For more than two decades, Edward Leida has been one of the most influential art directors in fashion publishing, overseeing the look and feel of W magazine, as well as the stable of consumer and trade publications under Fairchild, including Details, Jane and Women’s Wear Daily. Part of the original creative team that developed W, a longtime broadsheet under WWD in 1991, Leida has been one of the guiding forces of the magazine, which today is a tour-de-force of fashion publishing. In 1991, Leida, redesigned W from a broadsheet to a large-format perfect-bound magazine and redesigned it once more in 2005.
During the course of his design directorship of W, Leida maintained a visual course that maintained a fashion tradition that was steeped in history, yet was always on target and in touch with the vanguard of the fashion world. No matter the subject matter—whether designing around celebrity portraits, beauty accessories, styled products or experimental fashion photography—the hallmark of Leida’s tenure at W has been his range in crafting content-driven pages for the magazine’s wide-ranging subject matters, and creating a resonant interface to W’s influential readership.
Beyond fashion, Leida’s range also extends to his complete design of Details magazine in 2000, which captured the zeitgeist of men’s fashion and revealed a contemporary, type-driven approach to magazine design. With custom typography and taking cues with the increasing influence of web design, the format and look of Details became widely imitated and became a touchstone for graphic designers worldwide.
Trained as both an Industrial and Graphic Designer, Leida has, over the course of his career, done extensive work in the areas of Editorial Design, Corporate Identity, Branding, Book Design and Advertising. Tradition, history, craft, and contemporary values are what continue to inform his art direction and design.
His design of W was nominated by the National Magazine Awards for Excellence in Design in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005 and was nominated Magazine of the Year in 2007 and 2009 by the Society of Publication Designers. He is also the recipient of numerous design awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Type Directors Club, Art Directors Club of NY/NJ and The Society of Publication Designers.