Derek Fox, 70, retired art director of the weekly news magazine U.S. News & World Report, died Monday at his home in Great Falls, Va., of astrocytosis, a nerve disease.

A pioneer in news magazine graphics, Mr. Fox was said to have developed the news-photo story technique called pictograms, which is widely used in news magazine formats.

Mr. Fox joined the weekly newspaper United States News as a reporter and White House correspondent in 1934. He later became an associate editor and was named art director of the publication when it went to a magazine format in 1940. He remained art director of the combined U.S. News & World Report until his retirement in 1973.

He received the U.S. Flag Association's medal for cover design in 1948 "in recognition of his pioneer work in graphic presentation of political, economic and military news." He also was awarded the Art Directors Club's annual certificate of merit eight times.

Mr. Fox was born in New York City. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Michigan in 1931. He then did graduate work in drama at Yale University and was a member of George Pierce Baker's "47 Workshop." In 1932, he produced an off-Broadway production of James Joyce's "The Exiles."

He also lectured at the Cornell University National Visual Arts Workshop and taught visual art at the Department of Agriculture's Graduate School for a number of years.

Mr. Fox was a longtime member of the Cosmos Club and served as chairman of the club's art committee from 1970 to 1974. He also was a member of the Yale Club, the National Press Club, the Orchid Club and the International Club.

Survivors include his wife, Josephine Smith Fox, of the home, and a brother, Alfred, of Elmwood Park, N.J.