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Editor's note: A well-designed life

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Two and a half years ago Amid Capeci arrived at EW as design director. During his storied career he had done brilliant work for Rolling Stone and Newsweek. But I like to think he felt most at home here, putting his broad taste, deep knowledge, and passion for all kinds of pop culture to use. He never forgot the time when he was 8 years old and his parents introduced him to the original Riddler, Frank Gorshin, who did a Burt Lancaster impression for him. He loved the Broadway show The Producers so much that he finagled his way into the role of an extra in the movie version. He would watch his favorite movies 5, 10, even 15 times. He would buy theater tickets months before opening night. He would quote lines from 30 Rock. He would spend weekends watching what he called ”genre marathons” of films. He married a fantastic woman named Amy Conway and became a father, and he liked nothing more than sharing his favorite movies with his kids, Virginia and Luca, whom he lived for. He loved breaking news and oddball challenges: Last year he spent weeks looking at dozens of options for EW’s Muppets cover. He considered various combos of Muppets and arrangements of Muppets and Muppets in various attire; he finally decided on a simple photo of Kermit the Frog alone on a black background, and he turned the logo Kermit green. It was genius in its simplicity — using the vernacular of movie-star covers to articulate Kermit’s place in pop culture — and it had the kind of elegance, ingenuity, and humor that would define Amid’s career. He had an effortless, old-school style — he was a gentleman but never stuffy or cynical — and he believed in the romance of New York and working in the media. So it’s fitting that we were working on a Mad Men cover when we got the news that Amid, after a battle with cancer, had passed away on Feb. 28 at age 50. EW’s Jeff Giles, who also worked with Amid at Newsweek, described him this way: ”Amid Capeci was what my father, and probably yours, would have called a class act.” Amid helped revitalize EW, overseeing the redesign of key sections of the magazine, and he was instrumental in the development of our tablet editions. But his greatest design was his design for living — with joy, generosity, curiosity, and loyalty. All those late, late Monday nights, when we would sit in his office fussing with a cover till the wee hours, his laughter and his patience and his talent never waned. Sometimes we thought those nights would go on forever, and now I wish they would.

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