Because really, what art director could ever hope to challenge Al Parker to try something "a little different"?
I like to imagine the conversation between Cosmopolitan magazine art director, Robert C. Atherton and Al Parker that resulted in this piece:
"So Al, have you come up with an idea for the opening spread on that manuscript I sent you?"
"Yes, Bob, I was thinking; why don't we print a full bleed across both pages of this wallpaper sample I have here. I'll do a tiny little line drawing in the top right-hand corner and handwrite the word "Heritage" and you can surprint that in 100% magenta across the whole spread."
Who but Al Parker could have proposed such a thing - and then pull it off beautifully? And what art director but Robert Atherton would have considered allowing it?
And then, Parker follows up this bold experiment with two stunning double page spreads in an entirely avante gard style -- remember, this is 1953. Parker considered every element of the page - not just the illustration - but the type, the design of the boxes in which the body copy would run, the diamond-shaped design element that highlights each pull-quote and his background motif... to create three spreads that together are a glorious visual experience.
Can you imagine what Parker's contemporaries said when they flipped open this issue of Cosmopolitan and saw these illustrations?
"Look what Al's done this time!"
Because, as it says in the Cosmo article on Al Parker which appeared two months previous to these pieces, "by the time other illustrators begin to follow a new technique he has perfected, Parker himself has dropped it and is busy exploring another unbeaten path."
* Many more examples of the artist's work in my Al Parker Flickr set.