Fred Woodward typography

One of Fred Woodward’s most noteworthy spreads is a 1992 profile for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The spread features a photograph of Schwarzenegger sitting inside a giant inner tube on a beach, which Woodward used to make a typographic response by positioning the headline, which says “Mr. Big Shot,” around the photo in order to make the inner tube the O in ‘shot’. There are many different artistic factors that Woodward chose to incorporate into this spread. The first, and most obvious, being the use of the photograph of the inner tube for the letter O. Another artistic characteristic Woodward integrated was spacing the letters of the word ‘big’ evenly at the beginning of the spread, but then increasing the size of the letters and spacing them unevenly for the word ‘shot,’ since that was the word that he was incorporating the photograph into. Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, Woodward put ‘Mr.’ inside the dot on the letter I in ‘big’. The letters are so small and being that they are inside a part of another letter, they are easy to miss. In fact, this spread is often referred to as “Big Shot” because most people do not notice the ‘Mr.’ This cover is a clever combination of photography and type to give awareness and understanding of the overall message of the magazine. Woodward helped to tear down the idea that photography was not art. Woodward’s technique of combining photography and typography established the concept of photography was in fact an artistic medium and gave photography the artistic recognition that it deserved. The layout of this spread would later become one of his famous trademarks, something in which he was known for and could easily be recognized as his. That was one of Woodward’s goals: to have someone look at his work and know that it was his. He brought moods to life through his ingenious use of type and image.