Tag Archives: magazine

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Hey all, I hope you have been doing well. My last post was a few months back and I apologize for that. It’s been hectic with a new job search, my kids’ activities, the occasional freelance project and just general house duties. With all that going on, I realized that I can’t maintain all the social portals I signed up for trying to stay up-to-date. So I cleaned house and closed a few of them so no more Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and I am rethinking my Facebook page. SoulFul Design, however, will get much more of my attention.

You will notice a refresh of the blog and I will commit to posting new content at least twice a week. So for today, it will be a smattering of recent tidbits that I came across over these few months. So as Captain Picard would say, “Engage.”

Inneract Project websiteINNERACT PROJECT
People of color are not plentiful in the creative field. One of the ways to change that is to introduce design to students of color in schools that normally wouldn’t have the exposure. Maurice Woods is one designer who is doing something about it. Maurice is a highly recognized graphic designer based out of the San Francisco area who is the founder and executive director of Inneract Project. Their mission is to provide free design education to inner-city youth and their communities, to serve as a facilitator to aspiring career designers and to mentor youth to pursue higher education. The more we can expose our children to the value of design, the more representation we can have for our communities and their visual voice.

Rob Vargas and Bloomberg coversBLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
Yes, that Bloomberg. Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg of NYC always had a day job even as the mayor. He owns Bloomberg Media and one of his properties is Bloomberg Businessweek. This monthly magazine is celebrated for its edgy and irreverent publication design. It recently appointed Rob Vargas as its new Creative Director. He had been with the magazine as one of its founding members of their creative team but he now carries the official title as the creative head. He worked at the New York Times Magazine, Blender, New York and Details magazines.

Arem DuplessisAPPLE JUST GOT COOLER
Arem Duplessis is a design leader that has led some prestigious teams. His design skills are top-notch with innovative solutions and thought-provoking visual tones. He’s been behind the design scene at Spin and GQ magazines. Apple is a company that epitomizes cool and forward thinking in relation to design. Mix them together and you have a dynamite combo of super coolness. Arem joined Apple’s internal marketing team leaving the Design Director chair at the New York Times Magazine. I, for one, can’t wait to see the fantastic campaigns Arem will integral in shaping. Apple just made itself even cooler.

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Latina’s Got Its Sexy Back!

ebby_headshotWhen I worked at Essence Communications, a new partnership was formed to develop a bilingual magazine for Hispanic women called Latina. Being in the right place at the right time, I got to see some of the prototype pages and media kit. It was pretty exciting and the design work was really eye-catching. My fingers were crossed that it would be huge success. The magazine launched and was well received. It was exciting to see because here was a magazine speaking to Hispanic women about their issues and their wants instead of just adopting what was in the mainstream women’s magazine to suit them. I pretty much can say everyone feels good when they see themselves reflected in anything they are reading, watching or hearing in the media.

So it was long overdue for the American marketplace to support and encourage a project like this. As time went on, the design evolved. The layouts were more elegant, the art direction of the photo spreads were more conceptual and smart and the pace was engaging. The art director was Ebelinda Antigua. She developed the art direction and gave it such a classy, high-end fashion feel but coupling it with some fun. I eagerly anticipated the arrival of each new issue at the newsstand every month. Eventually, Ebelinda moved onto new opportunities and landed at Working Mother magazine where she brought here design magic to their pages and brand. Continue reading Latina’s Got Its Sexy Back!

Soulight On: Lisa Hunt

spotlightlogo_LHSoulFul Design is proud
to present the series
Soulight On: a showcase featuring designers of color across different creative fields. My purpose is to shine light on fellow creatives that we don’t see in the mainstream design trades. My goal is for you to be inspired, be informed, be creative.

Lisa Hunt, former Creative Director of Essence magazine, launched her own design consultancy, Lisa Hunt Creative, and product line, Parasol New York, in 2009. With over a decade of experience in art directing photography in the categories of food, home, celebrity, fashion, beauty, health, fitness, and travel her work is vibrant, polished and fuses her well-honed knowledge of industry trends in publishing and branding across multiple platforms including web, tablet and mobile.

