Dan’s Cover Artist Walter Bernard Celebrates Artists & Writers Game

Dan's Papers Artists Writers Game cover (detail) by Walter Bernard
Dan's Papers Artists Writers Game cover (detail) by Walter Bernard

The East Hampton Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game to benefit the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, Phoenix House, The Retreat and East End Hospice, returns to Herrick Park in East Hampton on August 20.

Award-winning graphic designer and artist Walter Bernard has designed this year’s Dan’s Papers Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game cover. Bernard, who’s been the art director for a number of the country’s best-known magazines including New York Magazine, Time, The Atlantic Monthly and Fortune, spoke with us about what inspired the image (an abstraction of two players, the artist and writer facing off), the future of digital art and what he’s most looking forward to at the 68th Annual Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game.

Walter Bernard headshot
Walter Bernard

What was your inspiration for the cover?
I’ve done the annual Artists & Writers cover for Dan’s Papers for about the last 18 years, and my inspiration is always the same: To announce the event with a, hopefully, inviting and amusing point of view that encourages readers to attend the game and support our charities. The theme is basically the same each year, so I have to work hard to come up with different ways of saying the same thing year after year. Some are more successful than others, but I think the current one works.

You’ve participated in a number of the Artists & Writers Chairty Softball Games. What do you most enjoy about the events?
Seeing friends and players that I may see only once a year. I enjoy seeing Leif Hope, whose devotion to the game and its charities keep the generous spirit of the community alive. It’s also fun to watch great players like Eric Ernst slowly age.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s game?
Playing a few innings, beating the writers, raising money for the four charities and watching Eric play.

You’re an accomplished graphic designer and artist. Can you tell us about recent projects and what you’re currently working on?
Recent projects include designing the Scandinavian Review, a magazine for Human Rights Watch, a book jacket for Ed Sorel’s new book Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, graphics for Jazz for Jennings, consulting for East Magazine and a book called MagMen, which Milton Glaser and I are working on about our many years together designing magazines. I’ve also studied for years with David Levine, a great caricaturist and watercolor master, and Aaron Shikler, who painted JFK’s official portrait—I’m inspired by them, and so I’m planning to spend more time this year painting watercolors and oils.

What’s the future of graphic design?
Change is constant—it happens so rapidly that my design studio is filled with outdated equipment such as T-squares, ink pens and old electronic devices that we no longer use. Graphic design has always evolved and been pushed along by innovative practitioners, and will continue to do so with new tools.

What is your primary goal with your art?
To create a piece that fulfills what I had in mind when I started to work on it.

For more information about Walter Bernard and his work, visit walterberbarddesign.com. The Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game will take place on Saturday, August 20, at 2 p.m. at Herrick Park in East Hampton. For more information about the game, visit artistswritersgame.org.

Dan's Papers Artists Writers Game cover by Walter Bernard

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