has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “the most instantly recognizable and iconic in contemporary fiction.”
Munday worked alongside Mendelsund as an art director at Knopf, and was also at the publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Before working in publishing, Munday ran an independent design studio whose work was recognized by many design publications including Communication Arts, TDC, Young Guns 7, AIGA 50/50, and PRINT magazine. His monograph Don’t Sleep was published this year. In addition to recent issues of The Atlantic, his work has been featured on the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and TIME.