Her passion and special interest in ceramics, home textiles, furnishings and tabletop led her to create a line of home accessories, greeting cards and art prints for her company Parasol New York.

A former adjunct professor at New York University and a Pratt Institute alumnus, she currently resides in Brooklyn.

1. How did you first become interested in graphic design?

My mother was very instrumental in my interest in art and encouraged my creativity from an early age. She was a true creative spirit herself as she was always drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting, decorating and gardening. She passed away very suddenly two years ago but her creative spirit lives on in my sisters and me. During my preteen years, my love for reading magazines and music sparked my interest in type, color, and photography. By high school, everything from album covers, book covers, fashion and packaging were things I found myself drawn to and became a bit obsessed with. As a junior, I took a commercial art class at a technical school—where they also taught farm machine repair—for two hours a day twice a week. We learned everything about color theory, composition and typography. That class and its teacher really paved the way for my career in graphic design.

Even after my experience in the art class, I didn’t understand that it was possible to make a living as a graphic designer. I applied to and was accepted to liberal arts colleges. My decision was to study journalism as a way to work in magazines. For financial reasons, I had to delay my enrollment in American University and worked for a year to save money. It was during that year that a friend told me about different art colleges and encouraged me to apply. I used my high school portfolio. Continue reading Soulight On: Lisa Hunt

Design Inspirations: Richard Baker

During the ’90s, US magazine was one of the many magazine titles that inspired me as a young art director. US magazine is not the same title that US Weekly is currently. Today it exists as just another gossip rag. No real design, no real photography—just an assembly line of pages. US magazine during the 1990s was a well designed, informative and creative publishing force. The innovative photography and clever typographic pages each month filled me with immense joy and energy that motivated me to strive to its creative level. As each new issue hit the newsstands, I felt so fortunate to be part of the publishing game because of titles like US. I felt even greater pride when I learned that its Art Director was Richard Baker, who happened to be African-American.

Richard Baker art directed US with such innovation, energy and boundless imagination. The way he played with type in his feature spreads worked so harmoniously with the photography and illustration that created such emotional connections between its readers and subjects. His work made the readers understand the personalities of the celebrities featured. He approaches seemed simple in construction but were actually complex in its smart use of connecting the heart of the story with its readers. His work was a staple in the Society of Publication Designers’ annuals. Richard Baker’s work really pushed me in my role as Art Director while working on a business title owned by Essence Communications. With his fantastic magazine work, adding the fact that Richard Baker happened to be African-American really lifted my spirit as I’d come across so few magazine designers that look like me. Eventually, he moved on from US magazine and went to Premiere, another one of my favorite titles during the ‘90s.

Richard Baker brought that same creative innovation to Premiere and really elevated the title to new heights where I still saw his pages in the SPD annuals. I lost track of him after he moved on from Premiere but I remember he was at LIFE magazine the last time they resurrected the iconic title. Today, I don’t know where he has landed but wherever it is I know he is on to a new level of creative innovation. Personally, I would just like to let him know how much his work has inspired me over my career and that he really helped me discover my passion for magazine design.

Thank you, Richard Baker.

Ebony Finally Found Some Design Legs

I heard through the grapevine a few months back that Ebony was undergoing a major redesign. “Fantastic,” I thought to myself. It was long overdue and embarrassing what Ebony had become visually in the last two decades. Growing up, I remembered the huge tabloid issues of Ebony looking like the black LIFE. The beautiful images, the grandiose features and the gallery styled covers all made me want to work for a magazine one day. That dream came true for me but as time went by, many black magazines just didn’t invest in their design structure like their mainstream counterparts.

All I could do after seeing last month’s issue was shake my head. Looking like a broke-ass version of Essence (believe me Essence needs a refresh too), it kept using Helvetica in such uninspired arrangements. HELLO! There are other sans serifs beside Helvetica! Hundreds! The same went for the photos, except for the celebs, and the lackluster illustrations. There was a whole laundry list. Continue reading Ebony Finally Found Some Design Legs