Bridging editorial and design

Critique: Drink this — Johnny Cash Margarita

I feel like so far in this class, my workload has been in constant flux. I had a relatively design-less weekend other than coming in to work on the following department page, which was also a very straightforward piece (complementary colors and columns, hello).

022014 Drink This

If there was ever a week where it felt like things were starting to rev up, it’d be this week.

After seeing The Scene department editors struggle the first couple of weeks with pitches, I was really happy to see that they had some strong story ideas on Tuesday night prior to the pitching deadline. The editors shared with the web producer and us designers their ideas so we could contribute to the idea.

This was really helpful both in shaping what kind of art we could use and think out of the box with presentation, and I also found that some of my design ideas helped shape the story altogether or take it in a different, less structured direction. Since I’ll be designing the stories in the issue we’re pitching this week, I’m excited to see where the ideas go from here.

IN PROGRESS: VINTAGE NOW

As I mentioned above, this week seems like the starting point for a ton of projects coming up.

I met with my Meredith project group, the ladies of Vintage Now, to discuss ideas for our presentations on Monday. It was a really rapid-fire meeting with a ton of ideas being thrown around about the presentation, platform, mission and ideas for aesthetics, and it probably gave me more ideas and options than narrowing them down.

Other than spending an hour on Pinterest right after we were assigned our projects Tuesday (half of that was spent resetting my password since I rarely ever use it, but I’m starting to realize that it’s a great tool for inspiration), I’ve been browsing magazines to continue shaping more ideas before putting anything down on paper (or screen?).

Words and visuals that instantly come to mind when I think of vintage are fabric and texture, so those two will probably be the first things I search for and implement into my design. Colors will be interesting because although it will be a spring/summer issue featuring wedding ideas, none of us are inclined to go with anything pastel. Branching off the idea of vintage fabrics, I’m thinking a nice mixture of bolds and tints for an edgy chic look.

IN PROGRESS: PROFESSIONAL DAYM

Outside of class, my week has also been consumed by a freelance story I’m working on. My editor from a previous internship recently started her own regional magazine about women in business called Professional Daym, and I’m working on my second story for her. This one is all about what it means to “break the rules” in a woman’s career. The story idea lends itself to a lot more opportunities to being creative with both editorial and design. In addition to writing the story, I’ll also be mapping out a quiz about “what kind of rule-breaker are you?” Since there are a couple pieces to the story, I’m sending my editor potential layout ideas along with the text. I think I like the bottom spread more (especially since the top one involves a flow chart, which looks scary complicated to execute well), but I’ll be interested to see how the designer interprets my work when she gets it.Rule Breaker sketch

You can’t miss: While we’re on the subject of freelancing…

In my design class, we’ve been talking about typography for web and often reference some of Jessica Hische’s work. Hische is a letterer, illustrator and designer, and she has some really great advice on getting started with type, which is super helpful for typography newbies like myself.

While I was looking around her site, I saw that she also had a post about doing freelance design work. Since this came up during lab today, I thought I’d share what she had to say.

Looking down the list, it’s awesome to see that a lot of the things she suggests are things we’re doing now in class. So for all of you out there who might be interested in doing freelance design (also, please tell me how you’re carving out time in your busy schedules to consider this), I hope this helps!

You can’t miss: Designers that eat together, stay together

This week on Creative Bloq, I found a profile piece on a design firm in Auckland, New Zealand. In addition to featuring some of Alt Group’s sleek and minimalist designs, the article looked at the way that the designers work together and how their environment affects their work.

First, I would love to work at a place that encouraged spending time together and collaborating, even if it’s through something as simple as eating lunch together every day (although, it doesn’t seem so simple that one person cooks a nice meal for 23 of his colleagues on the daily, but he apparently makes it work).

Not only that, but the executive structure of the firm is different from others in that they don’t designate project managers for anything. Instead, the designers, writers, accountants and others work directly with the clients. The clients will even set up shop in the studio for a period of time to help flesh out the project at hand.

I love the idea that the studio encourages such open communication everywhere from sharing creative ideas at lunch or around the open-space office (which is beautiful, btw), to working so closely with clients on a one-on-one basis. With the start of our Meredith projects, it’s great to keep in mind to keep all lines of communication open and clear, even if it bridges across design, editorial or managerial spheres. I know this was a huge takeaway I got from serving as an editor for Vox last semester, and practicing this can only make our product better.

Photo inspiration: Squeeze the day

I think someone in a previous week’s post had also mentioned the Lucky’s Market aesthetic. I don’t know about you, but I love shopping there because it’s set up well and is overall pleasing to the eye. I think it’s interesting how certain brands convey their brand and style in the way they set up their stores. Take Apple for example. Everything from the lighting to the music to the layout of the products matches the identity of that brand.

Lucky's
As for  Lucky’s, the environment  is really bright and fun, but not in an overly obnoxious way. Their designs have an old-timey flair to them reminiscent of the ’60s when milk was delivered to the doorstep. But it’s also bold and clean, which helps it bridge to more contemporary design. Aside from that, some of their slogans and displays around the store are just clever, which is always a plus.

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4 thoughts on “Bridging editorial and design

  1. It’s great to hear that you’re starting to work well with your department! I think I’m still trying to figure out the flow of that. You would think by week 5 I’d have a better grasp. I’m excited to see what you all came up with.

    I can’t believe you don’t use Pinterest often! That’s where I get my best inspiration. There are endless amounts of things to look through. I think you’ll find tons of things for Vintage Now.

  2. I love that you are into the open collaborative process. Being on both sides of the Vintage Now team, I feel qualified so say that you have chosen the right team. We meet a lot and it sounds like we will be meeting more and more (and for fun things too). I think I will follow your example and get my Pintrest going again as well.

  3. I think using Lucy’s as inspiration for you Meredith product could be beneficial. I do love shopping there, but unfortunately some of their products are just too expensive for my sad college budget.
    Anyways, after looking at your Meredith sketches, it seems like you have somewhat grasp of what your publishers are looking for, so it’ll be interesting to see what you come up with.

  4. It is great to see that your design contributed to the scene team, and helped them come up with story pitches. It would be great if the content and the design can work with each other and blend well. So far I enjoyed my department shifts too, and some of the stories gave me a lot of inspirations too. I am looking forward to your future department designs!

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